Tesla China officially delivered the first batch of MIC Model 3s made in Gigafactory 3 today. The ceremonial Model 3 handovers were a sign that GF3 is ready for mass deliveries to begin in 2020.
A select number of GF3 employees who have worked hard this past year took deliveries of their MIC Model 3s today. Based on pictures from the event, Tesla China executives Alan Wang, Grace Tao, and Thomas Chu were present for the ceremonial event.
A few speculated that Gigafactory 3 would deliver Model 3s in 2019, while some argued that it would be best to hold off Model 3 handovers until 2020 to start Q1 next year on a better footing. Tesla China seemed to have heard the community’s advice and found a good compromise between the two major sides.
Tesla will deliver the first China-made Model 3 at Gigafactory 3 plant in Shanghai TODAY. The 15 customers who are slated to get their Model 3s first are Tesla employees. pic.twitter.com/bOTeR8wjUL— Tesla China (@teslacn) December 30, 2019
The Model 3 deliveries today mark the beginning of Gigafactory 3’s long journey as one of Tesla’s major production lines in the world. While it is a small batch of deliveries, it says volumes about how far GF3 has come since its “muddy field” days in the first half of 2019.
Tesla China has been teasing today’s delivery event since Christmas Eve when it teased Model 3 deliveries in its holiday greeting to the community. A few days after, Tesla announced that China’s Industry Ministry approved the MIC Model 3's purchase tax exemption.
The exemption will be added on top of the government incentives the MIC Model 3 qualified for earlier this month. With the purchase tax exemption and the government incentives, the locally-made Tesla sedan’s price can compete better with EVs made from wholly Chinese-owned car manufacturers.
Based on recent videos of Gigafactory 3, the Shanghai facility seems to be making around 1,000 vehicles a week already. According to Gali from HyperChange, the ultimate goal for GF3—at least for now—is to deliver 150k MIC Model 3s per year. In his video, Gali predicted that Tesla China could reach its 150k goal by the end of 2020.
Today’s ceremonial MIC Model 3 deliveries will be setting the stage for Gigafactory 3 next year. The formal date for the start of mass Model 3 deliveries is still unknown. However, Tesla’s delivery numbers could skyrocket once GF3 starts MIC Model 3 handovers. The number of car carriers that have left GF3 in the past couple weeks and the amount of Model 3s stored in the facility’s parking lot supports this theory.
A link to the delivery event's livestream from Gigafactory 3 could be accessed here.
Special thanks from the Tesmanian team to @jsrdctz for the photos used in this article!