Tesla Will Supply China-Made Model Y to Europe Due to Giga Grunheide's Delays

Tesla Giga Grünheide 9 photos
Photo: Tesla
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Tesla and Elon Musk said that Giga Grünheide would start to operate on July 1, 2021. With the issues with the construction permits and the 4680 batteries – which would be crucial to cars made in Germany – Tesla would have decided to wait no more to sell the Model Y in Europe. According to the Twitter profile TroyTeslike, sales will start in Q3 with the MIC (Made-In-China) version of the electric crossover.
The news was shared on Twitter by Sawyer Merritt. According to the thread, Tesla would have decided that due to the significant backlog for the vehicle in Europe. Giga Shanghai would have a high production target for Q3 and Q4 exactly to help supply the European market. That is a convenient way for Tesla.

The truth is that the Chinese government went after the company after multiple accusations against it. There have been accidents with Tesla vehicles that the owners claim to have been caused by braking defects. China also ordered Tesla to recall allegedly defective suspension arms in the Model S and Model X that the company refuses to acknowledge in the US. With that going on, Chinese demand would have fallen. Exporting more cars to Europe would be a way to seize Giga Shanghai’s output.

Although that may seem to be a good development, it will bring up intriguing developments. Many of the European customers who made pre-orders for a Model Y were expecting to get it from Giga Grünheide, where it would be supposedly revolutionary. The Model Y made there would have a structural battery pack and 4680 cells, which would present a higher energy density and be more robust than the 2170 batteries Tesla uses in its more modern cars. Some may decide to refuse the MIC Model Y and wait a bit longer for the future German Model Y.

The thread also states that Europe will receive the Model S Plaid in October and that Tesla will shut down the Model Y production line when Giga Austin starts manufacturing vehicles. Musk announced it would begin making the Cybertruck by the end of 2021. On April 26, 2021, he also said that the 4680 batteries this vehicle needs would only be production-ready in 12 to 18 months, which implies the first Cybertrucks and Model Y units with these cells will only appear by May 2022 in the best-case scenario or by November 2022 in the worst.

Merritt also said that Giga Shanghai has a Build Rate Failure target of less than 3% of the production and that Giga Grünheide’s would be even lower: 2%. That quality metric counts how many vehicles needed to be fixed after being manufactured. Sadly, Tesla delivers many cars that its customers refuse, which puts some doubts about the criteria for failure. They may be too flexible to properly make that low Build Rate Failure something to be proud of.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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