Tesla has big plans for a factory in China — but its lofty ambitions could ...

The true believers have a tough time with this contradiction — wonderful product, abysmal execution — and tend to resolve it by getting too revved up over new news from the company.

The plant itself is interesting because it's planned for Shanghai and will be the first new facility built by a Western automaker outside the joint-venture system that has ruled China's auto industry's since the 1990s.

But Tesla doesn't much like to share, and in any case, it's likely to build a new type of factory in Shanghai, one that combines battery manufacturing with auto assembly, in a fully integrated fashion.

Vehicles produced at Gigafactory 3 will augment our existing capacity in order to meet growing local needs, which means our US manufacturing operations will not be affected.

That's not really a clear roadmap, so anybody in the auto industry read it and concludes that, absent hiccups, Tesla could be doing some battery pack assembly in Shanghai by the end of next year.

Given that modern auto assembly plants and their manufacturing systems, require years to build and configure, a more likely outcome would be that even though Tesla says it's picking up the pace, there won't be any cars until 2020, earliest.

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