Despite production delays since first deliveries last July, Tesla finally thinks it will have Model 3s rolling off the line at a steady pace by the start of the third quarter of 2018.
Now, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, its production line should be ready to handle dual-motor (all-wheel-drive) variant starting sometime this summer.
Musk made the comments on Twitter in response to a tweet from a customer waiting for the dual-motor car. Musk told the user Tesla needs to increase production levels first. As for specifics, Musk added "probably July" for the timeframe.
We need to achieve 5k/week with Model 3 before adding complexity that would inhibit production ramp— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 8, 2018
Previously, Musk had said he expected the company to add Smart Air Suspension to the Model 3 during spring 2018 along with the AWD configuration. Since then, Tesla has been plagued with production "bottlenecks," though the company has never explained what the bottleneck issues are.
Tesla built just 2,400 Model 3s in the six months from July to December last year. However, the company suggested that Model 3 production may reach a tipping point as the factory finally begins ramping things up.
Tesla announced it built more than 2,020 cars in the seven days before its statement, and projected that production will continue to grow rapidly over the coming three months.
In addition to the dual-motor setup, Musk also said last year that a performance version of the Model 3 will likely arrive sometime in 2018. If the Model 3 follows the Model S and Model X pattern, that "P" model likely depends on the dual-motor "D" variant, though.
It's widely assumed that many of the 400,000 or more Model 3 reservations the company holds are from buyers who are waiting for more fully featured and optioned versions to become available.