Made in China parts

Made in China parts

So the news this morning is about the 25 per cent tariff on the Chinese computer which runs the Model 3.
As a happy member of Teslas unpaid sales staff (satisfied customers), I am always telling people about the wonders of the Tesla electric vehicles and how all of the components are made in the USA, Japan, and other TAA compliant (friendly to US interests) countries. Guess I was wrong, at least partially.
Can anyone tell me, please, whether this also is true of the computer systems running the S or X or Roadster? Are there other major components made in China? I would like to know.
And yes, it does strongly influence my purchase decisions.

carlk | 7 January, 2019

Doubt it but you sure can stop buying phones, computers, any cars, any appliances or any manufactured goods to avoid Chinese made products or products with Chinese made parts. | 7 January, 2019

Also the CPU in the computer module is not likely Chinese. The computer module may be assembled in China. The CPU (in the MCU) is an Intel part, and unlikely to be made in China - perhaps Taiwan. So it depend on what level you want to look at or what module. I'm sure some of the components used within the computer module are made in China.

Of cars I've examined (which is not extensive), Tesla appears to use few Chinese parts, but there are some. I'd estimate the content considerably lower than other makers, including US vehicle manufacturers.

The MCU in the S/X is assembled in California (at least as of a year ago - no reason to think this has changed).

jordanrichard | 7 January, 2019

You are not wrong to say that the car is made in the U.S. and that the majority of the parts are made in North America. If anyone challenges you or brings up this news about the Model 3's computer, point out to them that the good old American muscle car Camaro is made in Canada. That most of Chryslers cars are made in either Canada or Mexico.

kcheng | 7 January, 2019

I thought the chip they were referring to was an Nvidia chip.

sosmerc | 7 January, 2019

Not possible to "wall" ourselves in anymore. We live in a "world" economy and that means we must "strive for all to survive". Let's just hope that Dems and Repubs can set some kind of positive example of how people can come together for a common cause. It is in both our interest and China's interest (as just one example) to work out fair trade deals and share in the progress that each can contribute to a better world. Lofty goals and extremely challenging years ahead. By the way, China's latest space accomplishment shows they CAN and WILL do great things and they deserve our respect. I hope and pray all this scientific progress doesn't just turn into military purposed work. | 7 January, 2019

Took another look at parts origins from car stickers:

Model 3 is 50% Canada/USA, and 76% from North America (adds Mexico).
Model S is 50% Canada/USA. Japan is a large part of the remaining due to the cells, but don't have a good percentage of this on the Model S.

All Teslas are assembled in USA (California) which is not part of the "parts content".

Compare this with an US car like the GM Bolt that is assembled in the USA, but 26% content (Canada/USA), and 54% Korean.

I'm not aware of another production EV that has higher USA parts content.

Oddly, the stickers on cars don't separate Canada and USA. My guess is very little of Tesla are using Canadian parts. Also I could not find a recent list of cars with content spelled out that includes Tesla. Seems these "lists" specifically exclude Tesla, so perhaps they are made by dealers to hide Tesla's ranking among their cars.

jordanrichard | 7 January, 2019

Unfortunately the general public only reads the cover of the book, meaning the brand to establish if something is American or not. So that means Ford, GM, Tesla and Chrysler. I don’t have exact numbers but I am willing to bet that more Americans make “foreign cars” than they make “American cars”. Meaning there are more people employed by foreign OEMs, making more cars in the U.S. than those making “American” cars.

finman100 | 8 January, 2019

With all these 'merican auto makers killing off sedans...then, yes. many of the sedans in the US ARE indeed foreign, but built in 'merica!

Ya can't make this stuff up, people.

World economy or not, I can't believe I'm driving THE most American car in my short driving life spanning 5 vehicles...and the entire US of A seems to be down on that fact. shakes head. We really are a strange species...

jordanrichard | 8 January, 2019

The BMW and MB "SUV"s sold here in the U.S. are made here. I am also going to harbor a agues that the Honda CRV is made here as well. Toyota and Nissan build their trucks here as well.

