First look at Tesla’s massive Model Y stamping machine in Gigafactory Shanghai

(Credit: @Tesla__Mania/Twitter)

Recent images from Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai complex suggest that the installation of the Made in China Model Y stamping press is nearing completion. The photos bode well for the progress of the Shanghai based factory, as it suggests that trial production runs of the Model Y could indeed begin sooner than expected, perhaps as early as the end of this year. 

The pictures from Giga Shanghai feature a massive stamping press that looks all but completely set up. One end of the massive machine also included a banner that read “上海特斯拉冲压生产线上梁大吉,” which roughly translates to “Good fortune for finishing the installation of Giga Shanghai stamping line.” 

Based on the company’s Q4 2019 Update Letter, the stamping area in Gigafactory Shanghai is located at the tail end of the Phase 1 building, where the Model 3 is being built. Considering that the Model Y factory mirrors the design of the Model 3 factory that preceded it, it seems safe to speculate that the recently installed stamping machine was set up on the tail end of the Phase 2A building as well. 

This would be quite an interesting setup, seeing as the Model 3 factory and the Model Y factory appear to be linked through their stamping areas. Recent drone flyovers have shown that this may be the case, since a “sky bridge” now seems to be visible between the Phase 1 and Phase 2A buildings. The presence of this structure opens a lot of speculations about Tesla’s production plans for China. 

It should be noted that while the Model 3 and the Model Y share about 75% of their components, the two vehicles are manufactured quite differently. An extensive teardown of an early production Model 3 and Model Y from noted auto veteran Sandy Munro proved this, with the analysis showing that the all-electric crossover has far more manufacturing efficiencies than its sedan sibling.  

With the installation of the Model Y factory’s stamping press in mind, as well as the presence of a sky bridge between the two production facilities in the Giga Shanghai complex, it appears that Tesla is now only months away from starting trial production runs of the Model Y for the Chinese market. But this time around, the refinement of the vehicle’s manufacturing process will likely be smoother, especially since that the Model 3 and Model Y facilities are seemingly being designed to share some of their operations. 

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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