Ever since Tesla started manufacturing cars at its Shanghai Gigafactory in China, there have been reports about quality control, overall vehicle quality, feature availability, and much more. Are China-built Tesla Model 3 sedans really much different from those produced in the United States?
Tesla has been criticized for years for its inconsistencies related to quality, fit and finish, and its entire quality control situation. The automaker has made it clear that its made-in-China vehicles will showcase a new level of attention to detail. However, in China, it’s not hard to produce a car that is higher quality than most local cars. The standards are much different in China than they are in the U.S. and Europe, though Tesla says the same quality that’s being proven in China will also present itself in the company’s upcoming Berlin- and Texas-based factories.
When this whole discussion first started coming to light, some Tesla fans pointed out that the electric automaker’s vehicles are not luxury cars, and they’re not supposed to have the high-level fit and finish of German luxury cars. Instead of focusing its efforts on making the utmost, high-end luxury cars, Tesla has focused on performance, range, charging, and comfort. However, regardless of the way a car is classified, there’s still an expectation that it will be well-put-together, parts won’t fall off, and it won’t need to be in a Service Center as soon as a customer takes delivery.
People who follow Tesla have also been reporting on discrepancies in standard features and feature availability among Model 3 sedans manufactured in China versus US-built Tesla models. While there’s no reason Model 3s built in China and the US need to match precisely, when a new feature appears in one market, fans expect it to become available for them, too. We often read, “It’s not fair.”