By Drew Johnson
Friday, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:43 am
 
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk says there is "no question" that the electric vehicle maker will eventually have a production facility in China.

Tesla is just now entering the Chinese market, but Musk is already calling for strong demand from the world's largest auto market. "It could be as big as the U.S. market, maybe bigger," Musk said, referring to the Chinese market. "I don't want to get overexcited about it."

The United States is currently Tesla's largest single market, but Musk says China could wind up on top as soon as 2015.

Because of that expected demand, Tesla says China is the frontrunner to become the company's first foreign production hub. Tesla currently builds and exports it's lone product, the Model S sedan, from a plant in Fremont, California.

"Long-term there's no question we'll have a factory in China," Musk told Bloomberg. "There is an argument for having that be our first major factory outside the U.S."

In addition to helping to fulfill local demand, a Chinese plant would also cut down the price of Tesla's vehicles. The automaker recently announced that import tariffs and transportation costs will push the price of its Model S in China to $121,000, or roughly 50 percent more than the plug-in sedan costs in the U.S.

Musk didn't offer a timeframe for when Tesla might break ground on a China plant.