Tesla will reportedly halt some production at its Shanghai facility until the end of the month as it makes changes for updates Model 3 electric sedan car.
As reported by Bloombergwhich cited people familiar with the matter, some manufacturing workers at the Chinese plant will reportedly not be allowed on the production line as soon as this weekend.
Tesla has reportedly upgraded the production line at its Shanghai factory in stages over the past two months.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Deliveries of the updated Tesla Model 3 are expected to begin later this year. It should be noted that the Australian market version of the Model 3 is sourced from this Shanghai factory.
The company has yet to publicly confirm that an updated version of its best-selling Model 3 is on the way, but several spy prototypes have been caught over the past few months.
It’s unclear when an updated version of the Model Y SUV will follow, given that the crossover shares its underpinnings and various design cues with the Model 3.
2022 report from Automotive News suggests updates will come with improvements to the exterior and powertrain, and a “less complex” cabin.
Along with keeping the Model 3 fresh in the face of strong new competition, the update is reportedly aimed at making the car cheaper and easier for Tesla to manufacture.
It’s unclear how Tesla will simplify the Model 3’s cabin since it has almost no switchgear, and most functions are controlled via a central touchscreen.
The 2021 update replaces the USB-A port for USB-C, and brings a restyled center console with two wireless phone chargers and additional storage.
Sources told Automotive News that Tesla is “focusing on features that Tesla buyers value, including the display”.
“Time and time again, we found parts that weren’t needed. They are put there just in case or mistake. We’re eliminating so many parts from the car that don’t do anything,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the Baron Funds conference in 2022.
Tesla does not follow the vehicle product life cycle of older automakers.
Its Model S, for example, has been out for over a decade now and, while it has received numerous changes over the course of its life cycle, its exterior has received only the mildest of updates.
The Tesla Model 3 hasn’t been released yet, but it went on sale in 2017. While it’s received tweaks and updates over the air since then, including detailed interior changes, its exterior styling remains largely unchanged.
However, its age is not holding the Model 3 back in Australia. It was the third best-selling vehicle overall in January 2023, and was the best-selling passenger car over traditional favorites such as the Toyota Corolla.
The Model 3 drove overall electric vehicle sales to a 5.7 percent total market share for January.
MORE: All Tesla Model 3