UACJ Preparing to Ramp Up Aluminium Production for Tesla Model 3 Chassis Parts

UACJ Preparing to Ramp Up Aluminium Production for Tesla Model 3 Chassis Parts
Red Tesla Model 3 at the March 31, 2016, unveiling event, Hawthorne, California. Source: Wikimedia

Japanese aluminium company UACJ will reportedly be ramping up operations at its plant in Michigan in order to provide aluminium chassis parts for Tesla’s Model 3.

A report in The Nihon Keizai Shinbun (The Nikkei) on Sunday revealed a JPY3 billion (USD26 million) investment that is to take place at what is assumed to be the former SRS Industries plant in Michigan. The investment will boost the plant’s production by 50% by year’s end according to the report, and the bulk of new production will be dedicated to roof rails and frame supports. SRS Industries was producing parts for Tesla’s Model S prior to its purchase by UACJ last year.

Orders for the new Model 3 have been exceptionally brisk, which has led the company to instituting a rigorous sourcing program. The current deadline for ordering the new model is July 1 of this year, and production is expected to commence shortly after that date.

According to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, Model 3’s production numbers will be significant – possibly more than that of both Models S and X by year’s end. Tesla received 325,000 orders for the model within a week of its debut, which is three times the number of Model S units sold by the company by the end of 2015.

The Model 3, which was initially debuted on March 31, 2016, is expected to have an all-electric range of 215 miles. It will be assembled at Tesla’s factory in south Fremont, California. The four-door compact luxury sedan will have a sticker price of USD35,000 before applicable government incentives.

UACJ began in 2013 when Japan’s Furukawa-Sky Aluminum and Sumitomo Light Metal Industries integrated their business operations. UACJ is the world’s third largest producer of rolled aluminium and is the only Japanese firm with significant rolled aluminium capacity overseas.