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Tesla looks to expand its footprint in China: Reuters

It plans to double the number of repair and maintenance shops, add about 100 charging stations and revamp showrooms

Tesla Inc - Tesla looks to expand its footprint in China
Tesla is also expanding its sales and delivery workforce in China

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is looking to expand its footprint in China. 

As the electric-vehicle maker gears up to open its Shanghai production plant, it plans to double the number of repair and maintenance shops, add about 100 charging stations and revamp showrooms, according to Reuters. 

Tesla is also expanding its sales and delivery workforce in China, as it has held several hiring events in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen in recent months, the news service reported. 

READ: Tesla turns a corner with quarterly profit, acceleration plans

The company’s decision to expand its China network marks a turnaround from the approach CEO Elon Musk announced in March, when he said the company would shut many of its retail stores worldwide to cut costs.

Tesla had already treated China, the world’s biggest electric vehicle market, differently than elsewhere. Typically the company shies away from marketing, but in China, Tesla has offered racing events and showroom parties.

Tesla plans to turn some of its showrooms in China into one-stop shops called “Tesla Centers” that also serve as delivery sites and offer maintenance support, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. 

The company also plans to double its service centers to 63 from 29 and boost fast-charging stations by 39% to 362, Reuters reported.

Its efforts to boost its physical presence in China comes as the carmaker has started trial production at the $2 billion Shanghai plant, its first overseas factory, ahead of mass production by the end of December.

Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, has said it should be able to build 3,000 Model 3 sedans a week in its initial phases. That is nearly four times the number of imported Model 3 vehicles sold in China per month this year, according to figures from research firm LMC Automotive.

Telsa’s stock rose slightly in pre-market trading to $318.16 a share.

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