Tesla China is subtly flexing the MIC Model 3’s stellar build quality

High-quality images of a recently-delivered Made-in-China Model 3 sedan have proven that potentially lower labor costs do not result in inferior products.

The latest photos of the MIC Model 3 shared by Tesla Model S and X owner and Twitter user Ray4Tesla featured immaculately-finished and perfectly-aligned panels and trims of a blue all-electric sedan.

If Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai will consistently produce top-quality vehicles, the mass-produced Model 3 sedan may indeed become a cash cow for the electric car maker in the biggest automotive market in the world.

MIC Model 3 panels and trim (Source: Ray4Tesla | Twitter)

The high-quality production of vehicles in China may also help improve the process of Tesla in its other factories as needed. Tesla has been known to listen to its customers and for its willingness to improve processes based on its experiences in past projects, just like how it solved production and logistics issues when it started making the Model 3.

Quality vehicles at this early stage of production at Gigafactory 3 ultimately proved that Tesla’s move to launch Model Y program in the country was indeed the next big step in the company’s plans to establish its presence in China.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk also announced during a recent Gigafactory 3 event that the company will launch a design and R&D center in the country that will design Chinese-style Teslas and other vehicles that can then be released to other markets.

Chinese equity firm Chuancai Securities recently published a study that stated that Tesla can further improve the profit margin for the locally-produced Model 3 when it increases the domestication of its components. At present, the firm estimated the gross margin of Tesla for the mass-produced sedan at 35% in China.

“We assume that depending on the progress of Tesla’s parts domestication, the cost of raw materials will fall by 10%-20%. In this case, gross profit margin of Model 3 produced by the Chinese factory will reach more than 35%, which is much higher than the American factory by about 20% gross profit level,” the report stated.

Last December, Tesla posted 6,643 new vehicle registrations in China compared to November’s 5,597 units and posted a 161% increase year-over-year despite car sales slump in the country.

With car buyers knowing that they can trust the quality of the vehicles made from China’s shores, it will not be surprising to see Tesla sell even more vehicles in the country in the near future. If Elon Musk sees China as the gateway for the brand to dominate the rest of the region, the high-quality images of the recently delivered unit can be considered a very good sign that Tesla is ready to chomp a bigger chunk of the sales pie.

Tesla China is subtly flexing the MIC Model 3’s stellar build quality

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ABT POLIZEI AUDI RS4-R UNLEASHED

Featuring original Polizei car markings, flashing blue lights, a hefty 530bhp and 508lb-ft this is no ordinary police car. In fact it’s not a police car, nope, it’s this year’s campaign vehicle for TUNE IT! SAFE! An initiative by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and the German Association of Automobile Tuners.

The Polizei RS4-R was built by ABT Sportsline, as the poster-boy for the German safe tuning initiative launched at the recent Essen show. The potent Avant, which accelerates from 0 to 62mph in just 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 174mph features some serious upgrades over the standard 450bhp RS4 B9, let alone your average German police car.

Features include an ABT Engine Control specially developed by ABT Sportsline, including an additional water cooler and air intake, plus a high-performance sport exhaust system with four carbon tailpipes and 20-inch ABT wheels. The extensive aerodynamics package boasts an ABT front lip, front canards, a front grille with RS4-R logo and a rear skirt add-on. The Bavarian tuning company also improved the already excellent standard suspension with ABT sport stabilizers and height adjustable suspension springs.

Unfortunately despite its hot pursuit potential, this Avant will not be chasing German criminals down the Autobahn, shame as it would be worth getting nicked just for a ride.

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Aspiring Tesla rival Byton claims better tech, break even goal in 2-3 years after first EV production

Like several aspiring Tesla rivals before it, Byton aims to beat the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker at its own game. This means better tech, a lower price point, and a solid path to profitability without any of the growing pains that Tesla experienced over the years. Byton CEO Daniel Kirchert believes that his company has the goods to meet these goals, and perhaps even more. 

In a recent interview, Kirchert noted that when preparing the M-Byte, Byton’s first vehicle, the CEO stated that the company focused so much on tech that it is poised to outdo Tesla in the segment. “We tried to jump at least one or two steps further,” he said, emphasizing that the company wanted to create a “smart device on wheels” with its first production vehicle. 

Byton caught headlines when it unveiled its first concept vehicle’s interior, which was dominated by a massive display that stretched across the dashboard. The company has adopted this design on the M-Byte, which will likely be a competitor to the Tesla Model Y, Jaguar I-PACE, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Thus, the vehicle will have a 48-inch dashboard display, a touchpad on the steering wheel, and over-the-air updates. 

For the Byton CEO, the M-Byte’s interior concept will be a “game-changer.” Far from being distracting, Kirchert stated that the 48-inch display would be the complete opposite of distracting. He noted that the massive screen would not obstruct the driver’s view while allowing drivers to quickly move their eyes from the road to the display and back. And since the display is 48 inches, it would be easier to read and comprehend the information on the screen. 

But this is not all. The CEO also noted that it intends to avoid Tesla’s mistakes with the Model 3’s mass production, which was overly-automated at first. Thus, the company will follow tried and tested methods to build its cars. This, according to Kirchert, will allow Byton’s vehicles to have the same level of build quality with Germany’s best, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. In what appeared to be a slight stab at Tesla, the CEO also mentioned that the company would break even far quicker than the Elon Musk-led company. 

“We were convinced right from the beginning that we won’t have 10 or 15 years to reach break-even,” he said. A company representative has further noted that Byton is aiming to reach the break-even point two to three years after it starts selling the M-Byte. 

To make this possible, Kirchert noted that Byton would have to mass-produce the M-Byte in large numbers. This is the primary reason why the company is pricing the all-electric SUV at around $50,000, which is closer to the Model Y than other premium rivals like the Jaguar I-PACE. 

It should be noted that while the Byton CEO’s statements are very optimistic, it is far more challenging to walk the walk than it is to talk the talk. Byton is not the only aspiring Tesla rival that has emerged. The line is long with companies such as Faraday Future and Lucid Motors. But despite the emergence of these companies, as well as the arrival of competing cars from established automakers such as the Audi e-tron, there are very few legitimate competitors to Tesla’s electric vehicles, even older ones like the Model S and Model X. 

With this in mind, Byton may still need to learn a thing or two in practice before it can have a legitimate shot at beating Tesla at its own game. Still, the arrival of the M-Byte should be welcomed, as it is yet another electric vehicle that can help in getting petrol-powered SUVs off the road.

Aspiring Tesla rival Byton claims better tech, break even goal in 2-3 years after first EV production

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