15 Tesla Model 3s were delivered to factory employees

When Tesla invested in a 534-square-mile plot of land in Eastern Shanghai province, no one would have expected a full-fledged factory built there in less than a year. However, the company managed to achieve the feat and even rolled out the first batch of Model 3s off the production line on the 30th of December. Model Y production, however, is now expected to take place in Berlin, Germany and hackers have uncovered some interesting information in the Model 3’s source code.

Tesla Is On Track To Achieve What It Aimed For In China

Back in late 2018, the Gigafactory 3’s land in Shanghai, China was absolutely barren. A year later, a massive Tesla factory stands there.

Tesla had some ambitious plans for this factory, and it seems to be on track to fulfill them. According to The Global Times, the company planned to manufacture 17,400 examples of the Model 3 by the end of 2019, and we are waiting for the official figures to pour in to see if it has fulfilled it or not. That’s approximately 3,000 examples every week. Tesla also received the license to mass-produce the Model 3 last month.

The First Batch Of China-Built Model 3s Was Delivered To Tesla’s Own Employees

Tesla Update: First Model 3s Roll Out In China, Model Y Moves to Germany, Future OTA Updates
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The Musk-run company held a delivery event at its factory that gathered journalists from the local media as 15 employees from the Gigafactory 3 received their Model 3s in an hour-long handover ceremony.

Adding to the celebrations, a new Model 3 owner proposed to this girlfriend during the delivery. Their latest acquisition, a Model 3 in a blue shade, was filled with flowers in the frunk. Tesla China tweeted the following:

Tesla Update: First Model 3s Roll Out In China, Model Y Moves to Germany, Future OTA Updates
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“Tesla will deliver the first China-made Model 3 at Gigafactory 3 plant in Shanghai TODAY. The 15 customers who are slated to get their Model 3s first are Tesla employees.”

Tesla is also increasing its inventory to a huge extent. However, it’s happening unintentionally since it has ramped up the production. The company used to have about 400 cars in its stockyard and kept rolling them out as they kept coming in. Now, however, Tesla is producing more than it is shipping out. The Model 3 retails for ¥355,800 (about $50,000) before incentives.

The Tesla Model Y May Not Be Built In China

2020 Tesla Model Y
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As per a study by Reuters, Tesla was supposed to start manufacturing the Model Y in its new Gigafactory in China.

Tesla will also set base in Berlin, Germany, which will be used to build the Model Y.

The British will be upset because Musk had earlier hinted that a factory will be set up there. However, Musk announced at the ’Golden Steering Wheel Award’ show that the Gigafactory 4 will make Berlin its home. He said that ’everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, for sure. That’s part of the reason why we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany. We are also going to create an engineering and design center in Berlin, because Berlin has some of the best art in the world.’

The factory will also be responsible for the production of batteries and powertrains. This happens to be Tesla’s fourth factory worldwide. The first Gigafactory was built in Nevada, followed by a solar production plant in New York, the Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China, and now the Gigafactory 4 in Berlin, Germany.

What’s New In The World Of the Model 3?

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior
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The most powerful in the lineup is the Model 3 Performance, and it recently received an over-the-air update that enhanced performances by five percent. Many owners checked this out, and all of them felt the increase in their 0-60 mph sprints. The company’s earlier 3.2 seconds claim was squashed by this update as owners were able to breach the three-second barrier. That said, it’s also worth noting that the Model 3 Performance boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 191 W/kg.

Recently, a hacker revealed some big upgrades pertaining to the Model 3. He tweeted the following message:

’When Model 3 was introduced it sported a very different "gateway" computer (this is where the car config is stored), instead of old style text file it is now a set of opaque binary registers with values so it was sort of hard to know what meant what. It was curious that MCU2 reused the oldstyle gateway with a text file config. (internally it was called MCU-transitionary, so clearly it’s just a transition to something better, but I digress).’

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior
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He leaked codes which suggested that Tesla is shifting to its own BLE sensors from traditional TPMS sensor, and has even applied with the FCC for the new device. The company will also be rolling out new wheels that have been due for quite some time now. The Model 3 could also come with some sort of laminated roof that will also be incorporated into the 2020 models. This addresses some issues in the past wherein sunroofs have exploded suddenly with no apparent cause.

There were codes about a ludicrous mode and some aerodynamic updates as well.

The biggest highlight, however, had to do with the battery pack. Currently, the Model 3’s biggest battery is a 75-kWh pack. But this could soon be trumped by a 100-kWh pack. Since the Model 3 is the company’s best-seller, it’s nice to see Tesla keeping the product fresh with such constant upgrades.

Tesla Model 3 specifications
Performance Dual Motor Long Range Dual Motor Standard Plus Rear-Wheel
Acceleration 0-60 mph 3.2s 4.4 s 5.3 s
Range 310 miles 322 miles 250 miles
Top Speed 162 mph 145 mph 140 mph
Wheels 20" Performance Wheels 18" Aero Wheels 19" Aero Wheels 18" Aero Wheels 19" Aero Wheels

Final Thoughts

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior
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Tesla had a very strong second-half this year. Apart from the Cybertruck’s roller-coaster success, the Model 3 helped raise the company’s stock. Since October 2019, up to the launch of the Cybertruck, the TSLA stock has risen by 40-percent and was trading at around $350. When the Cybertruck was launched, the share prices dipped down a bit mainly due to the negative criticisms about the truck which even included the armoured glass fail saga.

However, it quickly recovered, and within a month, the share prices reached an all-time high.

At the time of writing, the TSLA shares were trading at $430 in the NASDAQ stock market.

According to a Reuters report, prices went up after the company secured major financing from China. The funds in questions are raised from a consortium of state-backed Chinese lenders and line up to the tune of $1.6 billion.

With the way Tesla is expanding, do you think the Model 3 will become China’s best-selling car within the next few years? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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