Tesla will reportedly halt some production at its Shanghai facility until the end of this month as it makes alterations for the updated Model 3 electric sedan.
As reported by Bloomberg, who cited people familiar with the matter, some manufacturing workers at the Chinese plant reportedly won’t be allowed on the production lines as soon as this weekend.
Tesla has reportedly been upgrading the production lines at the Shanghai factory in stages over the last two months.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg deliveries of the updated Tesla Model 3 are expected to commence later in the year. It’s worth noting Australian-market versions of the Model 3 are sourced from this Shanghai plant.
The company is yet to publicly confirm an updated version of the top-selling Model 3 is on the way, but a number of spied prototypes have been captured over the last few months.
It’s unclear when an updated version of the Model Y SUV will follow, considering the crossover shares its underpinnings and a myriad design cues with the Model 3.
A 2022 report from Automotive News suggested an update was coming with upgrades to the exterior and powertrain, and a “less complex” cabin.
Along with keeping the Model 3 fresh in the face of strong new competition, the update is reportedly aimed at making the making the car cheaper and easier for Tesla to produce.
It’s not clear how Tesla will simplify the cabin of the Model 3 given it has barely any switchgear, and most functions are controlled through the central touchscreen.
A 2021 update subbed the USB-A ports for USB-C ones, and brought a restyled centre console with two wireless phone chargers and extra storage.
Sources told Automotive News that Tesla is “focusing on features that Tesla buyers value, including the display”.
“Over and over, we found parts that are not needed. They were put in there just in case or by mistake. We eliminated so many parts from a car that did nothing,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at a Baron Funds conference in 2022.
Tesla doesn’t follow the product lifecycles of vehicles from legacy automakers.
Its Model S, for example, has been in production for over a decade now and, though it has received various running changes over its lifecycle, its exterior has received only the mildest of updates.
The Tesla Model 3 hasn’t been in production as long, but it did go on sale in 2017. While it has received tweaks and over-the-air updates since then, including the detail interior changes, its exterior styling is essentially unchanged.
Its age hasn’t held the Model 3 back in Australia, however. It was the third-best selling vehicle overall in January 2023, and was the best-selling passenger car ahead of traditional favourites such as the Toyota Corolla.
The Model 3 drove overall electric vehicle sales to a 5.7 per cent total market share for January.
MORE: Everything Tesla Model 3