Tesla ships out first 7,000 made-in-China Model 3 cars to Europe

Tesla is currently shipping out the first 7,000 made-in-China Model 3 cars to Europe — the first Tesla vehicles exported from China.

As we previously reported, when Tesla first announced plans to build vehicles in China, it said that it would be to supply domestic demand in the country.

Last month, reports coming out of China indicated that Tesla changed its mind and was now planning to start exporting made-in-China Model 3 vehicles to other markets.

This was confirmed earlier this month when Tesla announced that it would send made-in-China Model 3 vehicles to Europe.

Today, Tesla held an event to celebrate the start of exportations from China.

The Paper reported today (translated from Chinese):

“On October 26, an event for the Chinese-made vehicles exported to Europe was held at the Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai. Approximately 7,000 Chinese-made Model 3 vehicles will set off tomorrow for export to the European market. They are expected to arrive at Belgian ports at the end of next month and are sold to a dozen of countries including Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, and Sweden.”

The Shanghai Executive Deputy Mayor was present at the ceremony and said that Tesla can currently produce 3,500-4,000 vehicles per week at Gigafactory Shanghai.

Zhu Xiaotong, Tesla’s head in China, said at the event:

“Today is just 10 months before the delivery of the first batch of Model 3 made in China. Model 3 made in China can now not only supply the Chinese market on a large scale, but also pass all the certification requirements for entering the European market.”

While the first shipment is believed to be around 7,000 vehicles, it is unclear what the frequency and volume of shipments will be.

Electrek’s Take

The shipment is bigger than I personally expected.

Tesla is now joining several other automakers, like Polestar and BMW, in producing electric vehicles in China for the European market.

What I am more concerned about is that Tesla was supposed to have more than enough demand in China to sell the vehicles produced at Gigafactory Shanghai.

However, it seems that the production ramp has been going so well, and it has now outpaced demand.

I think the Chinese market is currently waiting for the Model Y from Tesla and demand for Model 3 could be capped at around 100,000 units per year.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Tesla is starting to export made-in-China Model 3 to Europe

Tesla is starting to export made-in-China Model 3 vehicles to Europe – something the automaker originally said it didn’t plan to do.

When Tesla started building its Gigafactory in Shanghai, in an attempt to reassure people that the automaker wasn’t just shifting production capacity to China, CEO Elon Musk was adamant that it was to supply local demand in China and not to export to other markets.

The optics were very important since the factory was announced amid the peak of the trade war between the US and China.

Last month, reports coming out of China indicated that Tesla changed its mind and was now planning to start exporting made-in-China Model 3 vehicles to other markets.

With the changes that were made to the Model 3 this week, Tesla pushed the delivery timeline of the Model 3 Standard Range Plus in European markets.

Now it looks like we have an explanation for the longer delivery delay as new Model 3 Standard Range Plus buyers in Europe are being told that their cars are coming from China.

Here’s a bill from a new Tesla Model 3 buyer in France that shows the Model 3 is made in China (via Green Drive):

In France, the Model 3 Standard Range Plus is listed 46,600 €, including 8,267 € in taxes.

Tesla recently updated its Model 3 Standard Range Plus in China with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries from Chinese battery maker CATL.

It resulted in a price drop and a range increase earlier this month for Chinese customers.

Electrek’s Take

This is quite an important move.

If I may venture into some speculation, I think that with Fremont focusing on Model Y production and Tesla ramping up capacity at Gigafactory Shanghai, it may make more sense for Tesla to send Model 3 vehicles from China to Europe until they have local production at Gigafactory Berlin.

Tesla is certainly not alone in doing this.

BMW and Polestar are now both producing electric vehicles in China that they are selling in Europe.

How do you feel about this move? Are you OK with getting made-in-China Tesla vehicles instead of made-in-California? Even with LFP batteries? Let us know in the comment section below.

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