Tesla has finally obtained its manufacturing license to start production at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai — indicating that production is imminent at the new factory.

During its earnings last month, the automaker confirmed that it has produced full vehicles at the new factory as part of its trial production:

We are already producing full vehicles on a trial basis, from body, to paint and to general assembly, at Gigafactory Shanghai. We have cleared initial milestones toward our manufacturing license and are working toward finalizing the license and meeting other governmental requirements before we begin ramping production and delivery of vehicles from Shanghai.

Last week, Chairman Robyn Denholm confirmed that Tesla is indeed still looking for a “manufacturing certification,” and they expect to get it by the end of the year:

We’re working with the local government to get our manufacturing certification, which we hope we will be able to get by the end of the year.

Based on those recent comments, it sounds like Tesla is mainly waiting for regulatory approval to start production.

Today, the government has updated its list of approved road vehicle production on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Recent drone flyovers showed that Tesla has been producing several Model 3 vehicles out of the factory, and last week, Tesla unveiled some of the first Model 3 vehicles made-in-China and gave media test drives.

Electrek’s Take

It’s not entirely clear, but it sounds like it was the last hurdle to officially start production and sales of the made-in-China Model 3.

Tesla might not be exactly ready for mass production, but they are clearly producing some cars, and they needed government approval to sell them.

Now it sounds like they have that, and we expect an announcement from the company about starting official production any day now.

As we previously reported, 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.

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