There are a lot of eyes on Tesla Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai as pictures of Model 3 bodies going down the line are leaking on Chinese social media.
Tesla Gigafactory 3 is about to become the first electric car factory wholly-owned by a foreign automaker in China.
This is a big deal and Tesla has big plans for the giant factory, which was built in less than a year.
There are still many people doubting that Tesla can stick to its timeline and start production in the next few weeks and then ramp up to 3,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of the year.
Over the last month, there have been a few leaks from inside the factory – showing Tesla setting up its production lines.
In July, Tesla itself released the first pictures inside Gigafactory 3 — showing impressive progress toward production, including a massive stamping machine to produce Model 3 body parts at the factory.
Now another leak coming from users on Weibo shows Model 3 bodies coming down the line inside Tesla’s Gigafactory 3:
The leak doesn’t confirm that the bodies have been built in the factory, but it is likely considering that Tesla already has set up body production machines.
However, no complete vehicle or drivetrains have been spotted so far.
Last month, there was a rumor that Elon Musk would unveil the first China-made Tesla Model 3 at an event and while there was a Model 3 at the event, it couldn’t be confirmed that it was made at Gigafactory 3.
Musk has been guiding a start of production in early Q4 2019, which would mean around October. And by the end of the year, Tesla aims for a rapid production ramp-up in phases starting with 3,000 vehicles per week.
Earlier this week, Tesla Gigafactory 3 passed a government inspection needed before starting production.
I am confident that these Model 3 bodies have been made at the factory, but I am curious to see how much of the Model 3 will be made at Gigafactory 3 when they officially start production.
Considering the complexity of electric motor and battery pack manufacturing, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tesla imports some from Gigafactory 1 in Nevada for the early stages of Model 3 production at Gigafactory 3.
If the body and final assembly is performed at Gigafactory 3, I’d think that it would be enough for the car to be considered made-in-China and avoid most of the import tariffs.
Of course, Tesla plans to build almost everything at the factory in the long term, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant mix of imported parts during at least the first year of production.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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