Tesla is reportedly closing in on the trial production of its updated Model 3 sedan in China. The vehicle is expected to help Tesla retain and perhaps even grow its market share in the country, which is arguably the most competitive market for electric vehicles.
News of a Model 3 update in China has been around for some time. Earlier this year, Tesla China halted the production of the Model 3 in Gigafactory Shanghai to pave the way for updates to the vehicle’s line. At the time, it was heavily speculated that Giga Shanghai’s Model 3 updates would be similar to the long-rumored “Project Highland” Model 3 in the United States.
But while recent statements from Tesla China seem to shrug off rumors that Project Highland Model 3 units will be built at Giga Shanghai, it would appear that the facility would soon be producing an updated version of the all-electric sedan nonetheless.
Citing individuals reportedly familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News recently noted that the revised Model 3 in China would be slightly longer than the existing version of the vehicle. It will reportedly be sportier and feature a sleeker interior design as well. The publication’s sources opted to remain anonymous because the details of the vehicle are reportedly private.
Bloomberg‘s sources further noted that some production staff at Gigafactory Shanghai had been required to place their mobile phones in purpose-built lockers to prevent potential image leaks. This is quite understandable, considering that an image of an alleged Project Highland Model 3 unit was indeed leaked online. The leak, however, emerged in the United States.
Tesla has not provided a comment about the matter as of writing.
Prior to the best-selling Model Y, the Model 3 was Tesla’s most popular vehicle. Initially unveiled in 2016 and produced in 2017, the Model 3 was a huge learning experience for Tesla, thanks to the vehicle’s well-documented “production hell.” It was these learnings that ultimately allowed Tesla to develop its own mass manufacturing process for all-electric vehicles, which, in turn, allowed the Model Y crossover to experience a relatively smooth production ramp.
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