Tesla Gigafactory A Future Tourist Trap?

APR 22 2017 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 14

Tesla Gigafactory

It turns out that the Chinese see the Tesla Gigafactory as a major tourist attraction.

Yes it’s true, citizens from China visit the U.S. more that those from any other country, and now they want to plan a trip to tour Tesla’s 5.5-million square-foot $5-billion lithium-ion battery operation in Reno, Nevada.

China is not the only country to take special interest in the Tesla Gigafactory. Lithuanian citizens built a Gigafactory in Minecraft. We are fairly confident that China isn’t trying to persuade Tesla to build a Gigafactory there … but who knows, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Mark Hutchinson, Nevada’s Lieutenant Governor, recently spent 10 days in China, as part of a TravelNevada trade mission. He learned this interesting information during his travels. He received so much interest in discussing the Tesla Gigafactory, that he is planning to work with the electric automaker to establish plans for potential tours. Hutchinson spoke on Nevada Newsmakers:

“One of my biggest takeaways from the trip is to speak to Tesla officials and just let them know (about the interest from Chinese tourism officials). I don’t know if they are interested or not interested but the big attraction, at least for the Chinese traveler, would be a tour through Tesla.”

Hutchinson spent time in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The theme in all destinations was the same. All the Chinese just wanted to talk about Tesla, and especially the Gigafactory, and more specifically, everyone wants a tour. He shared:

“That came up repeatedly through my time in China.”

“Tesla was a big topic of conversation when I was over there. The Chinese tourists, the travelers, all of those who we met with, all loved the Tesla company and they wanted to come out and see the gigafactory.”

Las Vegas is the number one attraction in the state of Nevada, and according to China’s top tourism company, it is the second-most preferred Chinese travel destination in the U.S., only exceeded by New York. Lake Tahoe also topped the list. Hutchinson continued:

“In fact, when we met with the largest online tourism operation there, they said their No. 2 destination in the United States with their customers was Las Vegas. So after New York, they wanted to come to Las Vegas.”

“They love Tahoe. The Chinese traveler knows about Tahoe and Reno is right next to Tahoe and they associate the two together. So there is a lot of emphasis.”

On a side note, the Chinese don’t seem to have any apprehension to travel to the U.S., despite recent bans forced on other countries by the new administration. In fact, those that Hutchinson spoke with seemed to be happy about U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump recently met with  Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the word on China’s streets was that it was positive. Hutchinson concluded:

“They (Chinese media) were very happy about the meeting with Donald Trump and President Xi. And that was widely reported when I was there.

“It is interesting, a lot of the Chinese I spoke to as well had a favorable impression of Donald Trump. And particularly, after that meeting (between Xi and Trump). They were worried about that meeting because of the rhetoric that came out of the (U.S. presidential) campaign. After that meeting, they were not only optimistic views about President Trump but also about the United States.”

Source: RGJ

Categories: Tesla

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14 Comments on "Tesla Gigafactory A Future Tourist Trap?"

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Jelloslug
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Jelloslug

I would like to see it.

zoe-driver
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zoe-driver

I am on vavation in August with my family. Gigafactory is on our travel route. I would love to take a tour as a future model 3 owner. My son is 10ys old. Perfect!

David
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David

Spies! Spies! They’re all spies! They just want to steal as much info as possible so they can copy the GF in China. No tours, Elon, if you read this! Keep the trade secrets to yourself.Sounds like a ton of Tesla envy going on in China…

Anon
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Anon

In this case, you spell “tourism” as “Industrial Espionage”.

Pushmi-Pullyu
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Pushmi-Pullyu

All kidding aside, that was my immediate thought. China isn’t sending “tourists” to “visit” the Gigafactory, they’re sending spies to steal Tesla’s and Panasonic’s industrial secrets.

China’s idea of “sharing” technology is “Anything that’s not nailed down is ours, and anything we can pry up isn’t nailed down.”

But okay… surely not every single Chinese person visiting the Gigafactory is an industrial spy, or a military spy working to benefit Chinese industry. (In China, there isn’t much if any distinction between the two.) Probably one or two Chinese visitors are innocent tourists. 😉

Jim Whitehead
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Jim Whitehead

Spies? Do you know how easy it is to copy a Gigafactory?

1. Waste 1 year stealing plans from Tesla.
2. Waste 1 year “donating” to politicians big and small (midgets) to get approvals.
3. Find $3 Billion, hiding under a rock.
4. Waste 3 years building it.

Result? Discover factory is obsolete by 5 years later, the time it takes to finish it. (Shh, don’t tell Detroit. They will discover this next).

See how easy it is? Chinese firm Faraday Future is discovering the hard way that simply copying Tesla is a disaster, because it will be obsolete by the time its finished.

They could be Road Kill on the Information Highway. 🙂

William
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William

Tesla “Road Kill”, AKA Faraday Future, will not be passing The Tesla Gigafactory on the “Information (Super) Highway”.

The next big thing, will certainly be the building of a Solid State Battery Gigafactory, somewhere in not too distant future. Now, the Next Gigafactory, to be actually built by some one other than Tesla, will be an amazing achievement!

Pushmi-Pullyu
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Pushmi-Pullyu

“Chinese firm Faraday Future is discovering the hard way that simply copying Tesla is a disaster, because it will be obsolete by the time its finished.”

You have confused a company that is actually trying to follow Tesla’s business plan, one such as Lucid Motors, with an all-hat-and-no-cattle sham startup that’s only pretending to try to copy Tesla.

Jim Whitehead
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Jim Whitehead

You are right. Lucid may produce a decent car in a few years, while Faraday Future pretends to pull Gigarabbits out of hats.

John
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John

I agree with you. Don’t show it. They will send out engineers disguised as tourists.

Jeff Carlton
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Jeff Carlton

I am betting that China will be on the list of the 2-4 new gigafactory sites that Tesla will announce later this year. Fifteen percent of Tesla sales are made in China.

Also a Chinese company Tencent recently bought 5% of Tesla and will act as a “supportive shareholder” that helps Tesla improve its products and expansion strategies. Tencent is “Asia’s second highest valued tech firm”, and achieved 21.9 billion in sales last year.
https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/28/tesla-tencent-investment/

Bob Nan
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Bob Nan

If individuals are allowed to see it, then I will certainly take my family on a tour to this factory.

Worth seeing.

Ocean Railroader
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Ocean Railroader

I would love to tour the battery factory. I wounder though would they sell batteries there.

MDEV
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MDEV

Like Boeing in Seattle, very informative and extra income for Tesla if they go this route.