Tesla chief gets first $35,000 Model 3

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — Bloomberg News

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The first Tesla Model 3, the au­tomaker’s new $35,000 elec­tric car, rolled off the pro­duc­tion line Fri­day. The car will be­long to Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and co-founder, who shared im­ages of it on Twit­ter over the week­end.

Tesla has al­ready taken in roughly half a bil­lion dol­lars in Model 3 de­posits, at $1,000 apiece, and its pro­posed ramp-up sched­ule would have it ri­val­ing well-es­tab­lished U.S. mar­ket peers like BMW and Mercedes by year’s end. To achieve its goal of be­ing the world’s first mass-mar­ket elec­tric car­maker, Tesla must prove it can build, de­liver, and ser­vice enor­mous num­bers of these ve­hi­cles — with­out sac­ri­fic­ing qual­ity.

Tesla plans to hand over the keys to 30 cars at a me­dia event on July 28. It then en­vi­sions build­ing 100 cars — about three a day — for the month of Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to a se­ries of Twit­ter posts by Musk last week. Septem­ber will bring an­other 1,500 cars, and the ramp will build to a rate of 20,000 cars a month by De­cem­ber, Musk said. It’s an ag­gres­sive sched­ule that will more than dou­ble Tesla’s to­tal pro­duc­tion rate in six months, and then quin­tu­ple it by the end of next year.

If Tesla achieves all of Musk’s tar­gets, it will build more bat­tery-pow­ered cars next year than all of the world’s au­tomak­ers com­bined in 2016.

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