Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai can churn a brand new Model 3 or Model Y every 40 seconds, as per a new Twitter video. This tiny bit of information is another reminder of the sheer scale and efficiency of Tesla’s manufacturing in Asia’s second largest country.
A clip was shared on Shanghai’s tourism handle, giving viewers an inside glimpse of Giga Shanghai. In one frame, a production-line worker explains how dozens of robotic arms work in tandem at a single station to improve efficiency. In the subsequent clip, the worker narrates how double-stacked workshops arrange production lines an in efficient manner.
Tesla stated in its Q1 and Q2 2023 earnings reports that the Shanghai factory has been running at near maximum capacity for several months consecutively. The brand doesn’t feel the need to ramp up production in China any further, as per the earnings report.
The plant has an annual capacity of over one million vehicles according to one report, and Tesla has already sold nearly half a million made-in-China (MIC) EVs in H1 2023. The plant is also an export hub for Tesla, with the MIC Model 3 and Model Y shipping to overseas markets like Thailand and Canada among others.
Tesla says cost optimization is the key to its success and has announced a higher penetration of in-house designed controllers, cheaper, more scalable drive units, and further unspecified innovations.
The brand is also using techniques like giga casting to simplify manufacturing, reduce the number of components in a vehicle, and reduce costs. After Tesla started using the IDRA giga press, several other carmakers announced plans to use the same technique.
The Shanghai factory houses 16 restaurants for workers, who can order food using an app called Teshenghuo that was built by Tesla’s IT team internally, said the presenter.
At the start of July 2023, Tesla laid off several workers at the Giga Shanghai battery production line, possibly due to the incorporation of automated equipment. Tesla offered some workers the option to switch to different workshops such as stamping, painting, or general assembly.