WM Motor founder: Tesla can help China’s EV market by shifting manufacturing base

WM Motor founder: Tesla can help China’s EV market by shifting manufacturing base

In a recent interaction with CNBC's Nancy Hungerford at the 2018 Auto China show, Chinese EV start-up WM Motor’s founder Freeman Shen said that the electric vehicle (EV) market in China can witness a substantial growth if Tesla moves its production facilities to the country.

Describing the US-based electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla as “a very good brand” in the EV market, Shen said that the brand’s coming to China can be extremely helpful in enabling the country’s whole EV market “become bigger and become stronger” as against the traditional cars.

Shen told Hungerford that he would welcome Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Shanghai. However, he also added alongside that Tesla may probably not move its EV production to China because the recent production issues which the automaker has faced in the US could prove to be a potential deterrent.

Against the backdrop of the fact that the Chinese authorities will be allowing overseas automakers to wholly own businesses in China by 2018-end, with the strict ownership caps on EVs to be removed, Shen said: “For automotive business, it's not only about the ownership. I think more importantly, it's the supply chain itself.”

Shen further elaborated that though it is “relatively easy” to open a factory in China, localizing the whole supply chain in a fairly tedious process.