Tesla is celebrating a remarkable achievement at its Giga Shanghai plant, also known as Gigafactory 3, located in China. The facility, which primarily produces the popular Model 3 and Model Y, has reached a significant milestone by rolling out its two millionth electric car.
Giga Shanghai commenced operations in late 2019, a feat achieved in record time following the commencement of construction on January 7, 2019. Initially, the facility focused solely on the production of the Model 3. However, in late 2020 and early 2021, production and sales of the Model Y commenced at the plant.
According to Tesla, it took just 33 months for the factory to reach its first million electric cars in August 2022. Impressively, the second million units were produced in a mere 13 months.
In the context of Tesla's cumulative global production across all its manufacturing sites, which currently stands at approximately five million units, it is worth noting that the Shanghai plant alone is responsible for two-fifths of this total. Moreover, it is poised to potentially exceed half of Tesla's global production this year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 6, 2023
The significance of Tesla's Giga Shanghai plant is underscored by its status as the world's largest all-electric car production site. While Tesla officially describes its manufacturing capacity at the plant as “cautiously” exceeding 750,000 units annually, data suggests that this figure is considerably higher. Over the past 12 months, more than 935,000 units produced at the facility were either sold locally or exported.
Notably, Tesla made history by being the first foreign carmaker granted permission to establish a wholly-owned manufacturing site in China, rather than opting for a traditional 50/50 joint venture.
At present, the Giga Shanghai factory primarily focuses on the production of the Model Y, outpacing Model 3 production by a factor of approximately two to one. Recently, the facility has also commenced production of the significantly updated Model 3.
Initially intended to cater to the domestic market, Giga Shanghai has evolved into Tesla's primary export hub, serving not only the surrounding markets but also Europe and, more recently, Canada. Exports from the plant have surpassed 215,000 units through the end of July, while local sales have reached 325,000 units. It remains a possibility that exports may eventually match local sales in the future.
As Tesla continues its ambitious expansion plans globally, the question looms as to whether Giga Shanghai will diversify its production to include new Tesla models, particularly the forthcoming affordable options, as envisioned for the company's plant in Mexico.