ARKANSAS, January 2 (Future Headlines)- The anticipation surrounding the launch of the Tesla Model 3 refresh in North America is reaching new heights as recent sightings reveal the automaker sneakily testing Fremont-built Model 3 Highlands in the United States. Despite the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland in the summer of 2023, the updated electric sedan has been conspicuously absent from North American markets, currently only being produced at Gigafactory Shanghai and distributed in Europe and Asia. With expectations of a new year production kick-off in the US, Tesla aims to strategically time the release to maintain demand and navigate tax credit considerations.

Tesla introduced the Model 3 Highland, a refreshed version of its popular electric sedan, in the summer of 2023. However, nearly six months later, the updated vehicle has yet to make its debut in North America. Currently, it is exclusively manufactured at Gigafactory Shanghai and made available in European and Asian markets. The delay in bringing the refreshed Model 3 to North America has fueled speculation about Tesla’s strategic timing to optimize its impact on demand and tax credit considerations.

Tesla confirmed that all Model 3 variants, except the Model 3 Performance, have lost access to the tax credit. The timing of the Model 3 Highland’s release in North America is crucial in navigating the tax credit landscape. By strategically planning the launch, Tesla aims to ensure that the vehicle remains attractive to buyers, even after losing access to the tax credit, and to leverage the increased demand triggered by the updated model.

Recent sightings of Model 3 Highlands being tested in the US raised eyebrows, particularly due to the Chinese badging on the vehicles. It seemed improbable that Tesla would bring China-made EVs to the US market. However, it now appears that Tesla might be employing a decoy strategy by using Chinese badging on test batches of Fremont-built Model 3 Highlands. The automaker has a history of keeping release dates vague to prevent negative impacts on current sales. The use of Chinese badging as a decoy suggests a deliberate effort to keep details under wraps until closer to the actual launch.

Despite the secrecy surrounding the Model 3 refresh in North America, it is becoming evident that Tesla is already building test batches of Model 3 Highlands in Fremont. The sightings of vehicles with Chinese badging have sparked speculation, but it now seems likely that this was part of Tesla’s strategic testing approach. As production in Fremont ramps up, expectations are growing for the refreshed Model 3 to hit the North American market soon.

Tesla has established a pattern of vague release dates for vehicle updates to prevent a negative impact on current sales. The automaker strategically times its product launches to maintain consumer interest and excitement. The potential launch of the refreshed Model 3 in North America aligns with Tesla’s history of careful planning and execution to optimize market dynamics.

In addition to the Model 3 refresh, Tesla is expected to update the Model Y in China, with plans for the new version of the electric SUV to eventually make its way to North America. This underscores Tesla’s commitment to keeping its lineup current and competitive in different markets.

Reporting by Alireza Sabet; Editing by Sarah White