There is no lockdown in the virtual world. Carmakers are resorting to the digital world to sell, showcase and attract customers in the times of coronavirus pandemic. Tesla, being one of the biggest tech nerds, is not to be left behind.
The company has released a video giving a virtual tour of its Gigafactory 3 facility that recently came up in Shanghai, China. It has weathered to coronavirus storm and has been functional since February. Currently, this is the only Tesla factory that is operating across the world.
The video shows the sprawling 9,300,000-square feet facility and the assembly line of the Tesla Model 3 sedans, currently under production.
The Model 3 sedan would have a range of more than 650 kilometres on one charge, compared with about 450 kilometres for the current most basic version that starts at 323,800 yuan (nearly ₹35 lakh).
Tesla plans to expand its lineup in China by offering a locally built Model 3 sedan with a longer driving range. Later, Tesla also aims to produce its new Model Y cars from this facility as well.
Tesla’s factory in China has recovered from a virus-related shutdown better than many in the industry, helped by aid from local authorities. After resuming operations on February 10, the Shanghai plant - Tesla’s only outside the US - has surpassed the capacity it had before the shutdown, reaching a weekly production of 3,000 cars, the company said.
According to reports, Tesla wants to almost double its annual building capacity for cooling pipes, a key part in a car's heat management system, to 260,000 sets a year from 150,000.
Tesla's production and delivery plans in Shanghai, however, have been disrupted by a coronavirus outbreak. Passenger car retail sales in China plunged around 80% in February due to the pandemic.
In January, Tesla reported 3,563 of its electric vehicles were registered in China before the figures dropped to 2,314 in February. Earlier, Tesla said it expects to comfortably deliver more than 500,000 vehicles this year. The company has not revised the figures since, despite the ongoing crisis due to coronavirus pandemic.