With the main sections of Gigafactory Shanghai’s Phase 2 zone being completed, it is becoming more and more apparent that the production of the Tesla Model Y would likely begin sooner than expected. If local reports are any indication, this will indeed be the case, as the initial production of the Model Y is reportedly poised to begin as early as November this year.
Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai has seen rapid construction since its groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2019. Since then, a fully-functional Model 3 factory has been built in record time. And despite the pandemic this year, it appears that the progress of Giga Shanghai’s second phase did not experience any major delays. This bodes well for the Model Y’s ramp in China, especially since Phase 2 is allotted for the all-electric crossover’s production facility.
Local reports point to the current work on Giga Shanghai’s Phase 2 zone being focused on the structure’s interior. According to state-run local news agency Global Times, interior work and electromechanical testing are currently ongoing in the Model Y factory. These activities are expected to be completed by October or November, which could pave the way for the Model Y’s trial production to begin within the next months.
With Phase 2 going online, the output of Gigafactory Shanghai is expected to increase significantly. Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), has even suggested that the production rate of the facility could double when Phase 2 goes live. It should be noted that this number has the potential to be greater as well, as the Model 3 factory in the Phase 1 area is not yet operating at full capacity.
“The annual output of its Shanghai plant in the first phase has reached 150,000 units. After the second phase opens, it is expected to double output to 300,000 units, which will further reduce costs and enhance competitiveness in the Chinese market,” Cui said.
The Model Y’s production in Gigafactory Shanghai has the potential to significantly expand Tesla’s reach into China’s mainstream auto market. Currently, the Model 3 is the only vehicle that Tesla produces in the country, and so far, the all-electric sedan has been quite successful. That being said, even China is a country where crossovers are becoming increasingly popular, making the Model Y a perfect fit for the mainstream local market.
Tesla’s Chinese website currently lists two versions of the Model Y available for purchase. One is the Model Y Dual Motor AWD, which is listed with a price of 488,000 yuan ($71,443), and the other is the Model Y Performance, which is priced at 535,000 yuan ($78,200). Delivery estimates for the Made-in-China Model Y are currently estimated for the first quarter of 2021.