Tesla announced today that the hotly-anticipated Model 3 is “on track” to start initial production in July and move up to high-volume production by September, in line with the company’s schedule for the electric vehicle’s release.
In a Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2016 Update letter released on Wednesday, Elon Musk’s electric car company said it was “well positioned to scale our business significantly” in 2017 — and it looks like it might also hit the “impossible date” of July 1 to being producing its affordable electric car. According to the letter, the Model 3 will scale up to produce 5,000 vehicles per week in the fourth financial quarter of 2017, and double that rate to 10,000 vehicles per week sometime in 2018.
Tesla says some of the Model 3’s production speed is thanks to its acquisition of Grohmann Engineering in January, a German firm that specializes in automate manufacturing processes. Tesla Advanced Automation Germany, the product of the merger, will help the company “innovate manufacturing processes to be used initially in Model 3 production.”
The company also said it plans to expand its mobile repair service for the influx of new owners, as well as creating a new delivery center in Hong Kong and doubling the size of the supercharger network in America.
Tesla started building full prototypes of the Model 3 in early February to test the manufacturing process and start crash testing and other procedures — the letter states that “initial crash test results have been positive.” It’s currently installing the manufacturing equipment for the Model 3 at its Fremont facility and the Gigafactory in Nevada, where it has already started producing batteries.
According to the letter, tooling up for the new Model 3 cost the company $522 million in capital expenditures on the manufacturing capacity, Gigafactory, and expanded customers support network.
We’ll have to wait until after July to see if it was all worth it.