First look at Tesla’s Made-in-China Model 3

Tesla's Made-in-China Model 3. (Credit: JayInShanghai/Twitter)

Tesla China’s Weibo account has released the first official pictures of the Made-in-China Model 3 produced at Gigafactory 3. The images provide the first close-up glimpse of the locally-made electric sedan, including some design elements that are not present in its US-made counterparts. 

Contrary to Tesla’s US-made Model 3s, the vehicles that are being produced at Gigafactory 3 will feature two unique badges at the rear. On the left side of the vehicle are Chinese characters that reference “Tesla,” and on the right are the words “Model 3″ in English. Tesla showed off two vehicles in its teaser photos, both of which are painted blue and fitted with 18” Aero Wheels. 

Tesla’s Made-in-China Model 3. (Credit: JayInShanghai/Twitter)

Similar to the initial China-spec Model that Tesla began exporting to China, the Gigafactory 3-made vehicles are also equipped with a dual charge port. This allows Model 3 owners to charge their vehicles on the country’s growing EV charging infrastructure. 

Tesla China’s release of the Made-in-China Model 3’s initial pictures follows the company’s latest teaser for the vehicle, which suggested that the locally-produced all-electric sedan will be available soon. Together with this teaser were speculations that Tesla will be holding an event for the Made-in-China Model 3 on November 11, which also happens to be the country’s Singles’ Day, a massive shopping event that consistently dwarfs the US’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Tesla’s Made-in-China Model 3. (Credit: JayInShanghai/Twitter)

Tesla Chairwoman Robyn Denholm, who is currently in China, has noted that Gigafactory 3 is only waiting for its final approvals to begin manufacturing the Made-in-China Model 3. Once the final approvals are acquired, the Shanghai-based facility could start producing the all-electric sedan for the local market. Elon Musk has previously estimated that Gigafactory 3’s Model 3 production could start at a rate of 1,000 units per week, though recent comments by Tesla Global VP Grace Tao have suggested that the company is looking to hit a more ambitious rate of 3,000 vehicles per week.

Gigafactory 3 stands as a key component of Tesla’s strategy in China. With the facility in place, the electric car maker would be able to compete in the country’s local EV market, which currently stands as the largest in the world. Tesla’s previous vehicles such as the Model S and Model X are well-loved, but their premium base price and import tariffs make them out of reach for many EV buyers. The Model 3 will be a different story, particularly as Gigafactory 3 will exclusively produce affordable versions of the sedan for China.

First look at Tesla’s Made-in-China Model 3
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