Tesla has reportedly told some of its suppliers that it is planning to begin pilot production of the Model 3 on February 20th, in anticipation of full production beginning in July as previously planned, according to unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
The sources in question provided Reuters with a number of other interesting data points as well, including the assertion that the February 20th date was chosen for the beginning of pre-production because it precedes the release of 4th Quarter 2016 results by 2 days. …
News that pre-production of the Model 3 had already successfully begun would certainly make for a nice bit of PR, to help keep investors alert while the Model 3 launch draws closer.
Notably, the unnamed sources reportedly didn’t know how many Model 3s Tesla is planning to build this month. Presumably, though, the numbers will be low — with pilot production simply serving as a means of testing supplied parts, and the overall production process. And also possibly to provide the company with some demonstration vehicles for the next part of the Model 3 unveiling.
Reuters provides more: “One source said last week that design changes were still underway for the Model 3, which could potentially hinder the ramp-up to full production. Tesla declined to comment on whether the design was still being tinkered with.”
We’ll know soon enough — after all, February 20th is less than 2 weeks from now.
Unsurprisingly, a spokesperson for Tesla reportedly declined to comment on the rumors of pre-production beginning on the 20th, other than to say that “our ramp-up in production moves as fast as the slowest and least lucky supplier.”
I wonder which supplier that is?
“Musk announced last year that production was scheduled to begin in July of 2017, but even he acknowledged that was an aggressive timetable. He suggested the company could miss that startup date if suppliers don’t meet deadlines,” Steve Hanley comments on Gas2.
“Elon Musk says Tesla will build 100,000 Model 3 cars in 2017 and will be manufacturing a total of 500,000 cars a year by the end of 2018.”