Tesla strangely denies rumors that new Model 3 is going to be produced in China

Tesla has strangely denied rumors that a new Model 3 refresh will be produced at Gigafactory Shanghai in China next month.

Late last year, we started hearing rumors that Tesla was working on a Model 3 refresh that would come during the second half of 2023. The project is reportedly codenamed “Highland.”

In December, a Model 3 prototype with heavy camouflage was spotted being tested in California; another prototype was spotted shortly after, as Tesla is expected to be closer to releasing the vehicle.

A picture of an uncovered refreshed Model 3 leaked last month as production is expected to start soon.

Now over the last few days, there have been rumors in China that Tesla was preparing to build a new version of the Model 3 at Gigafactory Shanghai.

The rumors became significant enough that Tesla China decided to comment on them and deny them (via Yicai):

On May 9, it was reported that Tesla’s replacement Model 3 will be mass-produced in Shanghai on June 1, and several photos of the new Model 3 also leaked out. However, Tesla China denied the authenticity of the news to the first financial reporter today.

They didn’t release the details of the denial, and therefore, it’s not clear if Tesla denied that a new Model 3 is going into production in China on June 1, or at all.

Electrek’s Take

I would assume that Tesla is specifically denying that the new Model 3 is coming to production in Shanghai on June 1, because I think it is undeniable that it will soon go into production there.

Recently, changes to Tesla vehicles have gone into production first in Shanghai. That might change with this new Model 3, I don’t know. But if the Model 3 produced in Fremont gets updated, the one in Shanghai will too. There’s no question there.

So it might be more about timing than anything, and Tesla is trying not to affect its current Model 3 sales.

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