China-made Tesla Model 3 Highland spotted in California amid rumors of its launch in the US



A Tesla Model 3 Highland was spotted roaming the California highways earlier this week. This is a Made-in-China (MIC) Model 3 currently in production at Giga Shanghai only.

Tesla launched the new design-refreshed Model 3 Highland in September this year. The new Model 3 received a facelift for the front and rear fascias. Along with the exterior, Tesla also redesigned the interior with ambient lighting and a rear screen out of the factory.

Unfortunately, the new facelift Tesla Model 3 was not launched in North America along with some other countries. It was mainly introduced in Europe and the Middle East (see available countries and respective pricing).

However, Tesla is trying its best to clear the existing Tesla Model 3 inventory for the year-end delivery push. To achieve its 1.8 million vehicle delivery target for 2023, Tesla (TSLA) needs to sell as many vehicles as possible. Model 3 and Model Y are the ones that the automaker can sell in large numbers.

MIC Tesla Model 3 Highland spotted in California, USA.
MIC Tesla Model 3 Highland spotted in California, USA. Credit: u/Internal_Run2150 via Reddit.
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There are strong rumors inside the Tesla Community that the automaker is preparing to launch the new Model 3 Highland in the United States next year (2024). This is most probably another reason that Tesla is pushing hard to clear the legacy Model 3 inventory produced at the company’s Fremont factory.

The first time a production Model 3 Highland was spotted in California was in October. This is the 2nd time another one has been seen within a 100-mile radius of the Tesla Fremont factory.

Tesla Design Center is located in Hawthorne and the automaker’s Engineering HQ is in Palo Alto, California. Tesla Model 3 Highland spottings in California hint at its evaluation, testing, and homologation preparations for the United States.

However, before starting Model 3 Highland production, Tesla’s Fremont car factory will need to upgrade its assembly lines and tooling to make adjustments for the design-refreshed model. Fremont plant shutdowns will be the ultimate signal that Tesla is finally bringing the Highland Model 3 to the United States.

Tesla could simply import the new Highland Model 3 cars from China to the US/Canada but the Shanghai Gigafactory is already occupied with production ramp-up for domestic and overseas deliveries.

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The last Tesla Model 3 Highland shipment of 2023 reaches Europe (Barcelona, Spain).

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Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii


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