- The Tesla Shanghai factory makes a Model Y body every 40 seconds.
- Gigacasting machines are key to its performance.
- Local supply chain ramps production, reduces costs.
According to a Chinese government publication, Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory produces a Model Y ‘Body in White’ every 40 seconds on average. People’s Daily.
The American electric car maker uses more efficient automated ‘gigacasting’ machines that only have to fuse several large sections of metal together rather than multiple individual pieces.
Reuters reports that it recently upgraded the assembly lines for the battery-electric Model Y SUV and related Model 3 sedan at its Shanghai factory — where Australian Teslas are sourced.
The China plant began production in late 2019, before the Australian-bound Model 3s switched their source from the Fremont, California factory in early 2021.
The one millionth Tesla rolled off the Shanghai factory floor in August last year, less than three years after it opened, amid strict COVID-19 health restrictions and lockdowns.
As at the time of writing, new customer orders for the Model Y and Model 3 are estimated to be delivered in just two to four months despite ongoing supply chain struggles.
Tesla’s Shanghai factory
Tesla even cut the prices of both electric models locally by four percent depending on the variant, even though they were raised last year.
One of the main reasons for this is the Shanghai plant’s localization rate of more than 95 percent. Teslerity.
Chinese automakers such as Tesla, BYD and Polestar benefit from China’s local supply chain of car components and expensive EV batteries and cheap labor.
The five best-selling EVs in Australia in 2022 were all made in China, with a total of 122,845 vehicles sold last year originating in the country – or almost three times as many as German-made cars.
Tesla is expected to introduce an even cheaper third-generation EV platform in March, with a $40,000 entry-level small car likely.