Where are Tesla Model 3 Made? (Solved & Explained)

The Tesla Model 3 is a mid-size, four-door sedan and is currently one of the best selling electric vehicles in the world.

Its dual electric motor has a range of 353 miles and can launch from 0-60 mph in just 3.1 seconds.

The Model 3 comes equipped with innovative features such as full self-driving, Bluetooth keyless entry and a glass roof.

If you’re researching the Model 3 you might be wondering where they are built

We’ll cover that in this article, read on to find out…

Where Are Tesla Model 3s Being Made?

The Tesla Model 3 is made in California, U.S.A at the Tesla Factory and also at Tesla Giga Shanghai, also known as Gigafactory 3 located in Shanghai, China. The Californian-based Tesla Factory predominantly serves the North American market whilst the Gigafactory in Shanghai serves the Asian and European markets.

Tesla Factory California

The US Tesla factory in Fremont, California is one of the most advanced automotive factories in the world.

The site covers 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space on 370 acres of land.

The facility was originally used by General Motors from 1962 to 1982.

GM then partnered with Toyota to create New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. from 1982 until 2009, and sold the facility to Tesla in 2010.

Tesla remodeled the facility to create a cleaner and friendlier environment for their staff.

The complex is enormous and has various facilities, such as:

  • Employee training center.
  • Cafeteria
  • Food trucks
  • Gym
  • 24/7 medical center
  • Outdoor patios

Fremont Tesla Factory Facts:

  • 5.3 million square feet in size
  • Expansion is planned to double the size of the factory.
  • 10,000 employees currently work at the Fremont factory.
  • The vast majority of the vehicle’s components are made here

Gigafactory Shanghai

The Tesla Model 3 is only produced in 2 locations, the second of which is Gigafactory 3, located in Shanghai, China.

The name Gigafactory comes from the word ‘Giga,’ the unit of measurement representing ‘billions’.

Shanghai Gigafactory Facts:

  • Construction of the factory began in December 2018 and was completed by October 2019.
  • The total size of the factory is 9.3 million square feet, although the majority is still under construction.
  • 2000 staff members are currently employed at the Gigafactory.
  • The factory aims to produce 5000 cars per week, which is 250,000 per year.

Are Tesla Model 3 for the US Market Produced in the US?

The Tesla Model 3 for the U.S. market is built at the Tesla factory in Fremont California. The factory currently produces around 1000 vehicles per week and the cars are mostly built to order i.e. a unit is produced once a confirmed order is received.

Although Tesla manufactures the basic electric components of the car in-house, such as the electric motor, the battery pack and the charger, other parts are sourced from suppliers spread across the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Where Are They Assembled?

The Tesla Model 3 is assembled at the Tesla Fremont factory and the Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. Both of these factories feature assembly departments.

A section of each of the huge complexes is dedicated to vehicle assembly.

Assembly is the final step in the manufacturing process during which all parts which have been sourced domestically and globally, are put together to form the final product.

The Gigafactory in China is now focused on sourcing their parts locally to reduce costs.

As of 2021, 90% of vehicle parts are locally sourced in the 9.3 million square foot factory.

Related: 6 Most Common Problems of the Tesla Model 3 (Explained)

How Can You Check Where a Specific Model 3 Was Made?

You can check the exact location of where your Tesla Model 3 was built by using the VIN number.

The VIN number of the Model 3 can be found in the following places:

  • Driver’s side dashboard
  • Driver’s side door jamb
  • Label on the trunk lid
  • Touchpad
  • Tesla App
  • Vehicle’s documents and registration papers

Once you have found the VIN number you can use an online VIN decoder, which will give you all the information regarding your Model 3.

You can also decode your VIN manually:

The first three digits indicate where the vehicle was made; American Tesla’s start with 5JY whilst Chinese Tesla’s start with LRW.

All Tesla VINs begin with 5YJ.

The 11th digit indicates where your vehicle was manufactured.

For example, ‘F’ shows the car was made at the plant in Fremont, California.

