There have been rumours for several months that Tesla is soon going to announce a refresh to the Model 3, known internally as ‘Project Highland.‘ Tesla hasn’t officially commented on the refresh, but we could see it soon coming out of Giga Shanghai.
According to a report from Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the plans, Tesla will be pausing production at Giga Shanghai this month to perform production line upgrades to accommodate the new design. The sources explained the upgrades will begin as soon as Sunday for the first phase of the lines, with workers not being allowed in this part of the factory until the work is completed.
This is not the first work Tesla has undertaken at Giga Shanghai in preparation for the new Model 3. Over the last few months the company has reportedly completed other upgrades to the production lines in stages so as to not impact output.
Given the timing of the production pause and the plans for Tesla’s upcoming Investor Day on March 1, it would not be surprising if the new Model 3 was announced next month.
While work is clearly underway in China to build the new Model 3, Tesla is also completing upgrades at their Fremont factory in California to do the same. Over the last few months Tesla has submitted several permits to upgrade production lines with new equipment.
Based on previous reports we know Project Highland involves simplifying the design of the Model 3 to include fewer components, all resulting in lower production costs. The new Model 3 will also come with new wheels. According to images shared with Drive Tesla the Model 3 will come with matte black wheels, as opposed to the gray and silver used for the current wheels. You can read more about the wheels here.