Tesla Model 3 production booms, automaker reports building 5,000 electric sedans last week


Tesla Model 3 all-wheel drive Performance rolls off a new assembly line in a temporary structure

Tesla Model 3 all-wheel drive Performance rolls off a new assembly line in a temporary structure

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Tesla took every hour—including a couple extra hours Sunday—to meet its self-imposed deadline of building 5,000 Model 3 electric cars in seven days.

The automaker reported Monday that it had concluded the three-month period ending Saturday by building 53,339 vehicles, including 28,578 Model 3 sedans, which is a 55-percent increase over the first three months of 2018.

Model 3 production was up nearly 300 percent over the first quarter of 2018, and the automaker predicted it would build 6,000 sedans per week by the end of next month. The automaker was reportedly running production in two 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.

Company CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to celebrate the accomplishment, noting the team had built 7,000 cars in seven days. That total included the 5,000 Model 3s, plus Model S and Model X production.

For the first time, Model 3 production outpaced Model S and Model X production for the quarter, the automaker reported. Earlier reports suggested that production of the sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs bottlenecked at the automaker's paint shop, which was over capacity and struggling to meet demand.

In the last three months, Tesla has significantly increased production of the Model 3—even going as far as erecting a giant tent in the automaker's parking lot as a makeshift assembly line. It's unclear what the tent is being used for, but the automaker's on-again, off-again assembly lines have failed to meet CEO Elon Musk's ever-changing predictions.

More than 10,000 Model 3 sedans are in transit to buyers, according to the company, which reflects the dizzying pace toward the end of the quarter. Musk announced earlier this year that the company would begin producing all-wheel-drive and performance versions of the Model 3 soon. It's unclear when Tesla would begin producing a more affordable version of the Model 3, which could reportedly cost around $35,000 before applicable federal incentives (if there are any left) for more buyers.

 
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