Mike83 | 8 January, 2019

But realized that the profits and money goes overseas and doesn't stay in America.

KWTESLA | 8 January, 2019

Lets recap car built in California USA Check. Designed in California USA Check . Some parts from other places yes so what even your house has Chinese nails ,screws , Pipe and Drywall in some cases.....

jordanrichard | 8 January, 2019

Mike83, the profits from making a BMW in South Carolina or any other foreign OEM, goes to pay the salaries of the American workers. It is the huge profits that MB makes that enabled them to expand their factory in SC. That creates construction jobs here in the U.S. and then there will be the increase in employees.

Why do we care where the money goes AFTER American workers have been paid?

I mean your “argument” is what dealers say about Tesla selling in any state outside of CA. That all the money is going out of state to CA versus the money that stays local by buying from a local dealer.

Mike83 | 8 January, 2019

No it doesn't. The CEOs and other officers make up to 400 times that of the workers who are laid off when there are problems like decrease in sales which is happening to these firms. I don't see it creating construction jobs either. Money goes to pay taxes also.
In addition labor unions sip money from workers who don't have equity.
Automation is also decreases the number of employees. It is even more complicated as I've just summed up some points.

nwfan | 8 January, 2019

MB cars built in USA are manufactured in Tuscaloosa, AL not SC.

jordanrichard | 9 January, 2019

You're right. I know that Volvo recently opened a plant in NC, I believe in Charleston.

Yodrak. | 9 January, 2019

"I know that Volvo recently opened a plant in NC, I believe in Charleston."

That would be SC, not NC. :-)

jordanrichard | 9 January, 2019

I always mix those two states up, despite the fact that our daughter lives in NC.... | 9 January, 2019

I think it's great that foreign manufacturers are building cars here, but it's not clear what percentage of parts are made in the USA for these cars. I suspect quite a lot is made in the local country and shipped to the factory here. The global supply chain is massive. I also expect there are parts made in the USA that go into cars made outside the USA. I did a tiny amount of research, but I couldn't any industry summary to show the country of origin percentages for each make and model.

jordanrichard | 10 January, 2019

TT, a majority of the German branded cars have their drivetrains mad in Germany and then flown over. When BMW built it's plant in SC, the local airport had to extend it's runway to accommodate the large cargo planes that would be coming in from Europe/Germany, hauling parts like drivetrains.

Honda on the other hand has an engine plant in OH which supplies among other factories, the Accord plant in Marysville OH. All Accords made, even the ones to be sold in Japan are made in OH. So I get a kick out of the "joe six-pack" crowd foot stomping about how people should buy American when "joe six-packs" Camaro and Challengers/Chargers are made in Canada.............

blue adept | 12 January, 2019

From what I've researched this is a listing of the companies, and some of the items they manufacture, from which Tesla sources various of it's parts:

AGC Automotive: windshields

Brembo: brakes

Fisher Dynamics: power seats

Inteva Products: instrument panel

Modine Manufacturing Co.: battery chiller

Sika: acoustic dampers

Stabilus: liftgate gas spring

ZF Lenksysteme: power steering mechanism

Other suppliers include ADAC, ABC Group, Angell-Demmel, Argent, Gentex, Harada, Hitachi Cable America, Hope Global, MacLean-Fogg, Magna International, Methode Electronics, Multimatic, Panasonic, Plastomer, PSM International, Riviera, T1 Automotive and Zanini Auto Group, but I haven't invested the time to determine if any of them are of Chinese origin.

Despite what @view4unme might have suggested I am unaware of Tesla's use of any operational computers sourced from China and, last I heard, Tesla was moving the manufacture of their management systems in-house, even to the extent of manufacturing their own processor chips... avoid the potential for exploits (like embedded hardware chips) such as those which have received recent media coverage.

IDK where this @view4unme person is getting their information, but it sounds like they're just trying to sow disinformation by conflating Tesla's plans to open a manufacturing plant in China (for the benefit of their Chinese customer base to enable them to avoid the new tariffs associated with imported goods from America, i.e., cars) with the presumption that Tesla would be importing their management systems from China because of said plans.

