A view of the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai on October 18. (Photo: VCG)
Tesla said it will increase investment in the Chinese market, which has great development prospects, dismissing US calls for US companies to relocate amid the China-US trade war.
"Now China has become our largest single market besides North America," Tesla said in a press release sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
"The automobile industry is undergoing a huge change once in 100 years, and China - the fastest-growing economy in the world - is taking the lead," Tesla said.
China's robust demand for new energy vehicles (NEVs) drives Tesla's continuous investment in the market. According to a report by the International Energy Agency in May, China remains the world's largest electric car market, followed by Europe and the US.
Sales of NEVs soared 20.8 percent year-on-year to 872,000 units from January to September, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.
"Tesla can't leave China. Otherwise, it will definitely die," Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
"Multinational companies from developed economies including the US and the EU have relied on China to a large extent in the industry chain. They can't afford to leave the largest and most promising market in the world."
China has a middle class of about 400 million people, which is larger than the total population of the US.
Catering to market demand in China, Tesla's new Shanghai Gigafactory is ready for production.
Compared with the first-generation production line in California, the production layout and process at the factory in Shanghai is completely streamlined, the company said. The facility has four major manufacturing technologies involving advanced pressing, welding, painting, and assembly, along with improved logistics, checks and quality management.