A report coming from China states that Tesla is going to partly shut down some Gigafactory Shanghai production lines for upgrades starting this weekend.

It’s believed that the upgrades are for a refreshed Model 3.

Late last year, we started hearing rumors that Tesla is working on a Model 3 refresh that would come during the second half of 2023.

But we have seen since indications that Tesla is close to launching the new version of the Model 3.

Over the last few years, we have noticed that Tesla first implemented changes to its vehicles in China, where it produces vehicles at Gigafactory Shanghai.

Now we learn that Tesla is planning to partly shut down the factory for upgrades (via Bloomberg):

The plant has two phases for vehicle manufacturing, and some workers on the first phase won’t be allowed on production lines from as soon as Sunday as the work on improving them is undertaken, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. 

The interruption is expected to run until the end of the month, and it is expected to specifically affect the Model 3 production lines.

This would point to Tesla potentially preparing for the switch to the new version of the Model 3.

While the vehicle is expected to feature a slight design refresh with prototypes spotted with heavy camouflage on the front and back, much of the improvements are expected to be at the body level and not necessarily visible.

The improvements could lead to weight reduction and efficiency improvements, but the ease of manufacturing is likely going to be the biggest difference.

The new Model 3 is also expected to feature Tesla’s new “Hardware 4” suite of sensors and computers for Autopilot and self-driving.

With the timing of the factory upgrade planned for the end of the month, it’s possible that the new version of the Model 3 could be announced at Tesla’s Investor Day on March 1.

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