Current and aspiring Tesla owners and enthusiasts have long been anticipating the roll-out of the car company’s “Model 3.” The Model 3 will be Tesla’s first mass-produced car, and prices will start at $35,000, aimed squarely at the mid-market. Tesla CEO Elon Musk hopes to ramp up production of the Model 3 to to 500,000 cars in 2018. Things will start slow though, with an anticipated 100 cars produced in August. Neal Boudette reports at The New York Times:
Tesla said production of its first midpriced car, the Model 3, would begin on Friday, two weeks earlier than planned, with the first deliveries on July 28.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said late Sunday on Twitter that production would increase quickly, with 100 Model 3s produced in August and 1,500 or more in September. He said that he expected the company to be able to produce 20,000 a month starting in December.
The Model 3 is a critical test for Mr. Musk and his ambitious plan to turn Tesla into a producer of mass-market electric cars.
Until now, the company has manufactured luxury cars in relatively small numbers, typically selling them for $90,000 or more. In 2016, it made about 85,000 vehicles. General Motors, by contrast, produced more than nine million cars and light trucks.
The Model 3 will be priced around $35,000. Mr. Musk envisions it reaching a much wider range of customers and has said he expects it to push Tesla’s output to 500,000 cars a year in 2018.
In June, Mr. Musk told shareholders that Model 3 production was set to begin in July at the company’s assembly plant in Fremont, Calif., although he stopped short of saying when the car would be available in volume.
Mr. Musk has said Tesla is working to automate its assembly plant further to increase Model 3 output. He said at the shareholder meeting that the company was beginning to consider additional assembly plants.
“There is no room at Fremont,” he said. “We are bursting at the seams.”
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