Tesla Website Confirms Made-in-China Models for Canada: Report

tesla model y canada shanghai

Tesla is set to begin sales of its China-manufactured Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in Canada, according to listings on the company’s website. This move confirms the completion of Tesla’s initial shipments to North America from its Shanghai factory, reports Reuters.

Tesla’s website revealed that both the rear-wheel drive Model Y and the long-range, all-wheel drive Model 3 – identified by codes denoting their origin from Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai – were ready for immediate delivery in British Columbia. These models are eligible for Canadian federal incentives of C$5,000 ($3,700), irrespective of the production location, unlike the US EV subsidy policy.

The company, alongside other electric vehicle manufacturers, gains a cost advantage in China due to booming exports from the market. The China-made Model Y, for instance, was listed for C$61,990 in Canada, marking a 22% increase over the equivalent vehicle cost in China before incentives.

This new venture to export to Canada from Shanghai may enable Tesla to reserve the vehicles manufactured at its Californian and Texan plants for US sales, where they might receive tax incentives up to $7,500 under the Biden administration’s subsidy program.

This also presents a fresh market opportunity for Tesla Shanghai, responsible for more than half of the company’s production last year.

Despite manufacturing EVs for both the local market and overseas, including Europe, Tesla’s Shanghai factory faces stiff competition from other Chinese EV makers in terms of price and features. Meanwhile, Tesla’s Berlin factory is gradually increasing its Model Y output to meet European demand.

Tesla employs a code system aligning with the initial three digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN) to list its vehicles for sale. All VINs for the Shanghai-built Tesla models start with “LRW”.

For example, the website URL for an existing inventory Model Y RWD shown in our screenshot above reads “LRWY244_”, signalling a Shanghai-built vehicle.

The exact quantity of China-made Teslas available for purchase in Canada or the number sold remains unclear.

Last month, Tesla announced the introduction of a new, cheaper Model Y version in Canada, a rear-wheel-drive variant of the SUV-styled crossover, qualifying for Canadian government incentives. The vehicles qualifying for this subsidy bear a VIN code indicating their production in the Shanghai factory.

A Tesla production plan obtained by Reuters displayed the automaker’s design and testing of Model Y vehicles intended for North American export, aiming to produce nearly 9,000 for export this quarter. An unnamed source claimed these Model Y cars were destined for Canada.

The export target for the Model 3 to Canada remains undisclosed. In November, Reuters reported on Tesla’s potential plans for exporting China-made vehicles to North America, a claim that Tesla CEO Elon Musk refuted via Twitter without further explanation.

Vehicles made at Giga Shanghai have been applauded by owners for having better build quality compared to those from Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California.