Tesla, the electric car maker, said on Thursday it would deliver a second batch of Chinese-made Model 3s to customers at its “Gigafactory 3” facility in Shanghai on January 7,media reported. On Monday, Tesla delivered its first 15 Chinese-made Model 3s to its internal employees, and plans to increase deliveries in January. Song Gang, manufacturing director at Tesla’s Super3, said the plant produces 28 or more Model 3s per hour and works about 10 hours a day, meaning it produces more than 1,000 cars a week.
He added that in the near future, the plant would be able to produce 3,000 cars a week.
Earlier,media reported that the company plans to deliver the Chinese-made Model 3 to customers by January 25, while the company’s China website also showed that the Model 3 delivery time will be in the first quarter of 2020, a delivery far earlier than the company’s own estimate.
Tesla’s Model 3, made in China, will compete with domestic electric car makers (Weilai and Xiaopeng), as well as global brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
The Chinese-made Model 3, which is produced by Tesla at its $3 superfactory in Shanghai at a cost of $2 billion, is the company’s first manufacturing plant in China and the first electric car plant in China who llysise wholly owned by a foreign carmaker. It is also the company’s third super plant in the world.
The plant, which opened in January and was completed in less than a year, set a new record for the completion of the first phase of the plant.
In October, the plant started trial production. In mid-November, the plant was officially licensed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, meaning the company has since been able to mass-produce the Chinese-made Model 3.
The Chinese-made Model 3 is key to Tesla’s entry into China’s domestic auto industry, the world’s largest electric car market and Tesla’s second-largest market after the U.S., which accounts for nearly half of global sales of electric vehicles. Increasing local production is an important step for Tesla.