Elon Musk talks Tesla Model 3, Gigafactory, and retail stores during earnings call

Elon Musk
Every three months, Tesla Motors holds a financial results conference call where Elon Musk and Co. detail the brand’s performance during the previous quarter. There was significant chatter about Tesla’s Q4 2015 losses this time around, but we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about cars.

The highly-anticipated Model 3 was the most notable vehicle to come up during the call, and although Musk didn’t divulge anything new specifications-wise, he did drop a few newsworthy nuggets. The Model 3 is set to be unveiled on March 31, and although the company will be accepting preorders by then, the executive still hasn’t settled on how much of the car he’ll show at the event. We may not even see a full car at all.

“We’re trying to decide whether we should show all the cards or keep a few cards close to the vest,” he said. “We haven’t made a decision yet.”

Musk also hinted at something than keen-eyed Tesla fans already knew — the first Model 3s sold will likely cost more than the car’s $35,000 base price. Like the Model S and Model X before it, initial deliveries will be fitted with expensive options and packages to help cover the sedan’s development costs.

“Our default plan as we’ve done in the past is that the initial sales are relatively highly-optioned versions of the car, because we’ve got to pay back the investment of the tooling and everything, so it makes sense to have the higher optioned versions first,” he explained.

Outside of predicting a 1,000 unit-per-week production rate for the Model X in Q2 2016, Musk didn’t spend much time talking about the electric SUV. He did lather the five-door with praise though, saying, “Honestly think it’s probably the best car ever. I’m not sure anyone is going to make a car like this again. I’m not sure Tesla would make a car like this again.”

In addition, the controversial CEO quickly commented on Tesla’s Gigafactory battery facility, claiming it will have no toxic output and boast the title of “the largest footprint building in the world.” Musk also expressed interest in opening 80 new retail locations and 300 new Supercharger locations this year.

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