The launch of the Tesla Model 3 refresh in North America might finally be close as we learn that the automaker is sneakily testing Fremont-built Model 3 HIghland in the US.
Tesla launched the Model 3 Highland, a refreshed version of its popular electric sedan, all the way back in the summer of 2023.
But the updated vehicle has yet to make it to North America almost six months later.
It is currently only built at Gigafactory Shanghai and distributed in Europe and Asia.
We expected that Tesla would wait into the new year to bring the updated Model 3 to production in the US in order to not negatively affect its end-of-the-year and to keep the demand trigger for when the vehicle loses access to the tax credit.
Tesla confirmed today that all Model 3 variants other than the Model 3 Performance lost access to the tax credit.
But there’s still no words on the new Model 3 coming to North America.
Model 3 Highlands have been spotted being tested in the US in recent months, but they had Chinese badging, which has been confusing because it’s doubtful that Tesla would bring China-made EVs to the US.
But now it looks like Tesla might be using the Chinese badging as a decoy.
A Redditor spotted one of those Tesla test vehicles in Fremont and got close enough to check the VIN, which shows that the vehicle was built at Tesla’s Fremont factory:
It looks like Tesla is actually building test batches of Model 3 Highland in Fremont and using the Chinese badges as a decoy.
The automaker has been known to keep the release dates of vehicle updates vague in order not to negatively affect sales in the meantime.
But with updated Model 3 vehicles being built out of Fremont now, we can expect the new version of the electric sedan to hit the market soon.
It comes as Tesla is also expected to update the Model Y in China. That new version of the electric SUV should also later come to North America.
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