Tesla Gigafactory 3 will aim to produce 17k Model 3 this year, claims report

The Tesla Gigafactory 3 site as of October 31, 2019. (Credit: Jason Yang/YouTube)

A recent report from China has suggested that Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai will be aiming for a very ambitious goal with regards to its initial production output. Citing information acquired through its sources, local news agency The Global Times has noted that Tesla will aim to produce 17,400 Made-in-China Model 3 at Gigafactory 3 by the end of 2019. 

If the Times‘ information is accurate, this could mean that Tesla could start Model 3 production at a pace of 2,900 units per week. This is incredibly ambitious, though with six weeks left in the year, the target is pretty close to a previous estimate shared by Tesla Global VP Grace Tao, who noted in an interview with Chinese news outlets that Gigafactory 3 will be aiming for a production rate of 3,000 Model 3 per week to start. 

Inasmuch as Tesla’s reported target of 17,400 Model 3 before the end of the year is notably shocking, the company does have the necessary permissions to begin mass-production activities for the Made-in-China electric sedan. Tesla’s mass-production permit was posted by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on its website on Wednesday. With this permit, Tesla could begin producing the China-made Model 3 at scale. 

Producing the Model 3 at scale at this point would be a smart move for the electric car maker. So far, Tesla is only waiting for its final permits to start delivering the Made-in-China Model 3 to local reservation holders. But while the company is waiting for these approvals, it could do what it is already permitted to do — manufacture the Model 3 at Gigafactory 3’s Phase 1 area. This way, customer deliveries could begin as soon as Tesla’s final approvals are acquired. 

If Tesla can start the production of the Model 3 in Gigafactory 3 this month, the company could be well within reach of its self-imposed target of producing 360,000-400,000 electric vehicles in 2019. This ambitious goal has received a notable amount of mockery from Tesla critics, especially considering that the company’s Fremont factory is already operating at full capacity. With Gigafactory 3 in the picture, things become a bit different. 

Larger numbers of Made-in-China Model 3 units have been spotted by drone operators and Tesla enthusiasts Chao Zhou and Jason Yang in recent flyovers. Chao, for one, noted that he was able to spot around 50 Model 3 in Gigafactory 3’s parking lot. Neither Tesla nor its Chinese partners have provided details about these vehicles, though speculations are abounding that the Model 3 at Gigafactory 3’s parking lots are trial production units. If the Times‘ recent report turns out to be accurate, then Gigafactory 3’s premises may soon be filled with Made-in-China Model 3 vehicles sooner than expected.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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