Tesla Resumes Model Y Production at Giga Texas, Cybertruck in "Master Candidate" Phase

Tesla Model Y bodies at Giga Texas 7 photos
Photo: @JoeTegtmeyer via X
Tesla Cybertruck at Giga TexasGiga Texas resumes productionTesla Cybertruck at Giga TexasGiga Texas resumes productionTesla Model Y bodies at Giga TexasGiga Texas resumes production
Tesla resumed Model Y production at Giga Texas following important updates. The Cybertruck, which is the second vehicle model planned to enter production in Austin, is also moving closer to series production with the new "Master Candidate" units.
Although it appears to lag behind Giga Berlin, the Austin gigafactory is set to become Tesla's most important production facility in North America. According to Jason Shawhan, director of manufacturing at Giga Texas, Tesla will have about 60,000 workers on site when Cybertruck production is fully ramped up.

Tesla doesn't need that many employees for now, so only 20,000 are working in Austin. However, things are set to change as Tesla tweaks the production lines to increase output. Tesla halted Giga Texas production last month to upgrade the Model Y production line, forcing Tesla to remove the AWD variant from its US website. This model was built in Austin with a structural battery pack and 4680 cells. The upgrades should allow Tesla to achieve a much higher output by the end of this year.

The work appears now to be complete, as Tesla resumed Model Y production on September 25. It's still unclear whether this means it will use 4680 cells or not, although the Model Y AWD is still missing from Tesla's website. A drone flyover at Giga Texas revealed that Tesla will probably introduce new variants of the Model Y into production, including a more traditional build without a structural battery pack. Could it be a RWD variant built with LFP cells?

The image from the drone video shows three Model Y bodies lined up side by side, with one of them featuring a classic floor, similar to the models that don't use a structural battery pack. What's more interesting is that one of the Model Y bodies (compatible with the structural battery) appears painted in a lighter shade of grey than the usual Midnight Silver Metallic that Giga Texas usually produces. This might indicate that Tesla also upgraded the paint shop to make new colors available to US customers.

However, the most anticipated moment is not Model Y resuming output but the Cybertruck finally entering production. Until now, the electric pickup has been assembled by hand at Tesla Fremont. Rumor has it that Giga Austin is in the final stage before the first Cybertrucks roll off the production line. Based on pictures shared by those who follow Giga Texas, Tesla has moved the pickup into the "Master Candidate" phase.

Although Tesla uses its own terminology, this is supposed to be the next step after Release Candidate, signifying the model that will start production. Tesla insiders say this is the "Series 8" Cybertruck that will be shipped to Tesla stores to be seen and tested by prospective buyers. We've previously seen prototypes wearing 50x (testing in New Zealand) and 60x (crash-tested recently) numbers. The final variants shipped to paying customers will have a 9xx serial number.

Two Master Candidate Cybertrucks appear in the video caught by Joe Tegtmeyer on September 25, showcasing improved build quality compared to previous builds. These units are reportedly produced on the new Cybertruck production line at Giga Texas. If everything goes as planned, Tesla should be ready to start Cybertruck production next month, with a rapid ramp-up into 2024.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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