Production of the top-selling Tesla Model 3 at the company’s Gigafactory Shanghai has seemingly halted, which once again fuels rumours about the company soon starting production of the updated model.

    A recent YouTube video by prolific Tesla blogger Wu Wa that features drone footage of the Chinese production plant on May 25 shows there are little to no Model 3s in the holding areas.

    Wu Wa notes that Model Y production seems to be continuing at a normal rate, however.

    Australian-spec Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles are sourced from this Chinese production plant.

    This latest development follows Chinese outlet Yicai reporting last month that Tesla China had denied the authenticity of reports the updated Model 3 would enter mass production in Shanghai on June 1.

    At this stage it’s unclear when the updated Tesla Model 3, codenamed Project Highland, will enter production exactly. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was recently in China at the Gigafactory Shanghai plant, but the vehicle wasn’t shown off.

    Regardless, we’ve seen plenty of spied Model 3 prototypes and also what appears to be an undisguised vehicle.

    An update to the closely-related Model Y SUV, codenamed Project Juniper, is expected to follow shortly after.

    A recent photo shared on Reddit show the Model 3 will get a new headlight design, as well as a new front bumper and what appears to be – at long last – an instrument cluster.

    Not A Tesla App reports the Model 3 will feature a single camera in the centre of its front bumper plus two new camera, one on each side of the vehicle.

    These will reportedly be five-megapixel cameras with an anti-glare coating, superior to the 1.2-megapixel units in the current car. The updated model will also reportedly upgrade from the Hardware 3 supercomputer to Hardware 4.

    No ultrasonic sensors will be available as the company pushes its Tesla Vision system, which relies not on radar or sensors but rather a camera, while Tesla will also reportedly simplify the Model 3’s interior further.

    Tesla has previously said it wouldn’t go down the path of traditional ‘facelifts’ like legacy carmakers, but it looks like it’s changing its tune to help keep its vehicles feeling fresh.

    Flagging sales in the crucial Chinese market led to Tesla cutting prices there, triggering a price war with rival brands.

    MORE: Everything Tesla Model 3

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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