Late Saturday night, Elon Musk tweeted two photos of the first Tesla Model 3 to come off the assembly line. The car will carry serial number 1. The first photo was in black and white, which underscored how good the Model 3 looks in black. A little later, he released a photo of the SN1 in color and you know what? It is still a very tasty looking crumpet.
First Production Model 3 pic.twitter.com/TCa2NSUNI3
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2017
Model 3 SN1 was originally scheduled to go to Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis, who was the first person to officially reserve one last spring. But Ehrenpreis made a gift of his reservation rights to Elon Musk as a birthday present for the chairman’s 46th birthday.
Musk already owns the first Tesla Roadster. He also owns the first Model X. Eventually, there’s a good chance Musk will own the first Tesla Semi, Model Y, and all-electric pickup truck. To steal a famous line from Jaws, he’s gonna need a bigger garage. Fellow board member and early Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson owns the first production Model S sedan.
Production is scheduled to start off slow, with only 30 cars scheduled to be built in July. The keys to those cars will be presented to their new owners at a gala handover party scheduled for July 28. Another 100 cars are slated for production in August, then 1,500 in September. Musk projects the company will be building 5,000 cars a week by the end of December.
The slow ramp-up is designed to allow Tesla personnel to work out any kinks in the production process before full production begins. After all, the Model 3 is a brand new car built on a brand new production line using brand new technology. It is inevitable there will be issues along the way.
Musk intends to have all those issues sorted out and addressed before the first non-Tesla employees and legacy owners get their hands on the cars. The last thing he wants is for the automotive press to get their hands on one and report to the world that there are quality control issues with the Model 3. Just a tiny snippet of bad news sent Tesla stock plummeting downward more than $80 a share in the past two weeks.
Musk says he learned a lot from the rather troubled launch of the Model X and is determined to not repeat those mistakes. So far, he is on track to exceed his own lofty predictions for the Model 3. “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.
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