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Tesla produces complete Model 3 body-in-white at Gigafactory 3, production to start Oct. 14

Tesla has produced a complete Model 3 body-in-white at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai and full production is scheduled to start on October 14, according to a report citing Tesla officials and Chinese officials.

In recent weeks, we have been reporting on Tesla ramping up its efforts to soon start production at Gigafactory 3.

The start of production is going to be a major milestone since it’s going to be the first electric vehicle factory wholly-owned by a foreign automaker in China and Tesla’s second electric vehicle production factory.

After starting construction just in January earlier this year, Tesla has been guiding a start of production in Q4 2019.

Now we have a more precise timeline coming out of China.

China’s Shine reports that Tesla confirmed that it produced the first complete Model 3 body-in-white at Gigafactory 3.

In the report, they cite Yuan Guohua, president of Lingang Group, which is in charge of the industrial zone where Tesla Gigafactory 3 is located:

“It took eight months from groundbreaking of the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory to the output of this product, which fully reflects ‘Shanghai speed and Lingang service’,”

Grace Tao, Tesla’s global vice president in charge of China, also commented:

“Amid the establishment of the Lingang New Area, and the issuance of preferential policies to support the development of the intelligent networked vehicle industry, we look forward to deepening cooperation with all parties in the application of intelligent networking technology and the promotion of new-energy vehicles in the future, so as to jointly help the new area achieve greater development.”

The report states that Tesla is planning to start production on October 14, based on communication with local suppliers.

Saint-Gobain, a long-term glass supplier for Tesla, established a factory in the Lingang industrial zone to supply Tesla for the Chinese-made Model 3 vehicles and it plans to start mass production on October 14 to match Tesla.

Ma Jun, head of Saint-Gobain Sekurit’s Lingang factory, commented:

“Mass production is anticipated from October 14, together with the output of Model 3 vehicles,”

The executive says that they currently expect an output worth 120 million yuan (US$17 million) from the factory, but they are considering increasing their investment for a greater output to supply Tesla for the upcoming Model Y program next year:

“Our annual output is expected to reach 120 million yuan (US$17 million), and at the next stage we may increase our investment and produce for the Model Y,”

CEO Elon Musk has been guiding a rapid production ramp-up in phases starting with 3,000 vehicles per week by the end of the year.

He did say that Tesla plans to also produce the base versions of Model Y at the Chinese factory, but he didn’t confirm a timeline.

Tesla is planning to start Model Y production at its Fremont factory in the fall of 2020.

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