Tesla has received a formal permit to begin the mass production of the Model 3 at its Gigafactory 3 site in Shanghai, China. The final clearance for Tesla’s mass production activities was announced by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on its official website Wednesday.
With its mass production permit acquired, Tesla is now able to produce the Made-in-China Model 3 at scale on Gigafactory 3. As noted by Bloomberg, carmakers in China also need to have their products approved for local sale. So far, Chinese authorities have yet to confirm if Tesla has received such a clearance.
Nevertheless, a mass manufacturing license bodes well for Tesla and its operations at Gigafactory 3. While the company waits for the release of its final permits, the electric car maker could start its production operations in the Shanghai-based site. This has been hinted at in recent flyovers of Gigafactory 3, with drone operators mentioning that more Model 3 units are now being spotted around Tesla’s general assembly building.
Tesla has been conducting trial production runs of the Model 3 since the company received a formal approval to begin initial manufacturing operations in Gigafactory 3 back in mid-October. During this time, sightings of the first Made-in-China vehicles were reported around Gigafactory 3. These sightings have only increased with time, culminating in a series of press rides and meet-and-greet sessions with the China-made vehicle.
The reception of the Made-in-China Model 3 has been very positive so far. In a video review, current Model 3 owner and Tencent Auto editor 常岩 noted that the locally-made electric sedan actually has a number of advantages over its imported sibling from Tesla’s Fremont factory. The Model 3 that’s produced in Gigafactory 3, for example, is fitted with supplementary components that allow the vehicle to handle and survive the dangers of China’s typhoons.
Yet, one thing that truly stands out about the Made-in-China Model 3 is its quality. It is no secret that it took some time before Tesla was able to iron out the body panel issues of the Model 3 during its initial ramp in the United States, resulting in a number of vehicles that had uneven panel gaps (among others). These issues were eventually ironed out, though Tesla critics continue to point out the alleged build quality problems of the company’s electric cars until today.
The Tencent Auto journalist noted that compared to his imported Long Range RWD Tesla Model 3, the Made-in-China vehicle was actually better built, with its equal panels gaps and extremely quiet ride. Overall, the Chinese-made Model 3 seems to be an evolution of sorts from the first iterations of the vehicle that made it to the country’s shores. With its lower price and China-customized features, there is a very good chance that the locally-made vehicle will be quite a best-seller.