China Goes Nuts for Model Y: SUVs Crushes Sedans in Production Boom

Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory is ramping up production of the Model Y crossover at a rapid pace, according to data shared by Tesla analyst Troy Teslike on Twitter. Troy estimates that the factory’s total output will reach a new high in the fourth quarter of 2023. Notably, the proportion of Model Ys versus Model 3 sedans being built has increased as well.

In 2022, the ratio of Model Ys to Model 3s produced at Gigafactory Shanghai was 1.77 to 1. For 2023, Troy expects this ratio to rise to around 2.07 to 1, meaning the plant now makes over twice as many Model Ys compared to the Model 3. 

This shift is occurring even as Tesla rolled out an updated version of the Model 3 earlier this year for the Chinese market. The new Model 3 features a second display screen for rear seat passengers. However, strong demand for crossover body styles is driving the push toward greater Model Y production.

With flexible seating for up to 7 passengers, easy access through its hatchback design, and a higher driving position, the Model Y is proving to be a nearly perfect electric vehicle for Chinese families. Buyers have to weigh these practical advantages against the technology upgrades available in the refreshed Model 3 sedan. Ultimately, Tesla having the manufacturing agility to respond to consumer preferences for crossovers is paying dividends in one of its most important markets.

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