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Tesla’s 2016 earning report and letter to shareholders presented some exciting news for some of its most eager customers.
The letter revealed that production for Model 3, the company’s “affordable” electric car, is on track to start in July 2017, with volume ramping up by September. The company predicts production will scale to “exceed 5,000 vehicles at some point in the fourth quarter.” By the end of 2018, Tesla expects to be producing 10,000 cars per week.
In May 2016, Musk announced that production for the Model 3 was targeted to start in 1 July 2017, but said at the time it was an impossible date because he suspected suppliers will be late to deliver. His rationale for setting the date was that they needed to set the July deadline to keep suppliers accountable, so Tesla can start actual production a few months later.
Anything can happen between now and July, but for now, it appears Tesla has exceeded its own expectations. It’s not the first time Tesla has set a lofty goal and achieved it: A recent acceleration test by Motor Trend set a new record for the Tesla Model S P100D, making it the first production car to reach 60mph in less than 2.3 seconds. Musk had previously said in a tweet that he thought that reaching 2.34 would be “achievable.”
Tesla plans to ramp up its operations ahead of the Model 3 launch in anticipation of meeting the needs of a “larger family of Tesla owners. They started building prototypes in early February, and reported initial crash test results have so far been positive.