Tesla has shown a design sketch of a small car for China and revealed that it’s looking to set up a design and research facility in the country.

The American electric vehicle (EV) maker posted the image of a compact hatchback with Model 3-inspired styling via its official account on WeChat – China’s biggest social media network.

The announcement was primarily a call for job applicants, some of whom will have a hand in designing “Chinese-style” Tesla models.

Tesla recently set up shop in China with a gigafactory in Shanghai – its first outside the US. With an annual capacity of 500,000 units, it will initially produce the Model 3 compact saloon and its forthcoming sibling, the Model Y, a seven-seat mid-size SUV.

The first Chinese-built Tesla was delivered to a customer on 6 January, just 10 months after construction of the facility began.

The company’s boss, Elon Musk, has previously stated that Tesla would “create a car for worldwide sale” in China. A strong possibility is a family hatchback to rival the new Volkswagen ID 3, given that Musk stated in 2018 that his company would produce a compact model “within the next five years”. 

China is the world’s biggest market for EVs, thanks primarly to strong government support for companies and consumers.

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