Tesla has completed the purchase of land for a new factory in Shanghai that could eventually build up to 500,000 cars a year for the Chinese market, The Wall Street Journal reported. The 210-acre plot cost $140 million, the newspaper reported, citing a Shanghai government website.
Tesla will wholly own the facility, which is a break from previous rules that required foreign car makers in China to work with a domestic partner. Earlier this year, China announced it was easing the requirement, which could allow foreign car makers to have a controlling or wholly owned stake in the businesses.
The land deal comes as the U.S.-China trade war has driven up the cost of Tesla’s imported vehicles in China, which cost between 55% and 60% more than comparable electric vehicles built locally, the newspaper said. China is Tesla’s No. 2 market and the announcement signals that despite the conflict, Tesla is still making progress in the country.