Tesla is said to be preparing an updated Model 3.

In a nutshell: Tesla is reportedly working on an upgraded version of its five-year-old Model 3 that aims to lower manufacturing costs while focusing on amenities that shoppers love. The project, codenamed “Highland”, aims to cut costs by reducing the number of individual components used in a car’s interior.

According to a source familiar with the matter, additional changes, including changes to the sedan’s appearance and powertrain, could also accompany the update, Reuters reported.

Tesla has been known to use injection molding machines to create individual larger components to reduce costs and speed up assembly. Limiting the number of individual components used in an assembly would also appear to reduce the burden on the supply chain.

“Over and over again we found parts that were not needed. They were put there just in case or by mistake. We removed so many parts from a machine that didn’t do anything,” Musk said during an interview at the Baron Funds conference earlier this year. month.

Sources said The updated Model 3 will go into production at the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai starting in the third quarter of 2023. Production is also expected to take place at Tesla’s Fremont, California plant, but it’s unclear when work will begin there. Reuters also doesn’t know what potential cost savings Tesla can expect from the changes and whether any savings will be passed on to customers in the form of price cuts.

Tesla is facing increasing pressure from traditional automakers on the EV front, including Chevy with its new Blazer EV and the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning. GMC also recently announced the 2024 Sierra Denali EV pickup, starting at $107,000 before dealer fees.

The electric car maker is also feeling the heat from foreign competitors. In China, which is Tesla’s second largest market after the US, Model 3 sales in the first 10 months of 2022 were down nine percent from a year earlier.

The most affordable Tesla Model 3 starts at $46,990 at the time of writing, excluding potential gas savings. Tesla last quarter produced a total of 345,988 Model 3/Model Y vehicles.

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