Tesla finally hits weekly production target for Model 3 cars

Tesla 'real car company' after hitting Model 3 goal, Musk says

USA electric vehicle maker Tesla has turned out 5,000 Model 3 sedans in the space of one week, meeting its long-promised production goal just hours after the company's latest self-imposed deadline of midnight on Sunday.

In an email sent to Tesla staff and obtained by electric auto site Electrek, the chief executive, Elon Musk, said: "We did it!" All eyes had been on Elon Musk & Co. after the Tesla team promised a new Model 3 production milestone; now, a new target has been set.

"We either found a way or, by will and inventiveness, created entirely new solutions that were thought impossible", he continued.

While UBS analyst Colin Langan said there was some relief the company hit the Model 3 production target, he noted that second-quarter vehicle deliveries of 40,740 missed his expectation for 51,000 and the consensus estimate of 49,000.

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.

Wall Street was divided on whether Musk and Tesla could pull it off.

"We did it! What an incredible job by an wonderful team", Musk wrote to employees in an email.

The 5,000th vehicle rolled off the assembly line at 5 a.m. on Sunday, five hours after Tesla's self-imposed deadline.

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He added: "I think we just became a real auto company". Tesla vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company's financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.

The automaker recently built a new supplementary assembly line in a "tent" attached to the Fremont building, bypassing the need to wait for crews to build a permanent structure. According to the China Automobile Dealers Association, Tesla exported about 17,000 cars to China past year, making it the company's second-biggest market.

The worker also said some areas within the factory were shut down to divert their workers to help out on the Model 3, such as the Model S line.

Mr Musk has said that the Model 3 is the "best auto for its cost, either electric or gasoline". Musk had first said in April that the company will be profitable in the third and fourth quarters of this year and will not have to raise any money.

Brian Johnson, an analyst with Barclays, warned investors in March to be wary of brief "burst rates" of Model 3 production that were not sustainable. Amid a cash crunch, Tesla has focused on Model 3 options with sticker prices in the $65,000+ range, as opposed to the more affordable $35,000 base model, which it has yet to begin building.

Tesla in the remaining days of the second quarter managed to hit its production goal of 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week, albeit only barely. It is not clear how numerous orders are for the higher-priced versions.

In another bid to push the limits of technology, Tesla at times pulls robots off the line and tests them operating at speeds greater than specified by the supplier, said Charles Mwangi, Tesla's director of body engineering.

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