According to Elon Musk’s recent tweets, Friday is the due date for the Model 3’s first 30 purchasers. And how are deliveries set to go from there? Musk also tweeted that he expects production for the Model 3 to increase exponentially with 100 models to roll out in August, over 1,500 in September and an ambitious 20,000 starting in December.
The acceleration of production comes at an opportune time, with Warren Buffet-backed Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Motors expanding into the US market with the opening of a California production facility next month. In a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, BYD Motors president Stella Li said the facility will initially focus on production of heavy-duty electric vehicles such as buses and will expand into new product lines as well.
In addition to Buffett, BYD has attracted big investment from Samsung and also has a joint venture with luxury German auto maker, Daimler AG. While Tesla sold roughly 75,000 EVs in 2016, BYD eclipsed that figure selling over 100,000 units including the electric e6, making it the world’s largest plug-in electric car manufacturer.
Tesla investors will be keeping a watchful eye on production targets for the initial roll out of the Model 3 in addition to sales of the Models S and Model X. Given that consumers have a lower cost option in the Model 3, investors will want to know if sales of the higher-end Model S and Model X decline. Tesla stock has almost doubled in the past year to roughly US$340 per share, rewarding those who have patiently waited for this roll-out to begin, and time will tell as to whether they will ride it out successfully.