Tesla reverts to importing Model 3 from China into Canada

Tesla has shifted its supply strategy for Canada and is again shipping Model 3 into the country from China. The change is so far only impacting the upgraded Model 3, which has yet to start deliveries north of the border.

Ever since Tesla started selling cars in Canada, they have always come from California. In the early days that was the only option as Tesla had the one factory in Fremont, but even as the company expanded to open Giga Shanghai and later Giga Texas, the company still sent Fremont-made cars to Canada.

That changed in April last year when Tesla introduced the Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD), which was imported into Canada from China. The change wasn’t limited to just that one model, with Tesla later also importing Model 3 and Model Y from China into Canada.

Then Tesla launched the new Model 3, first from Giga Shanghai in October. Since the factory was only building the upgraded version of the electric sedan, and it hadn’t yet launched in North America, Tesla switched back to sending Model 3s built in Fremont to Canada, and again later the Model Y as well.

Now with new Model 3 deliveries about to start in Canada, the company has shifted its supply strategy and is again importing cars into the country from China.

On Wednesday February 7, Morning Concert left the Port of Shanghai loaded with Tesla vehicles. According to the ship’s schedule, it is set to arrive at the Port of New Westminster, just outside of Vancouver, on February 27. (h/t: @montvnab)

Supporting the fact that the ship has the new Model 3 on board is that several customers on the TMC forums have received VINs this week beginning with LRW, indicating their car is built at Giga Shanghai. Fremont-made Model 3 cars have a VIN starting with 5YJ. One of these customers, who lives in Toronto, has an estimated delivery window of March 10-24, which lines up with the ship’s arrival date and how long it would take to send the cars from Vancouver to Ontario.

The interesting part is that Tesla appears to be supplying Canada with both cars from Giga Shanghai and Fremont, according to Transport Canada, which lists two different versions of the 2024 Model 3, with one noted as being an import.

As for the Model Y, Tesla is still supplying Canada with those made in Fremont, as Giga Shanghai is building the slightly refreshed Model Y with ambient lighting and new wheels. Transport Canada also does not list an ‘import’ version of the 2024 Model Y.

Do you have a new Model 3 order in Canada? Have you received a VIN? Let us know in the comments below if it starts with LRW (Giga Shanghai) or 5YJ (Fremont), or email us at tips@driveteslacanada.ca.

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