It’s pretty difficult to believe it at this point, but there are still groups of Tesla critics who insist that Gigafactory 3 is not really fully operational. A central part of this thesis is the allegation that Gigafactory 3 does not have a stamping press, which means that Tesla’s China team is only assembling cars in the Shanghai-based factory using pre-stamped panels from Fremont.
A recently released video from Tesla China has just decimated these allegations in a subtle but definitive manner. The clip was short, less than 30 seconds long, but it showed a busy stamping press operating in Gigafactory 3. The video was released in China, and shared on Twitter by Tesla enthusiast @JayinShanghai.
What is rather surprising is that this is not really the first time that Tesla released an image of Gigafactory 3’s stamping press. Among the press images released by the company last year featured a stamping facility producing a few Model 3 panels. This image was questioned by Tesla skeptics, several of whom claimed that the picture was from the Fremont factory, despite the areas surrounding the press being bare concrete, a notable sign that it’s situated in the China facility since the interior of GF3’s Phase 1 area was still under construction at the time.
Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 and the company’s potential in China are starting to become painful truths for critics. Even a number of TSLA bulls from Wall Street, after all, have exhibited a tempered stance for Tesla’s growth in China. Yet, the open support from the Chinese government, coupled with the MIC Model 3’s reasonable starting price, may very well end up pushing more and more local customers to purchase the company’s all-electric vehicles. China is the world’s largest auto market, after all, so the room for Tesla to grow its reach is vast.
The full operation of Gigafactory 3’s stamping and paint lines for the MIC Model 3 are imperative for the electric car maker, especially amidst the impending arrival of the Model Y crossover. CEO Elon Musk recently launched the Model Y program in China, which could signify that the release of the crossover in the country may not be too far off from its US release. If this is indeed the case, Gigafactory 3’s stamping press would have to work perfectly to ensure that the company meets the demand for the Model 3 and Model Y in the country.
Tesla has started delivering the MIC Model 3 to local customers this month, exactly one year after Gigafactory 3’s groundbreaking ceremony. A teaser of how much China could help Tesla’s finances could be released this coming January 29 as well, when the electric car maker holds its Q4 2019 earnings call.