Tesla is expecting an “explosion” of orders for the so-called Project Highland version of the Model 3 in China, as per a local report. The brand is preparing to begin its deliveries by the end of September 2023, people familiar with the matter told the Chinese news website 36kr.
To meet its targets, the Elon Musk-led brand will resume operations on Phase 1 of the battery production line at Gigafactory Shanghai, after Tesla shut it down for upgrades recently. The report suggests that the Shanghai plant has three phases of battery production: Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 2.2.
Phase 1 battery production capacity is between 3,000-4,000 packs weekly. Phase 2 and Phase 2.2 can churn 10,000 units each every week. The combined monthly capacity of the three phases is 100,000 units, reported the Chinese outlet. After battery suppliers Ningde Times and LG Chem settled in by the end of 2022, the capacity increased.
In June 2023, Tesla China reportedly laid off several workers from its Phase 1 battery production line. The reason wasn’t immediately clear, but reports suggested that incoming automated machinery led to a reduced workforce. Phase 1 is also the oldest, and has a low degree of automation.
Tesla offered some workers the option to transfer to other workshops like stamping, painting, and general assembly. With plans for scaling up manufacturing, battery production line personnel are returning to work. A different story suggested that trial production of the facelift was already underway in China, and mass production is expected to start in September.
Last week, another local report indicated that Tesla was offering several deals on the current-generation Model 3, but buyers preferred to wait for the new version. The updated model could come with redesigned headlamps, taillamps, a new dashboard, and refreshed door panels if leaked images and spy shots are to be believed.
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