You may also be interested in our article: how long do Tesla Model 3 last?

Are Chinese-built Tesla Model 3s Better than US-built Tesla Model 3s?

Chinese-built Model 3s have been considered to be marginally better according to some sources. The differences in the two builds are due to the use of parts being sourced from different locations. The differences are minor though, and the quality of the vehicle is not affected.

The Chinese based Gigafactory has begun sourcing its own parts locally for the Model 3.

The result of which is two differing Model 3 vehicles.

Tesla owner and YouTuber ‘Tesla Tom’, did a side-by-side comparison of the two vehicles and noticed some small differences between them, some of which are:

  • The Chinese model features software-controlled headlights, which are not available on the US model yet.
  • The grain on the wooden panels have a different design
  • The Chinese-built model has more ‘consistent’ gaps between the panels, which are all 4mm.

Despite these differences, the cars both drive the same, and the major features are still consistent across both.

Where is the Tesla Model 3 Designed?

It’s unclear as to where exactly the Model 3 was designed. However, we suspect it was designed at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California which features 370 acres of Tesla office space.

The Tesla Model 3 was designed by Franz von Holzhausen who is a German vehicle designer.

He has been in charge of design at Tesla since 2008.

The Model 3 was designed to compete with sedan models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

When designing the Model 3, the aim was to make it appealing to a mass market.

The design of the Model 3 was updated in 2020 with a new interior and exterior look.

Where Is the Tesla Model 3 Made for the Australian Market?

The Tesla Model 3 for the Australian market is built at the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. The Giagfactory is responsible for exporting Model 3 Teslas to right-hand drive markets such as Australia and New Zealand.

The Model 3 has been immensely popular in Australia with sales results outnumbering rivals such as the Audi A4.

You may also be interested in our article: 9 Common Problems With the Tesla Model 3 (Solution Guide)

Where Is the Acura MDX Made for the Canadian Market?

The Canadian bound Tesla Model 3s are built at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California before being shipped north across the border. The Tesla Factory is responsible for all Tesla Model 3s sold in North America.

Where Is the Tesla Model 3 Made for the UK Market?

The UK receives its Tesla Model 3s from both the Fremont factory in California and the Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. The reason behind this is unclear.

Is Tesla Planning to Move Its Production?

Whilst Tesla production will remain at their current factories for the foreseeable future they will be building new Gigafactories in various locations. They are also expanding plants that are currently operational.

Currently, Tesla is operating from four Gigafactories.

Three of which are in the United States, and one in China.

With the rising demand for electric vehicles, Tesla will expand their production to new locations in order to keep up with the demand.

Tesla is looking to expand their range of Gigafactories worldwide to the following locations:

Confirmed:

  • Berlin
  • Texas

Rumored:

  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • India

Tesla also announced the expansion of the Fremont factory in California which will see the plant nearly double in size to 10 million square feet.

Is Tesla Hiring or Firing in the US?

As an ever expanding company Tesla is constantly on the lookout for new talent.

There are a huge range of jobs available at their sites across the country from engineering to administration as well as internships.

For more information, head over to the Tesla website, careers page.

Jobs can also be found with Tesla on popular recruitment sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed.

Is Tesla an American Company?

Tesla is an American electric vehicle company. The company only produces electric vehicles, and aims to reduce the total fossil fuel consumption of the entire world.

Tesla was founded by American entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003.

Tesla launched its first vehicle, the Roadster in 2008, and it was the first step towards the company’s rise.

South African Elon Musk also became the CEO of Tesla Motors in 2008, and he currently still holds the position.

Resources

  1. https://www.tesla.com/model3
  2. https://www.reuters.com/article/tesla-china-exports-idUSKBN27425C
  3. https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-achieves-90-percent-localized-supply-china/
  4. https://insideevs.com/features/499717/tesla-model-3-paint-china-vs-us/
  5. https://electrek.co/2021/01/12/tesla-factory-locations-where-they-are-and-could-soon-be/
  6. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2020/11/27/teslas-made-in-china-model-3-arrives-in-europe/