Neal E. Boudette on the big day -- today -- for Tesla:
Tesla said production of its first midpriced car, the Model 3, would begin on Friday, two weeks earlier than planned, with the first deliveries on July 28.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said late Sunday on Twitter that production would increase quickly, with 100 Model 3s produced in August and 1,500 or more in September. He said that he expected the company to be able to produce 20,000 a month starting in December.
Given that basically everyone had expected Tesla to delay the launch -- as they had with other vehicles in the past -- getting the ball rolling early would seem to be a very good sign (even with -- or maybe especially because of -- other manufacturing issues).
Until now, the company has manufactured luxury cars in relatively small numbers, typically selling them for $90,000 or more. In 2016, it made about 85,000 vehicles. General Motors, by contrast, produced more than nine million cars and light trucks.
The Model 3 will be priced around $35,000. Mr. Musk envisions it reaching a much wider range of customers and has said he expects it to push Tesla’s output to 500,000 cars a year in 2018.
Yes, the volume context is important -- but increasingly less so as the legacy guys go one way and Tesla continues to go the other.Read more...