Is Tesla Going to Partner With China's Google To Build A Car?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

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.)

According to the BBC:

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.

Just saying.

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  • Tengu Tengu on Oct 23, 2015

    For security reasons China developed its own GPS system called Beidou (North Star). It would make sense that the largest search engine company in China would have deep expertise with mapping software using that data. Also it's possible that China would not let any foreign company know about inner workings of its GPS system.

  • Unlike STUPID AMERICA, China practices totalitarian economic protectionism. They won't let you do ANYTHING there unless it's a joint-venture and they are getting a cut. They build companies in other countries and send their people there to work them. when President Trump is sworn in, he can put our affairs in order.

    • See 1 previous
    • NickS NickS on Oct 25, 2015

      Putting our affairs in order requires a well oiled political system that can process the small day to day as well as large-scale long-term strategic policy. We haven't had that for almost a couple of decades now. Anyone who thinks that one party or one person can somehow change all this is naive. Campaign financing, political donations lobbying and legislative capture, gerymandering, you name it all the deep systemic problems stand no chance of getting dealt with in the foreseeable future. That is our future. Take govt shutdowns. They are part of regular political brinkmanship purely for the sake of disfunction. How is this any indication the country can solve problems? Take just one example, any example of a problem needing a solution. Gridlock. You mentioned trump. This is exactly it. The loudest and most uneducated idiots in the furtest fringes and darkest corners want the absolute biggest ass clown as a candidate. What you need is the most boring, predictable, cautious, and astute candidate with knowledge and experience in negotiation, trade, commerce, economics, science and world politics. not a trump or a Palin or any other whack job to fill peoples brain with crap. Everyone will benefit from having sensible down to earth candidates in all parties. Seriously, china for all their ills can execute! We can't. We just argue so we can argue some more. And if you think china is somehow stoppable ... good luck with that. You really don't know the elephant in the room. The best we can do is work tige If you really want to put your country's affairs in order you stand a better chance of success by moving to China.

  • Tassos the seller's name: "My VW Sucks" (!!!)WHy am I not in the very least surprised.
  • George Who’s winning the UAW strike? Nobody.Who’s losing the UAW strike? Everybody.
  • Zznalg Now, a slam of Subaru. I own an Outback Wilderness. Subaru has capitulated to lawyers and the regulatory environment to render life with their vehicles quite unpleasant. A few cases in point: The vehicles won't allow you to drive one MPH without ALL the seatbelts fastened. You cannot pull a Subaru out of a garage or parking space with no seatbelt without the car screaming at you. First there is the annoying beeping. After a few seconds Subaru ups its game and raised the volume ridiculously. To get it to shut up, I've even had to turn off the car and open a door. It is not enough to put it into park. The beeping continues. I am Not talking about driving without a seatbelt. I'm talking about 1 MPH maneuvers in one's own driveway. Next, the car's auto-breaking is tuned to slow you down or even slam on your brakes at every possible opportunity. The other day, my Wilderness decided to do just that almost resulting in my being rear ended. For NO reason. Next, the Outback Wilderness' transmission is tuned to prevent forward motion. It does its best to NOT GIVE POWER in nearly every situation unless you keep the accelerator depressed for more than 1-3 seconds. This is actually unsafe. In fact at highway speeds, when one presses the gas, the car momentarily reduces power and slows down. The paddle shifters help. But overall, Subaru has so neutered the Outback Wilderness to make a potentially great vehicle quite a drag to own and actually unsafe, in the service seemingly of preventing lawsuits and satisfying the EPA. I know not all of this may apply to the Crosstrek Wilderness but if you test drive one, you would be advised to look for these flaws.
  • Undead Zed I'm not particularly interested in the truck, but do look forward to the puns that the marketing department may try to work into the adverts."Visit your local dealership for a Flash drive today."
  • Art_Vandelay UAW leadership always brings up CEO pay. Yet they never bring up that their last deal would likely have been better for membership had they not been on the take from those same CEO's. UAW members have far more beef with their own leadership than senior management of their companies.