2018 Tesla Model 3 Edges Closer to Reality | Edmunds

2018 Tesla Model 3 Edges Closer to Reality

PALO ALTO, California — Tesla Motors has reached a milestone with the development of the 2018 Tesla Model 3 affordable electric car, according to its second-quarter update released on Wednesday.

"We have completed the design phase of the Model 3 and released Model 3 for tooling, production planning and validation," the company said. "Some Model 3 production equipment is already on line, including initial capacity in our stamping and paint centers. Later this year, we plan to begin construction of new Model 3 body and general assembly centers."

The Model 3 is expected to start around $35,000. It's scheduled to go on sale in late 2017 and targets the BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf.

Tesla noted that its Gigafactory construction "remains on target to support volume production of Model 3 in late 2017."

The update also said that Tesla is "accelerating store openings and plans to add a new retail location every four days on average during the remainder of Q3 and through Q4."

A key goal is to add stores "in our most mature markets like California."

"The quality of our new locations is also improving as many shopping malls now consider us the new standard for an anchor tenant based on the amount of foot traffic that we draw and our very high revenue per square foot," Tesla said.

The Model 3 beefs up a Tesla lineup that includes the Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

"Production and demand are on track to support deliveries of approximately 50,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles during the second half of 2016," Tesla said.

Edmunds says: Tesla moves ever closer to the launch of the Model 3 and hints that it may be a major presence in U.S. shopping malls.

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