(Yicai Global) Dec. 30 -- American electric vehicle giant Tesla will deliver its first 15 China-made Model 3 cars to customers today, despite having hopes of mass-producing the vehicles by the end of this year.
Most of the cars are for Tesla employees, the California-based firm told Yicai Global yesterday. It hopes to start delivering the vehicles on a large scale next month.
Tesla had hoped to be making 1,000 vehicles a week by now, and ramping up production to between 2,000 and 3,000 a week before the end of June. It did not disclose how many cars it can currently make each week.
The company got its Shanghai Gigafactory, its first plant outside of the United States, up and running in just 10 months, though an anonymous industry expert told Yicai Global this is because the factory only houses a general assembly line and has no equipment to stamp, weld or paint vehicles.
"It takes around one to two years to localize a supply chain," he added. "To reduce production costs, Tesla needs to source its batteries from within China or they will wind up losing money."
Editors: Tang Shihua, James Boynton