Tesla Gigafactory Groundbreaking: Chinese Model 3 Production On Track

Tesla Gigafactory China

JAN 7 2019 BY WADE MALONE 14

Initial construction should be completed by the end of summer.

Late Sunday evening, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the automaker was hours away from an important event. In 2018, an agreement was made between Tesla and Chinese authorities to begin construction of a new facility in 2019. Now we know the official groundbreaking of Tesla’s Chinese Gigafactory in Shanghai will occur on Monday.

Early signs of construction were spotted late last year. According to Chinese media sources, land leveling was completed by December. It seems that further progress will be swift, as Musk says initial construction of the Shanghai Gigafactory is set to be completed before the end of summer.

Tesla Model 3 (Source: China AutoReview)

As InsideEVs had previously reported, Model 3 production is expected to begin in the 2nd half of 2019. Gigafactory 3 will produce battery packs and the Model 3 for the Chinese Market. According to Musk, Chinese Model 3 production is indeed on track to begin production by the end of the year. The Model 3 configuration has already opened to Chinese customers. However, high volume production will not begin until 2020.

Some new info was also provided about the automaker’s production plans. Musk states that only lower trim “affordable” versions of the Model 3 and Model Y will be produced in China. Higher cost Model 3’s will continue to be produced in the United States, and no production from Shanghai will find its way to North America.

Musk confirmed that the facility will also be home to Chinese production of the upcoming Model Y crossover.

According to a VIP invitation posted by Twitter user Vincent, the groundbreaking ceremony will occur on Monday, January 7 at 3:00 pm in Shanghai.

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14 Comments on "Tesla Gigafactory Groundbreaking: Chinese Model 3 Production On Track"

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Less than 12 months from ground breaking to production?
Oh wait, this is China…
but honestly, integrating the systems in a new plant can take months to get right. I have to wonder if there is not some shadow factory not far away where everything is being staged and tested before being moved into the new shell of a building. I can’t see a serial build being done in that short a time.

Now Elon… What about Europe? When and where eh?

Yeah, it seems impossibly quick to me too, but Elon always sets super aggressive goals which are rarely met, but result in far faster than industry norms. Four years is normal. Two years would be incredible. But don’t forget this is for some minimal level of assembly with parts shipped from USA.

They are making batteries there. That has been consistent in the narrative and a requirement by the Chinese import rules, along with in country part ownership.

They will eventually make packs at the Shanghai factory from locally sourced cells. SEC fillings indicate they’ll initially use batteries from GF1, though.

They can set up a manual final assembly line very quickly. Stamping and welding take longer. Paint is the real schedule killer. They may initially ship painted bodies from Fremont. That would be fastest and would save $1.5 billion or so.

I never heard that they would be shipping parts from the USA for minimal assembly in China.
This would defeat the purpose of building the factory in China.
I’m sure parts are included in the tariffs.

Agree unless it’s a few parts as a short term thing to get the factory running sooner. Better to pay tariff on a few parts than the entire vehicle.

Impossible here in the US, common in China.

I would thing the same manufacturer Gronimer I don’t know how to spell it is supplying the equipment for the assembly line so and software is the latest. Although I think when they say initial construction will be completed by summer. I guess that’s just the shell. I doubt that they will produce a Model 3 in 2019.

Semi. Roadster and factory in China. Hopefully Musk doesn’t talk about Europe for two years.
There’s enough on the plate already.

“Breaking ground on the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai”

That sure is an important milestone in the history of Tesla.

There must be a ceremony going on there right now. Or perhaps it is already finished by now.

There will probably be a news article about this ceremony. And perhaps already today. That would be nice.

Luxury car market in China is huge and its almost double that of US. Sales of top 3 luxury brands (Mercedes, Audi and BMW) is ~2 million in 2018. In addition to the top
3 brands, other brands like Lexus, Volvo, JLR, Cadillac, Lincoln sold another 0.7 million. Even when the overall passenger vehicle market is down for the first time in 2 decades, luxury market still recorded double digit growth in 2018.

Chinese EV market growing rapidly. More than 6% of November, 2018 sales are EVs (BEV + PHEV) in China. Most of these are mid to low end EVs. Luxury EVs are almost non-existent in China. Tesla need to start production as early as possible there. Also, they need to prepare for parallel production of Model Y in Shanghai factory along with US.

That means that Tesla believes 50% of their production volume will be just low spec vehicles in China… the other half is the rest of the world AND high spec cars for China. That’s an eye-opener!

Didn’t understand what you were trying to say.

This is bad news for the Tesla shorts.