The Shanghai government issued an official statement today following a meeting with Tesla executives and they said that the automaker should start production, at least partially, at Gigafactory 3 during the second half of 2019. That may surprise people considering the current status of the project…

Earlier this summer, Tesla announced a deal with the Shanghai government to build a wholly owned local factory.

Ludicrous Acceleration

Tesla then accelerated the Gigafactory 3 plans in response to the trade war between the US and China.

In October, Tesla announced that it secured 210-acres of land for Gigafactory 3 in China and said that it is ‘on track’ with an accelerated construction plan.

The timeline for the start of production has been unclear, but CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla is aiming to bring ‘some parts of Model 3 production’ to China as soon as next year.

Now Deputy Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee and Mayor of Shanghai Ying Yong has issued an interesting statement following a meeting with “the heads of Tesla China”.

He stated that Tesla “basically completed land leveling and is about to start construction” at Gigafactory 3 and that the project is “expected to be partially put into operation in the second half of next year.”

Here’s the statement in full:

“The Tesla Super Factory project, which is located in the Lingang Heavy Equipment Industrial Zone, integrates R&D, manufacturing and sales functions and is the largest foreign-invested manufacturing project in Shanghai’s history. At present, the project has basically completed land leveling and is about to start construction. It is expected to be partially put into operation in the second half of next year. The city leaders listened to the relevant information of the heads of Tesla China, checked the hot models of Tesla, and encouraged enterprises to accelerate the construction of the factory on the premise of ensuring production safety and project quality.

Ying Yong pointed out that advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries are major support for Shanghai’s economy. It is necessary to further promote the “four new economy”, intelligent manufacturing, industrial innovation, industrial strength, quality improvement and other series of projects to accelerate the development of Shanghai’s real economy.

Quality and energy level. We must take the lead in the high-end development, innovation and development, and transformation and development of the manufacturing industry, expand the open and gather global resource elements, promote the deep integration of the innovation chain and the industrial chain, and accelerate the cultivation of world-class advanced manufacturing clusters such as new energy vehicles.

It is necessary to focus on the country’s major development strategy, fully support the construction of major projects in the strategic emerging industries, and strive to achieve early results. The industrial park should do a good job in regional overall planning, ensure good project access, and improve land use efficiency.”

Electrek’s Take

First of all, the statement is surprising considering the factory status is a flattened piece of land and they expect vehicles to be coming off the assembly line within a year. [Insert Tent joke here]

It also looks like things have calmed down in the US-China trade war and Tesla might get some reprieve when it comes to the important tariffs that its vehicles are subject too in the country.

China reportedly agreed to lower tariffs on US cars.

But they can’t really count on that and I think they should likely stick to their accelerated timeline for Gigafactory 3 and bring local manufacturing capacity online as soon as possible.

Even without tariffs, it makes sense for Tesla to produce its cars locally considering the importance of the Chinese market when it comes to electric vehicles.

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