Rare images from inside Tesla Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai have leaked showing the automaker making Model 3 production setup tests as the start of production is imminent.

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.

Tesla has been in a hurry to make that happen and they have been moving extremely fast to get Gigafactory 3 ready.

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

Recent drone videos show that Tesla already completed the majority of the giant building’s exterior last month, but now the focus has been on setting up production inside the factory.

Last month, Tesla released the first pictures inside Gigafactory 3 — showing impressive progress toward production.

Now more images from inside Tesla’s giant Shanghai factory have leaked on a Chinese social media account (电池王 on Weibo) showing that some production lines are already deployed:

The images show Model 3 bodies going through an empty production line, which appears to be dry runs to set up production and assembly stations.

It’s unclear if the Model 3 bodies are made at the factory, but Tesla already has a massive stamping machine to produce Model 3 body parts at the factory.

Last week, Tesla Gigafactory 3 obtained an official government certificate in record time ahead of the start of production.

CEO Elon Musk has been guiding a start of production in early Q4 2019, which would mean around October, and by the end of the year, Tesla aims for a rapid production ramp-up in phases starting with 3,000 vehicles per week.

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