Tesla Model 3 release date news: No change in late 2017 target

(Reuters/Tesla Motors)Tesla Motors' mass-market Model 3 electric cars

The company has set a goal of achieving volume production of the Model 3 by late 2017. By Tesla CEO Elon Musk's rough estimate, the aim is to produce 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s in the second half of this year.

In a recap by Green Car Reports, this was the take-away message from Musk's discussion in May last year during a conference call. The direction last year was to start production of Model 3 units starting July and delivering at least 100,000 cars by the end of 2017.

Observers and analysts, however, expressed a more cautious estimate. Adam Jonas, Morgan Stanley analyst and regular watcher of Tesla, predicted a launch for Model 3 at the end of 2018 as reported by Electrek. Not only that, he also predicted a much lower volume — a forecast of 60,000 Model 3 units produced by the end of 2019.

Mr. Jonas revised this estimate last January to a more generous 75,000 units made by the end of 2018. There is still no prediction from him of a 2017 release, as Street Insider reports.

Analyst Jennifer Liang of research firm KGI Securities Investment Advisory, however, said that their supply checks on Tesla indicates that the company is going "All Out" to achieve a 2017 release date, if not their original target volume. Liang reports on Tesla acquiring system integrators (SI) based in Thailand and China, and specialist group Grohmann Engineering just before 2016 ended.

Earlier this year Tesla announced the start of battery production at its Gigafactory facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Model 3 battery production is set to commence in the second quarter of this year. Tesla has also announced plans to move production of parts to its Gigafactory as well. This move is seen to help dedicate the car maker's California facility to the production of Model 3s, as Autoblog noted.

Throughout these developments, Tesla has not announced any changes in its target to deliver the Model 3 this year.

Along with a flurry of developments in its production facilities, Tesla Motors has also renamed itself to Tesla to reflect its new scope, from carmaking to batteries and solar technologies as well.

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