Chicago: Tesla Motors Inc. said buyers who place new orders for Model 3 vehicles can expect to begin receiving deliveries as soon as mid-2018, with production starting as scheduled late next year.
“Production begins late 2017. Delivery estimate for new reservations is mid 2018 or later,” the electric-car marker said on its website on Tuesday. Tesla shares briefly pared gains after the news was initially interpreted as a delay in the introduction of the vehicle. The shares rose 2.7% to $199.34 at the close in New York.
“Today’s website update doesn’t reflect any change in our plans,” Tesla said in a statement. “We still plan to begin Model 3 deliveries in late 2017, and we adjusted the date on our marketing page to reflect more accurate timing for new/future reservation holders.”
After Fortune magazine said in a Twitter post that “Tesla says new Model 3 reservations won’t arrive for close to two years,” chief executive officer Elon Musk responded with a tweet of his own: “This is because the first 12 months of production are sold out.”
The Model 3, which is slated to begin at $35,000 before government incentives, is the key to Tesla’s plan to expand to a wider market for its electric cars. The company first unveiled the Model 3 at an event at its Hawthorne, California, design studio March 31. In May, Tesla said it had received about 373,000 pre-orders for the car.
The Model 3 update comes as Tesla is scheduled to unveil a new product on Wednesday, leading to speculation about what the company will announce.
“Possibilities include enhancements to the S/X, energy storage products, or showing of a different class of vehicle,” Ben Kallo, a Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst, said in a research note on Monday.