Tesla Model 3 Still On Schedule; Analysts Weigh In
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) still plans to sell its mainstream automobile in 2017.
There were concerns that the company may postpone its release after Inside EVs published a slide (presented by Tesla co-founder and CTO JB Straubel at the EIA Conference) that said the Model 3 was coming in 2018. A Tesla spokesperson told Benzinga that wasn't the case.
"Model 3 remains on schedule," the spokesperson said. "As we've stated, we plan to show Model 3 in 2016 and begin production in 2017. JB's slide is a high-level look into when Model 3 will be in full production."
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group, told Benzinga that Tesla's response was "fair" and provided some color on the statement.
"It doesn't look like the materials and the capabilities will be in place in volumes [until] 2018, which is why the [there is a] 2018 full production date," said Enderle.
Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth told Benzinga that "designing a new car and bringing it to market is still a lot of work" separate from factors that could cause a delay (such as battery costs or battery production). He didn't expect the Model 3 to be released in the near-term -- with or without a delay -- but expressed concern about the Model X's release date.
"[Delaying the X] would be bad," said Feinseth. "Everybody's counting on seeing it this fall."
"We're optimistic on the Model X and excited for it," Feinseth added. "They have, I've heard, over 15,000 deposits."
Early adopters will be the first to receive the Model X when it goes into production. Customers can still pre-order the vehicle from Tesla's website, but new reservations have a "delivery estimate" of early 2016.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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