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Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk announced via a series of tweets that the Model 3, the company’s first mass-market car, has passed all regulatory requirements regarding production two weeks in advance. Musk said that the company would begin production this week and will hopefully be able to accelerate production significantly by the end of the year. He tweeted, “Production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1,500. Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec.”
The Model 3 marks Tesla’s transition from strictly luxury cars to becoming a mass-market seller of electric automobiles. Sales of the Model 3 are expected to begin on July 28, with the first 30 owners receiving their cars at a handover party thrown by the company. Following Musk’s announcement, Tesla’s shares rose by as much as 2.7%.
The Model 3 will be the company’s most affordable car yet. It’s set to start at USD 35,000 before options and incentives, a stark difference compared to the USD 83,700 price tag for the Tesla Model X and the near USD 70,000 it costs to own a Model S—not to mention the hefty price of Tesla Roadster, which costs more than USD 100,000.
The Model 3 provides consumers with a more affordable option in the electric car market. This will make the company’s electric vehicles more accessible to middle-class and mainstream consumers, and will expand their market outreach from just the niche and luxury segments. The company has reportedly already taken deposits on more than 300,000 Model 3s. Last year, John McNeill, Tesla’s president of global sales and service, said that Model 3 reservations “skew young and urban.” The Model 3 is capable of driving over 200 miles on a single charge, and can receive regular software and firmware updates through Tesla’s autopilot program.
In anticipation of the Model 3, investors have increased shares of Tesla by almost 70% this year. The company delivered 25,051 vehicles in the first quarter. It aims to make 500,000 in 2018 (which is almost six times its 2016 production), and 1 million in 2020. So far, the car manufacturer seems to be sticking to its planned schedule for the Model 3, despite rumours of production delays and past production issues with other models.
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