Tesla becomes one of China’s top local electric car producers in January

Tesla Giga Shanghai (Source: Tesla)

January was a big month for Tesla’s Giga Shanghai, with Made-in-China Model 3 production hitting its stride following trial manufacturing runs at the end of 2019. Reports indicate that Giga Shanghai was able to build over 2,600 units of the Made-in-China Model 3 in January, despite the company stopping operations for the Chinese New Year, and later, the coronavirus outbreak. This resulted in Tesla manufacturing the 5th-largest number of battery electric vehicles in China in January 2020.

With a rate of 2,625 Made-in-China (MIC) Model 3s produced before the Lunar New Year holiday on January 25th, it appears that Tesla was indeed producing about 1,000 units of the all-electric sedan per week when the year started. This is quite impressive, as Giga Shanghai’s new production lines that are not fully optimized yet. With its lines not running at max capacity, one can only imagine how many more vehicles the facility could produce.

Tesla has stated that the run-rate of Model 3 production at Giga Shanghai has reached about 3,000 vehicles a week. Before the end of 2019, the electric car maker stated that it had been producing 280 vehicles per 10-hour shift, but it planned to raise this number significantly to reach its 3,000-per-week-target. This would require just below 430 vehicles per shift.

On February 5, Tesla decided to temporarily shut down operations in Shanghai following the outbreak of the coronavirus. The announcement came from Tesla China’s Vice President for External Affairs Tao Lin, who suggested the safest option was to temporarily halt deliveries to preserve the safety and health of the company’s employees and customers. Tesla also offered a lending hand to Chinese citizens by giving free Supercharging to owners living in affected areas.

The company resumed production and deliveries on February 10. While recognizing that the short-term delay in production would set back rates, it was the smartest option. But while the production facility is still not running at full-capacity as China is still dealing with the virus, Giga Shanghai is operational once more.

Tesla’s battery supplier LG Chem, along with Daimler and Ford, announced they would be resuming operations of February 10 as well. BMW will wait another week and will resume production on February 17.

Affected by a large-scale virus and expected off-days due to holiday celebrations, Gigafactory Shanghai was still able to show notable production numbers in January. Surely, Tesla has plans to ramp up this production to 150,000 vehicles a year and beyond, an attainable goal in the foreseeable future as all employees return and all production lines become fully optimized.

Joey Klender: Transportation Writer | Penn State Alum | Future World Series of Poker Bracelet Holder 🚀 🛰 ☀️ 🚘 🧠 🕳
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