Sources say the recruitment drive was partly for the preparation of Model Y sport-utility vehicles at Tesla's Shanghai plant. Credit: Tesla.

While most of the world’s automakers are licking their wounds and counting their losses as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic, one US automaker is actually on a hiring spree.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. is in full hiring mode in Shanghai with plans to bring on designers at its China studio and about 1,000 factory workers, job posts show, as the US electric vehicle maker ramps up production in the world’s biggest auto market, Reuters reported.

The posts on the Tesla human resources department’s official WeChat account mark the first time the California-based automaker has looked to hire designers in China.

Tesla said in January it planned to open a design and research center in China to make “Chinese-style” cars, the report said.

The posts did not reveal how many designers Tesla planned to hire.

The company also planned to hire 600 workers at stamping, bodywork, painting and assembly workshops in Shanghai, according to a separate job post by the Lingang local government, the report said.

Another 150 workers were needed for quality checks, 200 for logistics work and 20 for security, it added.

Two sources familiar with the matter said the recruitment drive was partly for the preparation of Model Y sport-utility vehicles at the Shanghai plant. Tesla is building manufacturing facilities for Model Ys in Shanghai from next year, the report said.

According to Business Insider, although Tesla is based in California, China seems to be where it’s found its biggest supporters.

In 2019, the company saw its China sales increase by 161% from the previous year. That’s 40,000 newly registered Teslas.

Despite the recent pandemic that saw Chinese car sales decline by 42% for the first quarter of 2020, Tesla bounced back immediately with record-setting months in March and April, Business Insider reported. 

But Tesla’s successful run in China hasn’t come without plenty of help. The country’s government has done everything it can to make Tesla flourish, from tax exemptions on sales, to billions of dollars in funding for the construction of its Shanghai factory.

The factory is currently making 3,000 cars a week, or around 150,000 a year. By the end of 2021, when the factory is fully operational, Musk plans for it to be churning out 500,000 cars annually.

And with China now exempting Model 3s from a 10% sales tax, along with the $3,560 government subsidy on each car, there’s no telling how many the EV giant stands to sell, Business Insider reported.

On a wider scale though, Tesla could be the boost China’s declining car market needs. In 2019 total car sales in China fell by 8%, after falling 3% in 2018.

More recently, factory closures due to Covid-19 had disastrous effects on this year’s first quarter sales. However, the industry is steadily recovering, largely due to EV sales, with Tesla accounting for a whopping 30%, Business Insider reported.

With sales already improving in spring, the automaker could play a major role in reviving the country’s auto sector.

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