Tesla’s Shanghai factory remains a major export hub

Workers assemble a vehicle at the Tesla factory in Shanghai. [Photo/China Daily]

Tesla’s Shanghai factory has retained its role as the automaker’s main export hub, helping the U.S.-based company boost its fast-growing global sales.

“The third-quarter production rate in Shanghai surpassed previous quarterly records,” the automaker said in its quarterly update released Thursday, adding that it “supplies vehicles to most markets outside the North America”.

Statistics showed that more than 483,000 Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs rolled off the assembly line in Shanghai in the first three quarters, nearly equaling its total deliveries in 2021.

The Shanghai plant, Tesla’s first overseas manufacturing facility, is also its largest. It is capable of producing more than 750,000 vehicles per year.

Tesla saw its millionth Chinese-made vehicle roll out from its Shanghai factory in August. He said more than 95 percent of Tesla vehicle parts made in Shanghai are sourced from China and almost all factory workers are Chinese.

Statistics from the China Passenger Car Association showed that in the first half, Tesla exported 97,182 Shanghai-made vehicles, accounting for 48 percent of total vehicle exports from China.

It sold 318,200 vehicles in the country from January to September, ranking third in China after BYD and the China-US joint venture SAIC-GM-Wuling, according to the CPCA.

Overall, Tesla shipped 343,830 units in the third quarter, bringing its total January-September shipments to 908,573 units.

Its revenue for the third quarter was $21.45 billion, up 56% year-on-year, while its operating profit reached $3.7 billion. , which translated into an operating margin of 17.2%.

Tesla said one of its top priorities right now is to ramp up production at its factories around the world as it anticipates rapid growth in customer demand.

“We believe, to the best of our knowledge, that Tesla will continue to increase shipments and revenue generation at a compound annual growth rate of 50% or more,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said.

The automaker said it would ramp up vehicle production “as quickly as possible” by increasing the production rate in Shanghai and Fremont, while ramping up production in Berlin and Texas.

He said logistics volatility and supply chain bottlenecks remain immediate challenges, although the situation is improving. In the long term, battery supply will be the main factor limiting market growth, he said.

As for the company’s future products, Tesla said it plans to roll out its semi-truck to Pepsi in December and will start producing its Cybertruck in Texas after ramping up production of its Model Y.