Update: Para 1, 8, 10, and 15 updated for accuracy to show speculation. GA 4 is location of Model Y production, and potentially some Model 3 production.
Tesla is preparing the Fremont Factory for mass production of the either the updated Highland Model 3 or Model Y “Project Juniper” as it continues to refine manufacturing lines on the floor of General Assembly 4, the tent where the all-electric sedan is built.
Tesla has been preparing to launch a newly-refined version of the Model 3 for nearly a year now.
After initial reports late last year indicated the automaker was in the process of revamping the sedan, Teslarati revealed filings that showed the company had already been preparing Fremont for the early manufacturing stages as early as last Summer.
For roughly 11 months, Tesla has been making moves to build the earliest versions of the Highland Model 3, and images of the car finally leaked last month, showing a refined front-end design and several other changes.
Yesterday, we reported that Tesla was planning to demo a line at the Fremont Factory and build a completely new one in the same area. Filings seen by Teslarati showed Tesla was planning to install “Updated” equipment, and while it could be a simple retooling or installation of fresh machines, the automaker hasn’t commonly used “Updated” in its filings.
When it retools lines, it explicitly states it is a retool. Tesla has commonly used “Improvements,” “Upgrades,” or “Revisions,” but not “Updates.”
It also only explicitly uses “Demo” when it is planning to completely replace whatever line or machine is being torn out and fitted with something new.
Teslarati viewed filings that appear to indicate the line that is being replaced is located inside General Assembly 4, or GA 4. The filing shows building F-21 is where the new line is being built and the old one is being torn down. Other F-21 building filings are identified as “GA4.”
While it is not necessarily a “tent,” the proper term is “sprung structure,” which are high-performance tension fabric buildings that are quickly built and can handle things like severe weather due to their integrity.
Tesla uses multiple sprung structures on the Fremont Factory property for automotive production, as the main assembly buildings were already filled with equipment for other vehicles. The Model Y is built in GA 4.5, as well.
Tesla is evidently preparing to introduce the Model 3 Highland design relatively soon, and with the company’s Shareholder Meeting happening this evening, there is some speculation the company could come forward with more details regarding the new look.
The timing of Tesla’s revamped line in GA4 is extremely interesting, especially as there has been a lot of talk of new vehicle builds being produced soon. With the vehicle changing, Tesla will need to update lines, and instead of simply retooling or modifying them for a simple equipment change, it has opted to completely demo the line and build a new one.
This points mostly toward a new vehicle design. Additionally, in an attempt to potentially avoid a drastic stoppage in Model 3 production, Tesla’s inventory of the Model 3 has swelled to levels that have reached their highest levels in 2023 thus far.
Early December 2022 was the last time Tesla’s Model 3 inventory has reached these levels, according to Tesla Data.
Tesla has remained relatively tight-lipped surrounding the Model 3 Highland project and Model Y project Juniper and has not explicitly confirmed the effort. Rumors of the vehicle being manufactured at Giga Shanghai in China circulated, but the company quickly denied them.
The recent images of the design, which were leaked on Reddit, seem to indicate something rather drastic is in the works.
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