Leaked photos on Chinese social media Weibo show Tesla Model 3 bodies going down the production line. Although the post only reads “Shanghai Factory,” netizens are talking about Tesla testing production in the comments.
Earlier in May, Tesla made its Model 3 available for pre-order, with prices starting from 328,000 yuan ($46,173). The expected wait time for delivery ranges from six to ten months.
Musk told investors on the earnings call in January that Tesla should be able to produce 1,000 or even 2,000 Model 3 vehicles per week in Shanghai by the end of 2019. However, that is probably not going to happen until mid-2020, according to estimates by JL Warren Capital.
Whether Tesla can meet that deadline or not, the Chinese EV market is increasingly receptive. Following the American market, China is Tesla’s second largest market globally. While the company is suffering from a deficit in the first half of this year, sales revenue in China reached $1.5 billion, increasing by 41.8%.
Founded in July 2018, the Shanghai Gigafactory is Tesla’s first manufacturing plant in China, as well as the first electric car factory wholly-owned by a foreign automaker in China.