Tesla shares rev up as Model 3 deliveries to start in July

WEB_PHOTO_TESLA_03072017

A prototype of the Tesla Model 3 is on display in front of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

A prototype of the Tesla Model 3 is on display in front of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

WEB_PHOTO_TESLA_03072017

A prototype of the Tesla Model 3 is on display in front of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

A prototype of the Tesla Model 3 is on display in front of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

NEW YORK - Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) shares were up three percent in pre-market trading on Monday after the luxury electric-car maker said it would deliver its mass-market Model 3 sedan to the first 30 customers on July 28.

The Model 3 sedan passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule, Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted late on Sunday.

The announcement allayed worries about Tesla's ability to meet its production goals as earlier launches of its Model S sedan and Model X sports utility vehicle were plagued by delays and initial quality issues.

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"Production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1500," Musk tweeted. bit.ly/2tBqMWb

The Palo Alto, California-based company planned to ramp up Model 3 production to reach a target 500,000 cars per year in 2018.

 

Musk also said he expected "to complete SN1 on Friday (July 7)."

The term "SN1", taken to be serial number 1, was the first car off assembly line for sale, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters.

Priced at $35,000 (R463,000), Model 3 was a smaller, more affordable version of Tesla's Model S sedan with fewer features. Model S prices started at $69,500 in the United States.

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Customers who had already ordered Model 3 would start getting deliveries as production ramped up, while deliveries for new reservations would start from mid-2018 or later, according to the Tesla website.

A lot depended on the success of Model 3, as the lower-priced car was seen helping turn the cash-losing company into a profitable one.

Tesla's shares surged about 70 percent this year through Friday's close of $361.61, and the company overtook General Motors Co (GM.N) and Ford Motor Co (F.N) in market capitalisation.