Side-stepping Tariffs: Tesla Sets Chinese Target of 3,000 Model 3s Per Week

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Due to China’s increased tariffs on U.S.-manufactured vehicles, Tesla’s sales have taken a moderate beating there. Like any automaker hoping to move metal within the region, it wants a solution and seems to have come up with one. While there appears to be little hope of the brand’s larger vehicles circumventing the nation’s 40 percent import duty, there’s still hope for the Model 3.

The plan is a familiar one.

Last month, Tesla announced it had purchased over 200-acres for Gigafactory 3 in China and mentioned it was running with an accelerated construction plan. It wants to start building cars there next year, which would be an incredible turnaround time, targeting output of 3,000 Model 3 vehicles per week in Shanghai, according to Reuters.

It’s ambitious but not impossible. Gigafactory 3 could simply be used for final assembly, similar to Europe, at least initially, which would permit Tesla to avoid China’s colossal tariffs and cut down on the time it takes to get everything ready. However, the automaker’s long-term plans include using the facility to manufacture the Model Y pickup in addition to full-scale Model 3 assembly.

All told, the electric carmaker said wants to continue progressing Model 3 production to about 10,000 units per week anyway it can. The majority of those vehicles will be built in Fremont, California. Tesla said it expects to bolster Model 3 output on its home turf to 7,000 units per week. Right now, it’s believed to be averaging around 4,700 vehicles every seven days.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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6 of 11 comments
  • EBFlex EBFlex on Nov 02, 2018

    He can barely do that here after years of trying. Musk is such a fraud.

  • Lockstops Lockstops on Nov 03, 2018

    So Musk says 3000 per week next year, so in honest-man-speak that equals 500 per week in three years. In a tent, with the result barely something you can actually call a 'car'.

  • Robbie Robbie on Nov 04, 2018

    Tesla's problem is that the biggest natural markets for its product are overseas, but it is stuck in the US. Density in America's cities is low, and pollution therefore is not a truly pressing problem. In addition, the political right seems to think of pollution as a virtue.

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    • El scotto El scotto on Nov 04, 2018

      @SCE to AUX SCE, most of the Prius/Leaf owners I know are engineers.The Tesla owners I know drive Model S'. Yeah, they can drop 80k for a new car. Kinda funny how abundant charging in urban areas; yeah, there's an app for that, and low maintenance seems to work for them. I do wonder if Bolt/Volt owners can charge for free at a Chevy dealership.

  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Nov 05, 2018

    "In addition, the political right seems to think of pollution as a virtue." Modern internal combustion cars don't pollute to any significant degree. The Watermelons had to invent global warming (now "climate change") hysteria in order to classify CO2, otherwise known as plant food, as a pollutant. If anyone believes that CO2 will really destroy the planet, he/she can take immediate action to permanently remediate his/her own CO2 emissions. Anything less is pure hypocrisy. Just make sure to leave a note so we all know the extent of your posthumous virtue.