Is Tesla Going to Partner With China's Google To Build A Car?
Tesla could start building cars in China within two years, which could help the automaker jumpstart sales there and increase volume for the small automaker, Reuters reported.
Tesla chief Elon Musk said the car company could cut costs on cars for sale there by one-third. Normally, foreign automakers are required to partner with domestic companies before building cars in China. For example, General Motors has partnered with SAIC Motor since 1998, who also partners with Volkswagen.
Musk said Tesla is already partnering with Baidu, China’s largest search engine, to provide GPS data.
Wait. Tesla is already partnering with China’s largest search engine company? That sounds, um, interesting.
According to Reuters, Tesla has sold 3,025 Model S cars in China during the first nine months of this year. By producing the cars in China, Tesla could significantly increase sales and quash some questionable competition in that country.
However, the automaker’s partnership with Baidu could prove to be more interesting and fruitful than a joint venture with Lifan (BS: “A JV with tiny Lifan would bring Tesla nothing,”) or Chang’an (BS: “Basically, it would be a JV with China’s military-industrial complex.”)
In June, Baidu said that it would make available its first driverless car in the second half of 2015, according to the BBC. That car, which was developed with BMW, would be the first prototype for the company. (BMW has a JV with Brilliance Auto.)
The head of Baidu’s deep learning lab Yu Kai has previously told the press that the firm does not agree with Google’s view of a completely autonomous car, looking instead to develop a vehicle that will retain the traditional pedals but give the driver greater freedom.
We know of one: In October, Tesla rolled out its autonomous software for many of its Model S sedans in America.
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