Tesla’s Model 3 to make March debut

Elon Musk has announced that the eagerly anticipated Model 3 sedan will make its debut on 31 March. Finally!

To recap on what we know so far, the superstar automaker’s entry-level model will come with a pricetag of roughly US$35,000, and will be about 20% lighter than the Model S. But the March reveal might just be a partial one, as Musk said that Tesla is still deciding on whether to “show all the cards” a month and a half from now.

If it follows the footsteps of the Model X, then we can expect just a few pictures to tease us, followed by staggered reveals. Musk said that Tesla will begin taking orders immediately after the March debut, and we won’t be surprised to see long lines of crazy Tesla fans queuing at the company’s stores, eager to part with their cash for something they have only gotten a photographic glimpse of.

The plan for now is to begin production and delivery of the new model in late 2017. However, the delivery of the company’s SUV, the Model X, began just May last year after a series of delays, and if that is an indication of the company’s timeliness, then let’s not get our hopes up for a 2017 launch.

Tesla could also be taking a different approach with the new product. Rather than putting too many new features into the product, which Musk felt was the case with the Model X, it might roll out new updates over time, as it has done multiple times before with great success.

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Only 206 Model X’s were delivered in the last quarter of 2015, but the ever cocksure Musk called the company’s SUV the “best car ever”, but also said, “I’m not sure Tesla would make a car like this again”, a statement which might not work in favour of the Model 3 (never single out one of your children above the rest!). Expectations for the Model X are high this year, though. Production should hit 1,000 units each week in the second quarter, well above last year’s delivery numbers.

And perhaps some good news for Tesla investors as Tesla is on track to become a profitable business beginning in March. After eight years of hemorrhaging money – US$889 million last year – the company is expected to turn a profit this year. To achieve this, though, Tesla plans to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 new vehicles this year – a very ambitious plan, considering that there are only 107,000 Tesla cars in the world today.

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