by Morton E. . Dec 28, 2023
Tesla China is gearing up to launch a significantly revamped Model Y SUV from its Shanghai factory in mid-2024, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. This move signals a strategic move for the EV giant, as the company aims to accelerate its growth in the competitive Chinese auto market.
The new Model Y promises a major aesthetic overhaul, shedding the subtle tweaks of the October update in favor of dramatic changes to both its exterior and interior. Though details remain under wraps, the sources assure this refresh will be impossible to miss. The Model Y’s recent update in October only involved the addition of ambient lighting to the interior and a new wheel design.
Mass production of the upgraded Model Y, which was previously reported to be called Project Juniper, will commence at the second phase of Gigafactory Shanghai, as stated in an InsideEVs report. The factory will be undergoing a weeklong partial upgrade during its New Year's break. Further adjustments are expected before the revamped Model Y rolls off the assembly line in earnest, Bloomberg’s sources claimed.
A representative from Tesla China declined to comment about the news.
The Model Y’s expected upgrade comes at a crucial time for Tesla China. The Model Y dominates the the company’s sales in China, accounting for nearly 75% of its sales. But the heat is on. Domestic rivals like BYD and Xpeng are launching a steady stream of new EVs, and BYD is threatening to dethrone Tesla as the global leader in pure electric car sales.
Tesla is never one to sit idle. Earlier this year, the company refreshed the aging Model 3 sedan with a modern design and boosted range, a move internally dubbed as Project Highland. The Model 3 Highland has been received positively by owners and reviewers alike. The revamped Model Y likely aims to repeat that success on a larger scale.
With China's new-energy vehicle sales soaring 40% year-over-year in November, the competition is only intensifying. Tesla's Model Y makeover is just the first salvo in what promises to be a thrilling EV battle royale on Chinese soil. Which EV will emerge victorious? Only time will tell, but one thing's for sure: the heat is on, and the sparks are flying.
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