Boise, Idaho—As the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X electric vehicles enter the second-year of life on the US market, a new, second-generation version of the Model S is making its way across China, where the automaker already sells its second- and third-generation models.
The Model S sedan, dubbed the Model 3, was announced in October and launched in China in January.
In addition to the Model X, the Chinese carmaker has plans to introduce a new third-gen version of its Model S in 2017, a move that analysts expect to lead to increased sales in the region.
The first Model S was first announced in late 2015.
It was the first car to offer a dual-zone Autopilot mode and it has been a long time since Tesla made a second-gen model available for purchase in China.
In 2018, the company announced it had sold over 3 million Model S sedans in China, a number that would increase to 5 million in 2020.
In October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the company was looking to expand its presence in China for the second time in four years, with a second factory opening and an expansion of the Chinese electric car manufacturing sector.
Musk told the Wall Street Journal that the company had already begun to discuss expansion plans for the third- and fourth-generation vehicles in China and the second factory would help achieve those goals.
In November, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against Tesla and the company’s parent company, Tesla Motors, alleging that the Chinese government had unfairly blocked its entry into the market.
The FTC is suing to force Tesla to remove Chinese-made vehicles from its store shelves.
While the Tesla company was already the world’s second-largest carmaker in the US in 2019, it did not make it through 2020 without facing legal challenges.
It announced it would not make cars in China due to the “economic and regulatory barriers” imposed by the country.
Tesla’s second factory, which was slated to open in 2021, is located in the city of Dongguan in southern China.
The company also recently announced that it was adding an additional 1,200 jobs to its factory in Shanghai.
Tesla has been aggressively courting Chinese automakers to expand in the country, and it is planning to double its Chinese presence in 2020 by expanding production of its new Model 3 electric car, according to the Wall St. Journal.
China is a major global market for electric vehicles.
In 2016, it was the largest market for new electric vehicles in the world, according a 2016 report by McKinsey & Co.
In January, the International Automobile Manufacturers Association (IAA) announced it was launching a global competition to design and manufacture vehicles with the highest energy efficiency.
The competition is expected to start in 2020 and run until 2030.