The company has reportedly succeeded in its efforts to attract more customers in China.Tesla has been added to the Fortune 500 list, debuting in the 383rd position thanks to $7 billion in revenue last year.In a related report, Fortune highlights the company's success in revitalizing its important China operations after several years of lackluster sales.
Analysts at JL Warren Capital estimate Tesla's China sales likely reached around 10,400 units last year, tripling 2015's deliveries and accounting for 13 percent of the company's global sales volume for the year.
The California-based automaker has not been shy in acknowledging China's importance as the world's largest automotive market and particularly critical for electric vehicles. The country will likely play a leading role in Tesla's aim to take on industry giants with the more affordable Model 3.
Tesla so far has declined to establish a joint venture to produce cars in China, resulting in huge markups of around 50 percent due to import tariffs and taxes. Fortune sources claim several Chinese companies are 'feverishly' pursuing partnership talks with the high-profile US automaker.
Chief executive Elon Musk traveled to China in April to meet with Vice Premier Wang Yang. Reports suggest the event marked the first time the important economic official had met with an automaker for a one-on-one chat. The visit coincided with official hints that China could be preparing to wind down its joint-venture restrictions that currently require foreign automakers to team with local companies before establishing assembly facilities.
Fortune's first '500' list contained five US automakers when it debuted in 1955. Only two remained by 1999 -- Ford and General Motors -- and Tesla is the first new car manufacturer to ever join the list since its inception.