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Tesla reportedly exporting 7,000 Chinese-made cars to Europe

Tesla will reportedly ship about 7,000 cars from China to Europe this week after announcing plans to export vehicles from its Shanghai factory.

The load of Model 3 sedans produced at the electric-car maker’s first plant outside the US will leave China on Tuesday, according to The Paper, a state-backed Chinese news outlet. The cars will reportedly be sold in several European countries including France, Germany, Italy and Portugal after they arrive at Belgian ports next month.

Tesla first announced last week that it would begin shipping cars from China to Europe, which is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for electric vehicles, Bloomberg News reported.

Tesla’s Shanghai “Gigafactory,” which opened late last year, could help the company supply more vehicles to Europe while it works to build a new plant in Germany. The Silicon Valley automaker expects to start delivering cars from the Berlin-area factory next year, CEO Elon Musk said last week.

The Shanghai plant was initially meant to help Tesla produce a local pipeline of vehicles in China, home to the world’s largest market for electric cars. The company says the plant is now capable of producing 250,000 Model 3 sedans each year.

But Tesla hit a snag last week when it recalled about 30,000 older Model S and Model X cars that had been imported to China over reported suspension problems. Tesla reportedly said Chinese regulators forced the recall and claimed the suspension issues were caused by “driver abuse” rather than any defect.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday on its plans for exporting cars from China to Europe.

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