Just as the Ford Model T completely revolutionized American travel back in the early 1900s, the new, yet-unreleased Tesla Model 3 is also anticipated to revolutionize modern society (at least among people who listen to TED Talks, it is). On Sunday night, Tesla founder Elon Musk issued a series of late-night tweets, which is how billionaires communicate these days, and the New York Times deciphers the jargon in these tweets to determine that the Tesla Model 3 electric cars will begin production this week. That’s two weeks earlier than planned thanks to some unexpected regulatory approvals coming in ahead of schedule, and the first Fremont-produced Tesla Model 3 is expected to roll off the line Friday. According to Business Insider, the first 30 people who ordered the Tesla Model 3 will be awarded their beloved vehicle at a handover party three weeks later on July 28.
The term “SN1” in the above tweet refers to the first batch of Tesla Model 3 cars, production for which Musk expects to complete on Friday. The Tesla Model 3 is considered to be a revolutionary product, at least among the thought leadership set, because it will be the most affordable Tesla ever and geared at the mass market. And by “affordable” we mean $35,000, compared to the $90,000 price tag on a typical Tesla. (Autonomous driving capabilities
will cost you a little more.)
Further deciphering Elon Musk’s tweets, it looks like he anticipates 100 Model 3s to be produced in August, ramping up to 1,500 in September, and 20,000 Model 3 cars per month
coming off the line by December.
Producing 20,000 cars a month is a vastly larger scale than anything Tesla is used to, as they only produced around 80,000 cars in all of 2016 according to Business Insider. To that end, Tesla needs more than just their Fremont production facility
. “There is no room at Fremont,” Musk reportedly said at a shareholder’s meeting in June “We are bursting at the seams.” Thanks to that bursting, Tesla built a $5 billion battery factory in Nevada, and is planning a new Chinese production plant near Shanghai.
Despite pricing their cars at $90,000 a pop, Tesla still lost nearly $400 million
in the first quarter of 2017. Nonetheless, investors are happily buying what Elon Musk is selling and Tesla stock is currently trading in the astronomic range around $350 a share
. That puts Tesla’s market value at roughly $7 billion more than General Motors and $15 billion more than Ford, despite currently producing only tens of thousands of cars, compared to those larger automakers’ millions.
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