2021 Tesla Model 3: China-made orders open for Australia

Tesla, the all-American electric startup, will soon be delivering made-in-China versions of the Model 3 to Australian buyers.

1 month ago
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Scott Collie
News Editor

Tesla is getting ready to sell the made-in-China Model 3 in Australia.

Changes to the Tesla Australia website and reports from VedaPrime indicate new Model 3 Standard Range Plus or Long Range orders will be supplied to local buyers from the company’s new Shanghai factory, rather than Fremont in California.

The Model 3 listed on the Tesla website features new extensions of the dashboard trim on its doors, a feature introduced with Chinese production, and the option of a white interior has returned (previously only available on the Model 3 Performance).

Buyers are also now able to option the 19-inch wheels from the Long Range on the entry-level Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which was previously only available with 18-inch aero wheels.

Information filed with the Australian Infrastructure Department also shows Tesla has certification to sell two Model 3 variants with VIN numbers matching those of other made-in-China cars.

The right-hand drive Model 3 has been spied outside the Beijing Gigafactory in the past few days.

Reports from Bloomberg last year indicated the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y sold in Australia, New Zealand, and in parts of Europe would be sourced from China.

The plan to supply the European and Asian markets from its Shanghai factory is part of a strategy to cut the wait for customers ordering cars from its plant in Fremont, California.

Currently, the Tesla website shows a wait of between nine and 12 weeks for new Model 3 orders in Australia.

Tesla’s plant in Shanghai has a current production capacity of 250,000 cars annually, and only produces the Model 3 sedan. Production capacity is expected to expand to 500,000 units per annum by the end of 2020, when phase two of the plant’s construction is complete.

The company currently delivers around 11,000 Model 3s every month in China, leaving more than enough capacity to service Europe, which accounts for around 40,000 deliveries per quarter, along with other Asian markets.


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