Musk said the company hit its target of 5,000 Model 3s in a week, according to an email sent to employees on Sunday afternoon and seen by Reuters. Despite being lauded as Tesla's mass market electric vehicle costing $35,000, the cheapest models have yet to be produced.
Tesla confirmed the contents of the email.
Elon Musk nearly single-handedly revived the domestic and global electric vehicle (EV) market when Tesla introduced its high-end EV sports auto a decade ago.
The milestone comes as Tesla was forced to cut 9 per cent of its total workforce last month as it burned through cash trying to meet production targets, which saw the company building makeshift factories out of tents to urgently cover new production lines.
"It was pretty hectic", said one worker who described the atmosphere as "all hands on deck".
Another worker speaking after the 5,000th vehicle was made described the factory as a "mass celebration".
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The goal set by the company, which comes in the final days of Tesla's second financial quarter, was to produce 5,000 vehicles a week. The company is known for temporary periods of quick production, but has yet to prove to investors that its short manufacturing bursts are sustainable. In an effort to show sustainability/ improvement, company indicated 6k Model 3s/week expected late next month. Out of 20 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 7 are bullish on Tesla stock, 8 remain sidelined, while 5 are bearish on the stock.
Optimism about the Model 3 transforming Tesla into a much bigger carmaker that sells to the mass auto market sent the company's market capitalization past Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co. for the first time previous year.
One nugget of the story getting attention is that Tesla's engineers did away with 300 of about 5,000 welds in the Model 3 underbody after concluding they were unnecessary.
A photograph of employees signing a banner welcoming them to the "Model 3 5K Club" was deleted from Twitter and remains on Reddit.
In Oct. 2017, Musk said the plan was to reach a production rate of 10,000 vehicles per week towards the end of 2018.
Of course, pumping out Model 3 wasn't the only concern some had. Model 3 reservations totaled 450,000 at the end of the first quarter. Tesla targeted production of 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of Q2.
Tesla has begun producing more expensive versions of the Model 3, including the Performance model, which can top out at $80,000, a little more than the price of an entry-level Model S. Both orders and deliveries for Model S and X were higher in Q2 than a year ago. Its market capitalization rivals General Motors and beats Ford.
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