Tesla's serious about China.
The Silicon Valley automaker delivered its first Chinese-built Model 3 electric car in December; the car came from the company's new Shanghai factory. On Thursday, RoadShow noticed Tesla posted to its official WeChat account in China laying out plans for a Chinese-specific research and design center.
Tesla's post went on to include an open call for applications for staff positions, including someone to design "Chinese-style" vehicles. The call for applicants was accompanied by the above sketch of an unreleased, unannounced Tesla model that depicts a small city car.
While the sketch isn't a current Tesla model, its design is clearly influenced by the Model 3 and upcoming Model Y electric cars. The front is very similar to that of the 3 and Y, while the rear is different with a steeply raked roofline and no rear decklid; it appears to be a hatchback. The rear wheels are pushed to the extreme corners, and heavy sculpting is shown in the rear where the taillights would be.
It's unclear if this sketch is a future Tesla model or simply a design idea.
Applications are to be submitted by Feb. 1, though no mention is made of the location of Tesla's planned Chinese research and development facility or when it might be in operation.
While currently the largest electric-car market in the world, China isn't the only country outside the U.S. Tesla is exploring. In November, the automaker announced it will build a vehicle assembly plant in Germany.