After Tesla registered its Model Y with the Chinese Ministry of Industry in early November, the Ministry has now granted approval for the sale. Test production of the electric SUV in Gigafactory 3 has apparently already started.
According to Reuters, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has now published the corresponding approval. There has been speculation about this step since the registration was received at the beginning of the month, but in view of the investments in the Shanghai plant, the approval was considered a formality.
Tesla announced the Model Y program in China in January 2020 as part of the first customer delivery of Model 3 in China. It then took a few weeks before construction work began on the Phase 2 expansion of the local gigafactory. There were already reports in September that the construction work could be completed in October or November.
On Twitter at the weekend, there were indications that the pre-series production of the Model Y had started in the meantime. The Twitter user ‘Ray4Tesla’, who is well informed about Giga Shanghai, posted pictures of a still lightly camouflaged Model Y on the factory’s test track. Five other vehicles were parked in front of a building. It is of course also possible that these are reference vehicles imported from the USA.
Tesla is apparently planning a rapid production ramp-up for the Model Y, which is why the start of test production is not unlikely. At the beginning of November, it was announced that Tesla intends to build 550,000 electric cars at the plant in 2021. 300,000 Model 3 are to be built on the existing line, and 250,000 electric SUVs are to be built in the recently constructed extension building in the first full year.
Further promotion should help to boost sales of these Model Y in China: Like Model 3, the locally produced Model Y will be exempt from the 10 per cent sales tax. However, some of the Model Ys are also likely to be exported, like the first Model 3s built in China recently.
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