With the Tesla Model 3’s Project Highland update seemingly just around the corner, the electric vehicle maker seems to be preparing itself for an explosion of orders for the revamped vehicle. This was, at least, suggested in recent reports from insiders in China.
Citing individuals reportedly familiar with the matter, Chinese publication 36 Krypton recently reported that the Model 3 Project Highland would start deliveries around late September. To make sure that the revamped Model 3’s ramp goes smoothly, Tesla China is reportedly looking to resume production at Gigafactory Shanghai’s Phase 1 battery plant.
Back in July, reports emerged suggesting that Tesla China was laying off workers that were assigned to Giga Shanghai’s Phase 1 battery assembly facility. At the time, some of the employees affected by the change were reportedly given the option to transfer to a different workshop in the complex, such as the paint shop, the stamping area, or the general assembly line.
As per 36Kr, the impending demand for the Model 3’s Project Highland update is now prompting Tesla to resume operations at Giga Shanghai’s Phase 1 battery facility. “Now demand is up, so Phase 1 is ready to reopen again,” the publication’s source noted.
Giga Shanghai is reportedly home to three battery facilities: Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 2.2. Phase 1 is reportedly the smallest and oldest in the facility, and it is also the least automated. Meanwhile, Phase 2 is reportedly Giga Shanghai’s main battery facility, and Phase 2.2 is the newest, built just over half a year ago. 36Kr noted that overall, Giga Shanghai’s Phase 1 battery plant can produce about 3,000 to 4,000 battery packs per week, while Phase 2 and Phase 2.2 can each produce 10,000 packs per week.
This suggests that at full production, Giga Shanghai’s battery facilities could produce around 100,000 battery packs per month. Such an output would probably be needed, especially if the Model 3’s Project Highland update is well received by consumers. So far, this does seem to be the case, with previous reports hinting that more Model 3 buyers are waiting for the Project Highland update instead of taking delivery of a current generation vehicle today.
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