Car carrier rental companies in Shanghai are starting to feel what it’s like to be part of Tesla’s end of quarter push. Recent reports from the country indicate that Tesla has been moving so many Model 3 sedans in China; car carrier rental companies in Shanghai are already running out of vehicles that can be used by the electric car maker.
Tesla is currently engaged in a massive drive to deliver as many of its electric cars to as many customers as possible. Unlike the previous quarters, this Model 3-driven push is not only happening in the United States, with foreign territories such as Europe and China being part of the company-wide delivery efforts as well.
This intense initiative is particularly felt in China, which only started receiving its first batches of Model 3 this quarter. Tesla is only delivering higher-cost versions of the electric sedan such as the Long Range AWD and Performance Model 3 for now, but the reception from the car buying public appears to be very positive so far.
Reports from the country’s social media platforms tell of busy Tesla galleries and fully booked test drive sessions. Sightings of car carriers transporting the Model 3 have also been shared online from multiple cities in China. One of Shanghai’s DMV offices was even flooded recently by Model 3 owners who were getting license plates for their vehicles.
It should be noted that Tesla’s Model 3 push in China is only in its initial phases. Being the company’s first true mass-market car, the Model 3 is designed to target both the country’s upper class (with imported vehicles like the Model 3 Performance) and middle-class (with vehicles like the Standard Model 3). Tesla is yet to release any lower-cost variants of the Model 3 in China, though Gigafactory 3’s rapid progress suggests that the Asian country could welcome its first genuinely affordable, locally-produced Model 3 later this year.
Elon Musk noted during Gigafactory 3’s groundbreaking ceremony that affordable variants of the Model 3 and Model Y will be produced in China as soon as the facility is ready for vehicle production. Shanghai official Chen Mingbo estimates that the factory could be completed by May, after which it will be tooled for electric car manufacturing. Provided that everything goes well, Tesla could start producing the Model 3 in Gigafactory 3 by the end of 2019.