Tesla a week ago purchased a plot of land near Shanghai to build its Chinese plant.
The plant, which will be 100 percent owned by Tesla and have the capacity to build 250,000 vehicles annually initially, will start off building the Model 3 and upcoming Model Y. The information was detailed in a filing by the environmental assessment firm conducting a feasibility study for the project, Reuters reported Wednesday.
A timeline for the start of production of Tesla cars in China is yet to surface.
Teaser for Tesla Model Y electric SUV due for reveal in 2019
Production of the Model 3 is already underway at Tesla's plant in California. The Model Y, a small crossover SUV based on the same platform as the Model 3, is due for a reveal in 2019 and is expected to start production in 2020.
It isn't clear if Tesla will build the Model Y in the United States but the company has been looking at potential sites for a new plant to support the crossover. Tesla CEO Elon Musk in May said the Californian plant was already at capacity with the Model S, Model X and Model 3. One possibility is using space at the Nevada plant where Tesla assembles batteries and other powertrain components.
News of production of the Model 3 and Model Y in China comes just as Tesla returned to profit after years of heavy losses. The company posted its third-quarter earnings Wednesday, with a net profit of $312 million, by far its largest ever. Since it went public in 2010, Tesla has posted a profit in only two quarters: once in 2013 and again in 2016. During that time it's burned through more than $6 billion.
Elon Musk at Tesla Model 3 reveal
During a conference call detailing the third-quarter earnings, Musk reiterated Tesla's plans to offer an automated ride-hailing service to rival similar services being readied by the likes of GM Cruise and Waymo, as well as existing ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft. To be called the Tesla Network, plans for the service were first announced during 2016's reveal of Part 2 of the Tesla Master Plan.
As Tesla's self-driving technology matures to the point where the cars can operate on their own, Tesla owners will be able to add their cars to an automated ride-hailing fleet. Musk said Tesla would add company-owned cars to the fleet during periods of high demand. Musk described the Tesla Network as an Airbnb-style service but with self-driving cars instead of homes.
It will likely be years before the technology—and regulatory environment—is ready for such a scenario. However, Tesla has already been selling cars with all of the hardware required for fully self-driving capability. Once the software is ready, owners will then be able to upgrade their cars instead of having to buy new.