Production milestone for Tesla in Lingang

Li Xinran
Body-in-white of a Model 3 rolls off the production line just eight months after electric car manufacturer broke ground on its Shanghai Gigafactory. 
Li Xinran
Production milestone for Tesla in Lingang

The first body-in-white of Tesla’s Model 3 electric car has rolled off the production line in Lingang, site of the manufacturer's Gigafactory 3, officials said on Thursday.

“It took eight months from groundbreaking of the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory to the output of this product, which fully reflects 'Shanghai speed and Lingang service',” said Yuan Guohua, president of Lingang Group.

The state-owned developer of the new area of the Shanghai free trade zone, Lingang Group is accelerating the layout of key areas in the automotive industrial chain to meet the demands of Tesla and build a complete new-energy vehicle industry ecosystem.

Grace Tao, Tesla’s global vice president, said Lingang is a dream land for Tesla. “Amid the establishment of the Lingang New Area, and the issuance of preferential policies to support the development of the intelligent networked vehicle industry, we look forward to deepening cooperation with all parties in the application of intelligent networking technology and the promotion of new-energy vehicles in the future, so as to jointly help the new area achieve greater development.”

Saint-Gobain Sekurit (Shanghai) Co plays a supporting role for Tesla. It has built a glass factory in Lingang to produce front and rear windshields and glass roofs for the Model 3. “Mass production is anticipated from October 14, together with the output of Model 3 vehicles,” said Ma Jun, head of the company’s Lingang factory.

“Our annual output is expected to reach 120 million yuan (US$17 million), and at the next stage we may increase our investment and produce for the Model Y,” Ma added.

In 2018, the total output of Lingang’s vehicle and auto parts industry reached 38 billion yuan. “Beyond the power equipment industry, it has become the most influential industry with the highest output in the manufacturing sector of the new area,” Yuan said.

The signing ceremony on Thursday to promote the development and key projects of intelligent networked and new energy vehicle industry involved 24 major projects in fields of manufacturing, application, service and functional platforms with a total investment of nearly 8 billion yuan.

At present, the infrastructure for the development of the intelligent networked and new energy vehicle industry in Lingang is being improved. In terms of vehicle trade and logistics infrastructure, Shanghai southern port is a Class A port of the country, with 400,000 vehicles loaded and unloaded in 2018, ranking among the top six in China.

The Lingang Logistics Park and Yangshan Bonded Port Area house the Asia-Pacific distribution center of prestigious car manufacturers, such as BMW and Volkswagen Porsche, as well as a large number of shipping logistics and trade services enterprises, such as Maersk.

In the aspect of technology innovation and industrialization of intelligent networked vehicles, a Shanghai Lingang Intelligent Networked Vehicle Comprehensive Test Demonstration Zone has been built, which features a closed test zone of seven square kilometers for unmanned intelligent networked vehicles. The first phase of 26.1 kilometers of open test road is able to simulate different traffic conditions, which has attracted a number of hi-tech firms.

Shanghai Lingang LC Investment Co has taken the development of intelligent networked vehicles as a future trend and invested heavily in the development of performance chips and lidar, or remote sensing methods, among others.

Zhu Zhisong, executive deputy director of the Lingang New Area, said it will build a world-class new energy vehicle industry cluster step by step.

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