Tesla CEO Elon Musk is hoping to have a factory in China to produce Tesla electric vehicles by the middle of this year, reports Engadget. Musk, also CEO of SpaceX, told Engadget that the company is “doing reasonably well” in mainland China, where it has 15 stores across seven of the country’s major cities. Musk also said that there are currently 340 Superchargers and more than 1,600 destination chargers throughout China.
However, as with all foreign automakers, Musk said it’s important to have a Tesla factory in China itself. The country imposes high import duties on cars shipped into the country—prices which then have to be passed on to the local consumer. A way to bypass those import duties is to open a Tesla manufacturing plant in the country. This will allow Tesla to keep the price of its cars lower and also create local jobs for Chinese citizens. Though Musk didn’t reveal where the company’s first Chinese manufacturing plant might be, he did tell Engadget that he aims to have a Chinese manufacturing partner and a location for the plant by the middle of 2016.