Tesla China pausing production to make way for updated Model 3: report

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Over the past months, electric vehicle advocates in the United States have been feverishly tracking the sightings of the company’s “Project Highland” updates for the Model 3. A report has now emerged suggesting that an updated version of the all-electric sedan is coming to China. 

Tesla China produces Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers at Gigafactory Shanghai. The facility is Tesla’s highest output factory today, and it currently produces vehicles that cater to both the international and domestic markets. If Tesla is indeed preparing updates for the Model 3, implementing the upgrades in Gigafactory Shanghai makes sense. 

As per a report from Bloomberg News, Tesla China will be halting some production at Gigafactory Shanghai until the end of February. The facility has two phases that are used for vehicle manufacturing, and with the upgrades in motion, some workers in the first phase will reportedly not be allowed on production lines as soon as Sunday. 

Citing people reportedly familiar with the matter, the publication noted that the upgrades to Giga Shanghai’s production lines had been rolled out in stages over the past two months. This allowed the facility to operate and produce vehicles as usual even with improvements being implemented. With the upcoming shutdown, however, one could infer that the upgrades might be nearly complete. 

It remains to be seen if the upgrades to Giga Shanghai would result in the facility producing Tesla’s “Project Highland” Model 3 sedans. That being said, previous reports have suggested that the Model 3’s “Project Highland” updates should be put into production around Q3 2023. This suggests that the updates to the Model 3 from Giga Shanghai after these coming upgrades may be a half-step towards the full “Project Highland” rollout. 

As per previous reports, “Project Highland” would introduce a number of key changes to the Model 3. These reportedly include a revamped infotainment system, as well as updates to the exterior and powertrain performance. The vehicle’s manufacturing is reportedly upgraded as well, with the “Project Highland” units featuring far fewer components than previous iterations of the Tesla Model 3. 

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Tesla China pausing production to make way for updated Model 3: report
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