Tesla has informed first customers in China that they can expect their Model 3 to be delivered in March 2019. This is limited to the long-range model so far, which are still being imported, as the Tesla factory in Shanghai has not launched operation yet.
The configurator for the Model will be launched in China this year, as well as in Europe, which will allow customers to configure their Model 3 orders. The delivery start in Europe is also still expected to begin in early 2019.
Regarding production numbers, Tesla has managed to clear the 120,000 total manufactured vehicle benchmark, and is looking at weekly production rates of about 4,738 per week at the moment. The Californians of course are planning to continuously ramp up production for their volume model, particularly in the Fremont factory. There, Tesla aims to produce 10,000 units of the vehicle per week as their next target. The vehicle manufacturer is heavily relying on their location partner Panasonic, who will provide battery components for Tesla. The billion dollar investments at the Gigafactory have cost Panasonic under the line, but the Japanese electronics suppliers are already considering further investments.
Meanwhile, Tesla has also announced a new patent, which may boost production quality for the Californians in future. The patent is on a new clamping system, which is designed to reduce the gaps between panels, which are sometimes notable on their vehicles. It is still unclear whether the newly patented technology is being used on the Model 3, but Tesla did note back in April, that the standard deviation of the panel gaps of the Model 3 had improved by about 40% on average: “Since we began shipping Model 3 last year, we have been very focused on refining and tuning both part and body manufacturing processes. The result being that the standard deviation of all gaps and offsets across the entire car has improved, on average, by nearly 40%, with particular gap improvements visible in the area of the trunk, rear lamps and rear quarter panel.”