Musk’s tweet comes a few days after Tesla updated its website saying the delivery estimate for new orders is slated for mid-2018. Previously, the website said deliveries would begin in late 2017.
The updated delivery timeline shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as Musk warned customers in May that they should place their Model 3 orders now if they want to receive the car in 2018.
Tesla is increasing the production ramp as fast as possible, but I’d recommend ordering a Model 3 soon if you want 2018 delivery
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 5, 2016
Musk also said at the time that people who pre-ordered the Model 3 were likely to see it delivered in late 2017.
The Model 3 is Tesla’s first consumer-friendly, electric car. Priced at $35,000 before tax incentives, the Model 3 will compete with the Chevy Bolt, which is $37,500, that is hitting dealerships before the end of the year.
The Tesla Model 3 received about 400,000 pre-orders.
There’s been concern that Tesla’s one factory in Fremont, California won’t be able to handle the demand for the Model 3.
Business Insider’s Matt DeBord has gotten into the weeds about this, pointing out that the Fremont plant has the capacity to assemble 500,000 vehicles annually, but is only producing a fraction of that. Tesla’s 2016 goal is to ramp up production to about 100,000.
The Fremont factory will have to handle the Model 3 on top of production for the Model S and Model X.
In a September interview with Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, Musk acknowledged the factory’s production line had to be faster.
“Actually, our speed on the line is incredibly slow,” Musk told Altman. “I think we are … in terms of the extra velocity of vehicles on the line, it’s probably about, including both X and S, it’s maybe five centimeters per second. This is very slow.”
Musk then added that he’s “confident” Tesla can get a twentyfold increase of that speed.
Tesla produced 25,185 cars in the third quarter and reaffirmed its guidance for the second half of 2016 at 50,000 vehicles. Tesla is on path to hit the low-end of its delivery goal of 80,000 to 90,000 cars.
Musk has set an ambitious target of delivering 500,000 cars annually by 2018 and one million cars by 2020.
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