Tesla is set to produce its first affordable car with the Model 3.
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Elon Musk has announced that the Model 3, his automaker’s cheapest car yet, will begin to roll out of the factory as soon as Friday.
The vehicle, which will cost around $35,000, is Tesla’s first attempt at winning over mainstream car buyers. In the past, the automaker has produced vehicles squarely targeted at the luxury end of the market—with its Model S costing almost $70,000 before any extras are added.
Tesla will deliver the new Model 3 sedan to its first 30 customers on July 28, which just meets the promised July deadline set out by Musk. But in building a populist car, the company must make it in quantity—indeed, 400,000 people have already paid $1,000 deposits to secure one of the vehicles.
The projections for increasing output are as ambitiously Muskian as ever. The automaker will build just 100 of the cars in August, but it hopes to increase that to 1,500 in September, then 20,000 in December. In 2018, it aims to pump out 500,000 of the vehicles in total, and then increase that to one million by 2020.
Question is, will the company be able to build the Model 3 at the rate it claims?