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Tesla Gigafactory 3 drone update: preparing foundation as clock is ticking

The clock is ticking for Tesla in China as the timing for Gigafactory 3 is becoming increasingly important.

A new drone video shows some preparation for the foundation of the building, but it’s still unclear if Tesla can achieve its ambitious goal to start production by the end of the year.

Tesla is starting to deliver Model 3 in China and they want to import as many vehicles as possible before April when the import tariffs are set to increase from 25% to 40%.

If the 40% tariff goes forward, Tesla will have a tough time selling vehicles in China, the world’s biggest car market, until it can manufacture its own vehicles in the country at Gigafactory 3 in China.

Last month, Tesla officially broke ground at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, where Tesla is going to be the first foreign automaker to wholly-own a car factory in China.

Now a new drone video of the factory site shows that construction is progressing and Tesla appears to be preparing to install the foundation of the building (via 烏瓦 – there’s a lot of talk in between the Gigafactory 3 footage and it’s of course in Chinese):

About 6 months ago, Tesla announced a deal with the Shanghai government to build a wholly owned local factory and only about 4 months ago, they secured the 210-acres of land for Gigafactory 3 in China.

Now we can see some temporary building coming up and cranes preparing for the installation of the main building’s foundation:

When first announcing the plant, Tesla said that it expects “construction to begin in the near future” and that it “will take roughly two years” until they start volume production with a planned capacity of 200,000 units and “then another two to three years before the factory is fully ramped up to produce around 500,000 vehicles per year for Chinese customers.

But that’s before they decided to accelerate their plans due to the trade war between the US and China.

CEO Elon Musk expects that the actual Gigafactory 3 building could be ready this summer and they would start production of “some parts of Model 3 production” by the end of 2019.

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