Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the opportunity to reveal extra detail about planned Model 3 production ramp up during the company’s fourth quarter Q&A call with analysts. Musk noted that the Model 3 Design Studio will go online shortly before the car officially goes on sale, and first deliveries will be “Founders Series” Model 3 that go to company employees.
“I think it’s probably three to four months away” said Musk referring to the Model 3 configurator. As he’s done in the past with the launch of new vehicles, Musk said the reason first deliveries of Model 3 would go to employees is to keep the feedback loop short. “It’s good to have a feedback loop before customers experience them.” The next phase of Model 3 deliveries would go to west coast Tesla owners, with an emphasis on those living closer to the Fremont factory, followed by further geographical expansion.
Getting the vehicle into the hands of Tesla employees and existing owners not only rewards those who have helped the company achieve its rise to success, but also serves as a means to tap into a team of people that are already familiar with the brand, and have a vested interest in seeing the brand succeed. This core group will be more tolerant of any early bugs in the product while also being able to provide more concise feedback to the Tesla team. Ensuring a short feedback loop will help Tesla fine tune the productions lines as they ramp up to full volume production in 2018.
Musk also shared guidance Tesla is giving Model 3 parts suppliers with volume estimates pegged at 1,000 vehicles per week in July, 4,000 per week in August and 5,000 per week in September, before hitting the target of 10,00 vehicles per week sometime in 2018.
Rolling these numbers up and extrapolating out towards the 2018 target puts Model 3 at around 110,000 vehicles produced in 2017. When combined with Model S and X production targets, the company should come in right around 200,000 vehicles produced this year.