A leaked image seems to show that Tesla is conducting trial assembly runs of its Model 3 sedan in Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China.
The image, which shows a partially built Model 3 in the Shanghai-based facility, was posted on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
The leaker, Weibo user 常岩, is the chief auto editor of Tencent Auto.
As Teslarati reports, the description in his post translates as: “The Model 3 of the Tesla Shanghai plant has started to go up the assembly line.”
These are the first images of the painted Model 3 units, inside Gigafactory 3.
As Teslarati points out, Tesla's goal of starting Model 3 production from Gigafactory 3 is starting to look more realistic. With preparations for Phase 2 construction already underway, the electric vehicle company might hit a Model 3 production rate of 1,000 to 2,000 vehicles per week earlier than anticipated.
Another indication that Model 3 production is on course is that people who preordered the car in China are starting to see tutorial videos on the Tesla app.
Tesla originally opened pre-orders for the Model 3 in China at the end of May. Typically first deliveries occur 6 to 10 months after pre-orders are opened.
With sky-high demand in China, the release of the made-in-China Model 3 is likely to be a very lucrative undertaking for Tesla.