|China deliveries begin|
Tesla has delivered its first cars made in China, marking a major milestone for the electric vehicle maker.
Fifteen Model 3 sedans were handed over at the company's so-called "Gigafactory" near Shanghai.
It comes as Elon Musk's company aims to secure a significant slice of the world's biggest car market.
Tesla's move into the country comes as the trade war has forced other American companies to shift production out of China.
During a ceremony at the company's multi-billion dollar plant in Shanghai, 15 of its employees received cars they had purchased.
The event means deliveries of cars have started a little over a year after construction of the factory got underway. Americans could never get a factory that size built and into production that quickly.
California-based Tesla said that it wanted to start handing over vehicles before the Lunar New Year beginning on 25 January, and now plans to scale up deliveries from the start of 2020.
The Chinese-made Model 3, priced at $50,000 before subsidies, will compete with local electric car makers, including NIO and Xpeng Motors, as well as global brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Tesla will deliver the first China-made Model 3 at Gigafactory 3 plant in Shanghai TODAY. The 15 customers who are slated to get their Model 3s first are Tesla employees. pic.twitter.com/bOTeR8wjUL
— Tesla China (@teslacn) December 30, 2019