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Tesla Is Now Selling China-Built Model 3 and Model Y EVs in Canada

Tesla Model Y | Photo: Tesla
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Derek Boshouwers
Tesla’s Canadian website shows models made in China, according to Reuters

•    Tesla has brought in its first models made in China to sell on the Canadian market.

•    The company likely needs to keep made-in-American models for the U.S. market to keep them eligible for incentives there.

•    The company has not confirmed that it is now selling made-in-China Teslas here, but the website shows VINs proving it.

Tesla is reportedly now offering made-in-China Model 3 and Model Y EVs to Canadian customers on its Canadian website. Where before Teslas sold here were assembled in North America, the EV maker now likely needs to keep made-in-America models for the U.S. market to keep them eligible for incentives there.

Note that unlike in the U.S., that there are no made-in-Canada restrictions governing eligibility for the federal EV incentive. Both the Model 3 and Model Y are eligible for that $5,000 discount in Canada.

Last November, Reuters reported that Tesla was taking a look at importing made-in-China vehicles to Canada instead of selling North American-built ones here. That was denied at the time by Elon Musk. The outlet recently studied VINs (Vehicle Identification Numbers) of Tesla models being offered on the company’s Canadian website, which confirm that they were made at Tesla’s plant in Shanghai, China. VINs of models made at Tesla’s Shanghai plant all start with the “LRW” letters.

The outlet also reports having seen a Tesla production plan that confirms Model Y EVs were being designed and tested in China with the intent of exporting them to Canada. The plan even specifies a goal of exporting 9,000 units in Q1 of 2023. This has not been confirmed by Tesla.

Derek Boshouwers
Derek Boshouwers
Automotive expert
  • Over 5 years' experience as an automotive journalist
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  • Participation in over 30 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists