Tesla’s production plans for Gigafactory Shanghai in 2021 appear to have been leaked, and they are very ambitious, with the facility reportedly looking to manufacture 550,000 vehicles next year. The update was related by China-based media outlets, who cited information related by industry insiders familiar with the electric car maker’s operations.
Among the 550,000 vehicles that Tesla China is aiming to produce for 2021, 300,000 will be Model 3 sedans. The remaining 250,000 will be comprised of the Model Y crossover, which is expected to enter mass production at Gigafactory Shanghai early 2021. Speaking to local media outlet 36 Krypton, one of the industry insiders remarked that Tesla has already “issued ordering requirements to core component suppliers.”
Gigafactory Shanghai’s 550,000-vehicle production target, provided that China’s industry insiders prove accurate, will likely provide a massive boost to Tesla’s electric car manufacturing capabilities next year. The facility’s incredibly rapid ramp also completely decimates points argued by Tesla critics, many of whom were convinced that Giga Shanghai would take years to ramp its operations.
With the China-based facility undertaking a larger portion of Tesla’s overall vehicle manufacturing capabilities, Gigafactory Shanghai will reportedly be exporting more of its vehicles to other countries as well. As noted by local media outlet Wall Street CN, about 100,000 Model 3 and about 10,000 Model Y from Gigafactory Shanghai will be shipped abroad in 2021.
Tesla has not issued a comment about its 2021 vehicle production plans as of writing.
The vehicle production ramp of Gigafactory Shanghai is Tesla’s most impressive to date. It should be noted that as late as July 2019, Wall Street analysts such as Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas had very conservative estimates for the China-based plant’s output. In a research note, Morgan Stanley stated that it expects Giga Shanghai to produce 35,000 to 40,000 vehicles in 2020 and about 60,000 vehicles in total in 2021. These may look like typos today considering Giga Shanghai’s current output, but these were serious projections just over a year ago.
What is rather remarkable is that Gigafactory Shanghai still has a lot of space for optimization. Even with the ramp of the Made-in-China Model Y next year, Tesla is yet to roll out its 4680 cells and structural battery packs to its Shanghai-based plant. Once these innovations are rolled out, there is a pretty good chance that Gigafactory Shanghai could produce vehicles at rates that would put analysts’ production forecasts to shame.