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SHANGHAI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Electric auto giant Tesla said on Thursday it has slashed the delivery waiting time for its Model 3 and Model Y cars in China as it ramps up output at its Shanghai plant after upgrading production lines.
The waiting time for the rear-wheel drive Model Y sport utility vehicle is now four to eight weeks, while buyers of other versions of the SUV and Model 3 sedans need to wait for 12 to 20 weeks. Tesla previously said a buyer in China had to wait for eight to 24 weeks after placing an order for the best-selling models.
Tesla confirmed the shortened waiting time, first disclosed on the company's Chinese website, citing the output ramp-up at its Shanghai plant as one of the reasons.
The automaker usually delivers more of its cars produced in Shanghai to Chinese customers in the latter half of each quarter, which also brings an acceleration in deliveries, the company said.
Tesla has completed a major upgrade of the production lines at its Shanghai plant, its most productive manufacturing hub, and is ramping up output with a target of making 22,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars combined each week.
Chief Executive Elon Musk has said production is a bigger challenge for the company than demand. It is struggling to increase output in its Berlin and Texas plants, while production losses during a two-month COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai hurt Tesla's profit margin in the second quarter.
The company has stopped taking orders for its Cybertruck outside North America, and also for Model 3 Long Range vehicles in the United States and Canada, citing big delivery backlogs.
(Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Tom Hogue and Kenneth Maxwell)