To ensure production capacity, the phase 1 battery line at Tesla's Shanghai factory, which had previously been shut down, is scheduled to resume production in September, according to local media.
(Image credit: CnEVPost)
News about Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA) revamped Model 3 sedan is growing, as mass production gets closer.
Mass production and deliveries of Tesla's upgraded Model 3 will begin in China at the end of September, a report today by local media outlet 36kr said, citing several people familiar with the matter.
The new Model 3 has been fully upgraded on both the exterior and interior, and may eliminate all radars, the report noted.
Although Tesla has not released official information about the new Model 3, potential customers are already waiting for the model and avoiding the current one.
"Our main task now is to sell the Model 3 and Model Y with reduced prices, but there are still a lot of customers who choose to wait for the new model, even if it could be more expensive," 36kr quoted a Tesla salesperson as saying.
Last week, several other local media outlets reported that some Tesla stores had begun accepting reservations for the new Model 3 from Chinese consumers.
To ensure production capacity, the phase 1 battery production line at Tesla's Shanghai factory, which had previously been shut down, is scheduled to resume production in September, according to 36kr.
"Some production line personnel are currently returning to their positions, but some won't be back, and it's unclear how much it will eventually be restored," a source said.
On July 7, 36kr reported that Tesla was using the window of the Model 3 and Model Y's upcoming revisions to adjust its battery pack production strategy at its Shanghai factory, which will be more supplier-dependent.
Tesla halted production of the phase 1 battery line within its Shanghai Lingang factory, a more aggressive cost-control move it chose to make amid increased competition, according to the report.
Also on July 7, Bloomberg reported that Tesla was laying off some battery production workers at its Shanghai plant, and that some employees had been allowed to move to another shop, such as stamping, painting, or final assembly.
In today's report, 36kr said that the expected sales of the new Model 3 and new orders from price cuts have apparently led Tesla to quickly adjust the move and decide to ramp up battery supply.
For electric vehicles, battery cells and modules -- the components of a battery pack -- are usually produced by the battery manufacturer, while some car companies choose to assemble their own battery packs for greater autonomy.
Tesla's Shanghai factory assembles its own battery packs, and there are three battery factories, phase 1, phase 2, and phase 2.2, within the factory in Shanghai Lingang, according to 36kr.
The production line of the previously shut down phase 1 battery factory was built the earliest, but the capacity scale is not large. The phase 1 factory's low level of automation is no longer able to adapt to Tesla's needs, and it will be replaced by phase 2.2, which will complete some of the production of the battery packs, 36kr's report in July cited people familiar with the matter as saying.
Based on weekly capacity, the phase 1 battery factory can produce 3,000-4,000 battery packs per week, and phases 2 and 2.2 can each produce about 10,000, according to 36kr's report today.
At full production, these three battery factories can supply nearly 100,000 battery packs per month, according to the report.
On August 14, Tesla cut the prices of two pricier versions of the Model Y by RMB 14,000 ($1,920) in China and began offering a RMB 8,000 insurance subsidy for Model 3 entry-level inventory.
Between August 1 and August 20, Tesla had 39,400 insurance registrations in China.
($1 = RMB 7.2890)