Chinese production of the Tesla Model Y has reportedly endured significant cuts as demand for the best-selling electric SUV wanes – but it’s not yet clear whether Australian deliveries have been impacted.

    News agency Reuters – citing industry data and an insider source – reports Model Y production from the Tesla factory in Shanghai was cut by 17.7 and 33 per cent in March and April respectively compared to 2023, due to weaker Chinese demand.

    According to the report, 49,498 cars rolled off the production line in March and 36,610 examples were produced in China during April, resulting in a five per cent drop across the opening four months of the year versus 2023.

    The publication reports cuts have continued through May and will extend to June. It’s not known whether Tesla will stick to its original projections for the second half of 2024, or if the Model 3 sedan which is built in the same factory will also be impacted.

    Australian-delivered Tesla Model Ys and Model 3s are exclusively sourced from Shanghai, though estimated delivery times on the carmaker’s local website are as yet unchanged from between one and three weeks for the two EVs.

    While the Tesla Model Y is one of the most popular new cars in Australian showrooms (having notched up 8001 sales between January and April), it received a price cut along with the Model 3 last week, amid numerous other EVs being handed price reductions.

    The base Tesla Model Y RWD is now priced from $55,900 before on-road costs, with its price having fallen by $9500 since March to its lowest figure since arriving in Australia in August 2021.

    It’s also not known whether the production cuts will have any impact on the rumoured ‘Juniper’ facelift to the Model Y, expected to bring similar updates to the Model 3’s recent ‘Highland’ tweaks.

    Though it was understood the refreshed Model Y would enter production this year. In February however, Chinese publication the Financial Associated Press reported Tesla had no plans to facelift the electric SUV at the Shanghai factory throughout 2024.

    This came after Tesla ruled out a facelift for the Model Y in the US this year.

    Last month, Tesla announced its operating margins sat at 5.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2024 – down from 11.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 – while its deliveries of new vehicles had fallen to its lowest levels in 2022 throughout the opening three months of the year.

    Tesla has also stopped including its target of achieving 20 million vehicle sales annually by 2030 in its impact reports, with Reuters last week reporting the company will soon pivot to to the development of autonomous robotaxis and away from its more traditional vehicle-based roots.

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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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