Tesla appears to be laying the foundations for its upcoming international Model 3 push. Amidst the company’s ongoing initiative to produce the Model 3 at scale, Tesla has registered a batch of 1,481 new Model 3 VINs, 19 of which include references suggesting that the electric cars could be intended for the EU region.
The latest batch of Model 3 VINs filed by the company was posted by watchdog group @Model3VINs on Twitter. The group noted in a follow-up post that 19 of the new VINs are listed with a different code (“7”) for their “Restraint System.” The “7” code for the Restraint System has been used by Tesla in the past, particularly when denoting a Model S configured for the EU.
“The first 19 VINs (108730-108748) contain a new code (‘7’) in the 6th position, which represents the “Restraint System” for the vehicle. Although the code is not incl. in the decoder submitted to NHTSA, it appears to be used in Model S to denote an EU car.“
— Model 3 VINs (@Model3VINs) August 31, 2018
That said, the 19 Model 3 VINs with “7” listed in their Restraint System were still Left Hand Drive, suggesting that the release of the region’s highly-anticipated Right Hand Drive variants would likely still follow Elon Musk’s mid-2019 estimate. Among the EU-designated vehicles are Model 3 that are RWD and AWD. A list of the VINs with EU references provided to Clean Technica indicates that no Model 3 Performance (“4” in the 8th digit of the VIN) has been registered for the region yet.
Tesla appears to be preparing the Model 3 for an international release. Earlier this month, the electric car maker brought over the electric sedan to Australia and New Zealand to give reservation holders and potential customers a hands-on experience with the vehicle. The Model 3 unveiling events were quite successful, with some reservation holders from Australia traveling for hours just to see the electric car in person.
Following up on the success of its Australia and New Zealand event, Tesla also appears to be bringing the Model 3 to Hong Kong. This was revealed in an email sent to the Tesla community in the Asian nation, inviting them to a “Special Event.” A header in the invite for the Hong Kong event featured the outline of a vehicle that is unmistakably a Model 3.
This third quarter appears to be a breakthrough period for Tesla, which has struggled since July 2017 to mass produce the electric car. After missed deadlines and a series of manufacturing problems that comprised Elon Musk’s self-dubbed “production hell,” the company finally seems to have hit its stride this Q3. Since producing 5,000 Model 3 per week at the final week of June, the company has not let up in its efforts, with Elon Musk confirming during the Q2 2018 earnings call that the 5,000/week pace had been sustained during “multiple weeks” in July.
Tesla’s Model 3 production this August also shows encouraging signs. During the month, Tesla’s Model 3 VIN filings passed the 100,000-vehicle mark. Bloomberg‘s Model 3 production tracker, which has gotten more accurate over the past few months, also estimated that Tesla was able to manufacture 6,000 of the electric cars in one week. The company’s progress in the production of the Model 3 has become a point of confidence for Nomura Instinet analyst Romit Shah, who recently noted that Tesla could produce as many as 65,000-70,000 of the electric cars this third quarter.