That's a pretty big stretch by anyone's standards and such propaganda is NOT appreciated here.

To put it bluntly, you're full of it!

blue adept | 12 January, 2019



Dramsey | 13 January, 2019


The Camaro hasn't been built in Canada since 2015:

...but they were built in Canada for a LONG time (1992-2015).

Your point about how modern cars from any manufacturer depend on an elaborate international supply chain remains valid, of course.

I am not terribly happy about things built in China (he said, cradling his iPhone possessively). They're often built in what are virtually modern slave camps (Foxconn's iPhone city is a great example); China steals all the IP it can via mechanisms like forced technology transfers and outright espionage, and all Teslas (and other EVs) sold in China must report the car's location at all times directly to the government:

I suppose what this means is that all the high-sounding ideals and moral stances publicly taken by folks like Tim Cook and Elon mean exactly zip when the $$$ from the Chinese market are factored in. Millions of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps? Well, that's internal Chinese business, you know. Not our problem.

Not that I'm holding myself up as a moral exemplar. It's not as if I'm giving up my iPhone or Tesla.

carlk | 13 January, 2019

I'm no fan of China either but I'm even less happy of how some "Americans" are treating Elon. We have only our own stupidity to blame for if he decides China is the better place to further his goal of transition to sustainable transportation.

jordanrichard | 13 January, 2019

Dramsey, thanks for the correction about the Camaro. I was clearly not aware of the change. Never thought GM would actually move production to the U.S. where is costs more to make.

blue adept | 13 January, 2019


Dramsey, Dramsey, Dramsey...

You would put yourself in my cross-hairs, wouldn't you?!

Let's look at some facts shall we?

At some 7,256,490,011 citizens, China is THE most populous nation in the world:

They are also the most polluting, CO2 emitting country in the world (largely due in part to the emissions from their coal-fired power plants), outpacing America and Europe combined:

Now while that forebodes rather gloomy consequences for the world overall it implies particularly dire repercussions for those who live within its borders for both the current population and future generations to come, what with some 38 percent of the Chinese population having a long-term air quality average that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls "unhealthy", a designated reality which causes some 1.6 million deaths yearly:

Now while some might want to try to frame Tesla's expansion into China as a lapse in morality/turning a blind eye in favor of financial gain, the actual fact of the matter is that Musk is merely holding true to Tesla's mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean, non-polluting energy because the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better which, in China's case, is actually more so a humanitarian/philanthropic thing to do than anything else given their environmental circumstances.

Ultimately the facts of the matter do not support your rather askew perspective regarding Tesla's actual motivations, Dramsey, though it is good to know just where your allegiances lie.

blue adept | 13 January, 2019


Your interpretation of the matter is a bit off as well, but only by a bit...

I hope I've cleared up any confusion for you.

carlk | 13 January, 2019

@blue adept There is no confusion on my part. My take of this is pretty much the same as what you have stated. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of those who hated Elon and his mission, prosecuted him in courts and media, never acknowledged his contribution to this country but will not hesitate to bash him soon as he takes some business to another country.

carlk | 14 January, 2019

May I also add that country also accepts him and his mission with warm welcomes? Shame on you especially those MAGA people.

blue adept | 14 January, 2019


We are of one mind in this regard, I just wanted to dispel any perception of Musk thinking that China is a better place to do business/further Tesla's goal of sustainable transportation as it's actually just the most needful given its direst environmental circumstances.

Granted, people do tend to reason out others motivations in terms/rationale that they can understand due largely in part to socio-cultural conditioning that dictated how certain actions by others are to be interpreted, but Tesla is not Nike or any number of over a thousand other companies who've outsourced their manufacturing overseas to lower wage based countries in order to suit their profit margins:

It's clear that Tesla is just out to help where help is needed most as I've heard of no plans whatsoever of anything being manufactured in China with any intent for use anywhere else but in China/Asia, but you're likely to always encounter critics from the ICE industry who're looking to disparage Tesla by whatever means possible by putting whatever derogatory 'spin' that suits them on Tesla's motivations.