(Yicai Global) April 10 -- US electric automaker Tesla Motor Inc. may set up a new production base in Guangdong, China's manufacturing and assembly hub, and the plan awaits the nod from local government, Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
After taking a 5 percent stake in Tesla Inc. [NASDAQ:TESLA], Guangdong-based social media titan Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700], said last week it has no specific cooperative plans right now, but the pair may look to work together in the future.
Tesla confirmed the transaction in a letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. The sale will make Tencent the new-energy automaker's fifth largest shareholder. The USD1.8 billion purchase -- at USD217.67 per share – went through on March 17 via Tesla's private placement and public market acquisition, at a 16.7 percent discount.
Tesla had responded to rumors that circulated in February that it was eyeing Lingang, Shanghai -- near Shanghai Disneyland -- as a location to set up a plant.
"Tesla is committed to growing in the Chinese market, but the rumors are untrue," Tesla said in a reply to Chinese media on Feb. 7.
The US car maker may by now be inured to rumors claiming it will found a production base in China. Such rumors have cropped up every few months over the past two years. Some said Tesla would team up with Shanghai Jinqiao Group Co. to build a plant in Pudong, Shanghai. Although the parties have dismissed these reported claims, local governments of the ilk of Shanghai, Suzhou and Hefei have competed tooth and nail to give Tesla's new car plant a home.