After taking in about 400,000 deposits at $1,000 a piece, Musk ramped up production plans. And then he ramped them up some more. Now, three months from the official start of production, the billionaire Tesla CEO seems to think he can not only match the performance of those top luxury brands (BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C Class), but outsell them in the U.S., too—in just one year.
For Musk to hit all of his targets, Tesla would need to build about 430,000 Model 3s by the end of next year. That’s more than all of the all-electric cars sold planet-wide last year. The rollout will begin in California and move east, focusing on U.S. reservation holders. Even if half of the Model 3 inventory shipped to other countries, 2 U.S. sales under Musk’s targets would outpace the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C class—combined.
Features of the Model 3 are being stripped down. Musk said there will only be one display—the car’s 15-inch touchscreen—with no additional gauges or heads-up-display projected at the windshield.
Musk has been making the case for the last year that the Model 3 is designed for manufacturing efficiency. Steel is used for some of the body instead of being all-aluminum. The amount of wiring used has been cut in half, from 3 kilometers worth in the Model S to 1.5 kilometers in the Model 3. There’s one screen and one computer instead of two of each in the Model S. And there are no eccentric flourishes like self-presenting door handles or falcon-wing doors.
Musk has dropped a number of hints that those features will start being available around the launch of the Model 3. In January, I asked him at what point Full Self-Driving Capability will depart from Enhanced Autopilot features. His response, via Twitter: “3 months maybe, 6 months definitely.”
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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