Chinese journalist Yan Chang says the Tesla Model 3 made in China is a miracle. Not only because the factory was not even there on January 7th, when Elon Musk laid its cornerstone: his central allegation is that the Chinese Model 3 is better than the American one. And Chang has strong arguments to support that.
Gallery: This Journalist Says The Chinese Tesla Mode 3 Is Much Better Than The American One
The first one is that he is a Tesla Model 3 owner himself for some time already, which gives him a reliable comparison basis. Secondly, Tesla provided him with information that supports the Chinese version is better in terms of water and sound insulation. It would also not have the same manufacturing defect the American version has, but what would Chang be referring to?
He does not provide any information about that in the video. Still, he shows images of trunk hinge that allow us to compare the Chinese unit to the one produced in Fremont and sold to Joni Savolainen, in Finland. The first pictures of these vehicles we have seen suggest otherwise.
In other words, Chang suggests the paint is much better than the one on the American vehicle without calling a spade a spade. We will try to contact him to check precisely which defects he attempted to address.
Chang credits that to the Chinese expertise in manufacturing, and the broad experience in such the workers at Gigafactory 3 have. We wonder where they managed to acquire that experience since Shanghai has many factories from mainstream carmakers, such a VW and GM.
Chang says the Model 3 Standard Range will cost RMB 355,800 as a Standard Range derivative with Autopilot. That is equivalent to US$ 50,765, more than Tesla charges for the Long Range in the US, at US$ 48,490. In fact, you could even get a Performance version with US$ 6,225 more. Price is a definite disadvantage the Chinese customers will have, at least for now.
The Chinese journalist says that the insulation improvements related to water and noise are pretty noticeable, even after a short test drive, and that the Chinese factory will be able to correct production flaws very rapidly.
Chang states that the production is traceable, so Tesla knows when each defect may originate and avoid them quickly. The company just did not state what it will do to correct the defective units already in the hands of customers. Will they be repaired on Tesla's account? Or will Tesla say the warranty does not cover them, as it already has in multiple cases?
One good thing is that the rust issue on the left A-pillar will probably not show up at Chinese units of the Model 3. At least the vehicle Chang filmed does not seem to have it: the top of the left front fender does not seem to touch the body frame, as most units we have seen so far in Portugal and other European countries.
If that is confirmed, we would not call that a miracle but rather customers getting proper attention. We just hope these changes reach the Fremont plant as soon as possible. Or that Chinese Model 3 units are the ones slated for export to markets with no Tesla factories.