Tesla releases the first pictures from inside its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China – showing impressive progress toward Model 3 production.

Gigafactory 3 is Tesla’s first manufacturing facility in China and it’s also the first electric vehicle factory wholly-owned by a foreign automaker in the country.

As the trade war between China and the US keeps getting more complicated, it’s becoming more important than ever for Tesla to have manufacturing capacity in China.

They will be able to avoid increasingly uncertain import tariffs in the biggest auto market in the world.

They have been moving extremely fast to get Gigafactory 3 ready.

About 8 months ago, Tesla announced a deal with the Shanghai government to build a wholly-owned local factory and only about 5 months ago, they secured the 210-acres of land for Gigafactory 3 in China necessary.

They officially broke ground in January and plan to be done with the building by this summer.

Recent drone videos show that Tesla already mostly completed the outside of the giant building last month.

With the release of its Q2 2019 financial results, Tesla gave an update on Gigafactory 3:

“Gigafactory Shanghai continues to take shape, and in Q2 we started to move machinery into the facility for the first phase of production there. This will be a simplified, more cost-effective version of our Model 3 line with capacity of 150,000 units per year – the second generation of the Model 3 production process. Just like in the US, the Model 3 base price of RMB 328,000 is consistent with its gas-powered competitors, even before gas savings and incentives. Given Chinese customers bought well over a half-million mid-sized premium sedans last year, this market poses a strong long-term opportunity for Tesla. We are looking forward to starting production in China by the end of this year. Depending on the timing of the Gigafactory Shanghai ramp, we continue to target production of over 500,000 vehicles globally in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2020.”

Tesla shared some pictures of that machinery that they moved into the facility – though they were part of the shareholder letter PDF and therefore, very low resolution:

We asked Tesla for the original full resolution pictures and we will update if they decide to release them.

The images show that Tesla has already started installing many production robots and a massive stamping machine to produce Model 3 body parts.

Tesla is guiding a start of production by the end of the year and a rapid production ramp-up in phases starting with 3,000 vehicles per week.

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