Tesla hints at Model Y global expansion with sightings in New Zealand, Europe

A Tesla Model Y spotted in the Netherlands. (Photo: Hans Noordsij/Tesla Owners Club Netherlands)

Tesla may be ramping the production of the Model Y for the North American market for now, but sightings of the vehicle in regions beyond the United States suggest that the company may be looking to ramp the all-electric crossover internationally. This was highlighted recently by reports of the Model Y arriving in New Zealand, where the vehicles will likely be winter tested. 

Reports of the Model Y in New Zealand were initially shared by Twitter group VedaPrime, which tracks Tesla’s vehicle shipments. According to the group, three Tesla Model Ys were offloaded from the ANL Warrnambool container ship in Auckland, New Zealand Monday night. All three vehicles were reportedly early production vehicles with lower range VINs. 

The reasons behind the Model Y’s arrival in New Zealand are unknown for now, though the all-electric crossover may have been sent to the country for some winter testing. Interestingly enough, the three Model Ys were accompanied by a Model S and a couple of early VIN Model 3 sedans, further hinting that the vehicles are poised to be tested in the country. 

This is not the first time that a Model Y was brought over to an area outside North America. Just last month, the Tesla Owners Club Nederland group posted an image of a US-spec Model Y charging at an EU-spec Supercharger. Local reports revealed that the Model Y spotted at the Netherlands Supercharger had been making its way across several countries such as Germany and Holland before it reached Dutch roads. 

With these sightings in mind, it appears that Tesla is looking to begin the Model Y ramp in territories beyond North America as soon as possible. The vehicle, after all, is poised to be Tesla’s most popular offering, seeing as it competes in the lucrative and ever-growing crossover market. Elon Musk has admitted this, stating that the Model Y would likely outsell the Model S, Model 3, and Model X combined. 

The Model Y is currently being produced at Tesla’s main factory in Fremont, California, though preparations for Model Y production are already ongoing in Gigafactory Shanghai, the company’s China-based plant. So far, work in Giga Shanghai’s Model Y factory has been incredibly quick, with drone flyovers of the site hinting that the facility is now being fitted with vehicle production equipment. 

The all-electric crossover is also the first vehicle that would be produced in Gigafactory Berlin, which is also under construction. Giga Berlin is expected to start vehicle production sometime next year, starting with the all-electric crossover. But until such time that production could happen, it appears that Tesla is working fully on ensuring that its newest vehicle is perfectly suited for its target markets. 

Tesla hints at Model Y global expansion with sightings in New Zealand, Europe
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