Model 3 news this week* began with a “Musk-read” tweet and a GIF that shows tweaks to the Model 3 exterior. News transitioned later in the week to how Tesla will service all of those Model 3s.
First Model 3 (pilot) production version: the black “SN1” (in above image via Elon Musk tweet) popped out of the Fremont, Calif. factory last Friday (7/7). That will be owned by Musk. The next event on the Model 3 calendar happens on July 28, when Tesla hands over the keys to 30 cars.
Production schedule: Based on a series of Musk tweets, 100 cars will be made in August (about 3 per day), then, in September, that will jump to “above” 1,500 cars, then ramping up to 20,000 cars a month by December. To say that’s ambitious is probably the understatement of the year.
An instant rival to BMW, Mercedes: Bloomberg noted that “it’s an aggressive [production] schedule,” adding:
Its proposed ramp-up schedule would have it rivaling well-established U.S. market peers like BMW and Mercedes by year’s end. The only thing standing between Tesla and being the world’s first mass-market electric carmaker is proving it can build, deliver, and service enormous numbers of these vehicles—without sacrificing quality.
Model 3 styling tweaks — from prototype to now: a GIF was widely circulated this week showing that the Model 3 has morphed into a cleaner design, via CleanTechnica.
The finished car has a longer, flatter nose section, no doubt for better aerodynamics but maybe also due to feedback after the initial reveal event. The front wheels have also been pushed forward slightly. In the rear, the tail section is a tiny bit higher. There were complaints at the unveiling that the trunk was a “letter slot” that hampered access to the interior of the car for things like bicycles, surfboards, and other bulky items. It appears the trunk opening has been redesigned to make it somewhat larger and taller.
Tesla’s plan to service the 400K reservation holders: “[Service has] gotten better and better. So it’s also very important for the Model 3 and we are also adding a lot more service centers in anticipation of Model 3 production. And this year, we will double the number of Tesla superchargers in the world,” Musk said back on June 6 when speaking during the Annual Shareholders Meeting.
In a tweet “The Future of Tesla Service” posted July 11, Tesla said it is adding 100 new service centers, 350+ new mobile units, 1,400 new technicians, and increasing service capacity 3X worldwide.
The future of Tesla service pic.twitter.com/lWx0rDr4Ix
— Tesla (@TeslaMotors) July 11, 2017
New Color: the (new) color of the week is midnight gray, via Teslarati. “Initial thought was it’s smaller than I expected. BMW 3 series-ish,” according to Teslarati, who quoted Brian Armer, who snapped the photo.
My first Model3 sighting!awesomeness confirmed @Model3Owners @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/cpXdqTVwBt
— Brian Armer (@BrianArmer) July 14, 2017
Finally, some video of the black production Model 3.
This article firsts appeared in forbes.com