Tesla has received the green light to start producing a new version of the Model 3 Long Range RWD in China.
When announcing the production of the Model 3 in China, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the automaker would only produce the lower-end versions of the car in the country and the higher-end would still be produced in Fremont, California.
As production started at the plant last year, Tesla was only producing the Model 3 Standard Range Plus RWD.
However, we reported last month on Tesla seeking to make the Model 3 Long Range RWD, a version of the Model 3 that was discontinued in the US, at Gigafactory Shanghai in China.
Now we’ve learned that Tesla received approval from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to produce and sell the new version of the Model 3 in China (via Reuters):
“Tesla Inc has secured Chinese government approval to sell longer-range China-made model 3 vehicles in China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Friday.”
When first launching the Model 3, Tesla offered the vehicle with its Long Range battery pack and rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configuration.
The model was later discontinued as Tesla started to only offer the Long Range battery with a dual motor all-wheel-drive (AWD) drivetrain.
There’s no word on availability or pricing for now as the version of the vehicle is not available on Tesla’s Chinese online configurator yet.
It possibly might not be the only new Model 3 version to be added to Tesla’s production schedule at Gigafactory Shanghai.
Made-in-China Tesla Model 3 Performance vehicles have reportedly been spotted on car-carriers:
BREAKING: MIC Tesla Model 3 Performance spotted on a vehicle transporter straight from Giga Shanghai. That’s right PERFORMANCE this is an unannounced model in China 🇨🇳 Thank you to one of my followers sharing this with us.#Tesla #TeslaChina #MIC #Model3P #特斯拉 #中国 $TSLA pic.twitter.com/DFrWghZ8Jo
— Jay in Shanghai 🇨🇳 (@JayinShanghai) March 6, 2020
The move would be a departure from Tesla’s previously announced strategy for the Model 3 in China and it’s only a rumor for now since there’s no way to confirm the cars were produced at Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai.
I always felt like the announcement that Tesla will only make cheaper versions of the Model 3 in China and still import the other from California was mainly a way to appease people who thought Tesla was just moving manufacturing capability from the US to China.
At the end of the day, it makes sense to have all vehicles offered in China being locally-made if it’s possible, which it clearly is when it comes to Model 3.
As I previously stated, I’m also a big fan of the Model 3 Long Range RWD coming back. I think it’s a configuration that makes sense.
I’d like for Tesla to bring it back everywhere, but I am glad that at least the Chinese market will have access to it.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.