Tesla Model 3
A little over a year ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which was slated to become the world's best electric car value of the future. The quick, stylish five-seat sedan would move to take on the likes of the iconic BMW 3-Series and 4-Series, and the Mercedes C-Class.
2016 BMW 3-Series (Image Credit: flickr via Automotive Rhythms)
Fast forward to today, and the Tesla Model 3's production appearance is mere months away. The Model 3 will begin production in July, and move progressively toward high volume delivery.
Tesla must push the ramp up hard, since there are ~400,000 people that have made a deposit on the car, and are eagerly awaiting their vehicles. Beyond filling the reservations, Tesla assumes that many others will be eyeing the inexpensive, all-electric offering.
During Tesla's recent Q4/2016 Earnings call, Musk explained that the automaker is setting up orders with suppliers, specifying orders for:
“1,000 cars a week in July, 2,000 a week in August, and 4,000 a week in September.”
He went on to say that Tesla should be producing 5,000 cars a week by the close of 2017, and 10,000 a week by the end of 2018. If achieved, we are looking at over 400,000 cars by the end of next year. He has also stated that Tesla's end-goal is to have the ability to produce 500,000 vehicles (3, S and X) by the end of 2018.
2016 Mercedes C-Class (Image Credit: flickr via Linda Marrero)
Referring back to the competing BMW 3-Series and 4-Series, and Mercedes C-Class; even if Tesla only delivers half of these Model 3's in the U.S., numbers will still be ahead of all of the latter cars combined.
In 2016, BMW sold ~106,000 3-Series and 4-Series vehicles in the U.S. Mercedes only sold ~77,000 C-Class vehicles during the same time period. So, Tesla only needs to deliver a little over 183,000 Model 3 sedans in the U.S. by the end of 2018 to take the cake.
Some analysts don't believe that Tesla can pull off its production estimates. Bloomberg New Energy Finance electric car analyst, Salim Morsy, said:
“would be absolutely unprecedented based on what we know about car markets today and how people spend their dollars. It could happen. I’m pretty sure it won’t.”
But, less than 200,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 18 months may not seem so steep. Deliveries will start with U.S. reservation's holders in California and move east. Tesla doesn't even have to hit its lofty goal of 500,000 vehicles by the end of 2018, to easily surpass Mercedes' and BMW's competing offerings. If Tesla can outpace the two combined, it will go down as quite the epic feat.