Tesla CEO Elon Musk has never been shy about announcing big goals. When Musk announced that the Fremont factory was expanding to produce 500,000 vehicles a year by 2018, many doubted it would be possible. An interim goal of 2,000 cars a week by the end of the second quarter of 2016 didn’t seem too likely either, to some, but Tesla announced to its car owners at a weekend social event that it’s now hitting that goal weekly, at least two weeks before promised, according to Electrek.
Tesla is ramping up to begin production of the Model 3 entry-level car with first deliveries promised by the end of 2017. With 373,000 reservations in hand, and with Model S and Model X sales continuing to grow, the company’s aggressive expansion plans need to come together both to avoid disappointing customers with a delay and to stave off critics.
Other announcements at the owner event this past weekend included an update on the Model X. Tesla production personnel said those vehicles are more likely to need extra attention after coming off the production line than Model S, but that on average both the Model S and Model X come off the line with more than 90 percent needing no extra work.
In order to meet the Model 3 schedule, all components — both those produced internally and from outside vendors — need to be finalized by July 1, 2017. The demand for an entry level all-electric car factored into last week’s announcement of two lower-cost Model S variants. With the average price of the higher-configured Model S versions topping $100,000, the company doesn’t want to shut out everyone who wants to spend less than that lofty level. Even the $66,000 starting price of the Model S 60 is beyond the means or spending preference of many potential owners, but it’s less than two-thirds the price of a $119,500 P90D with Ludicrous Mode.
The Model 3’s announced starting price is $35,000 and the demand has been astounding. The support for Tesla’s audacious production ramp-up goals, in the form of its beating the 2,000 vehicle weekly deadline, is encouraging. Now it just has to scale up to build five times as many cars and SUVs every week.