Tesla finally hits its Model 3 production goals

3 sedan is displayed during its launch in Hawthorne

Tesla Inc reached a milestone critical to Elon Musk's goal to bring electric cars to the masses - and earn some profit in the process - by finally exceeding a long-sought production target with the Model 3.

CEO Elon Musk sent an e-mail to company employees Sunday praising them for producing 5,000 Model 3s, a compact auto that's created to shift Tesla from a niche manufacturer to a mainstream automaker.

Tesla's heavily-shorted shares rose as much as 6.4 percent to $364.78 in early trading, but sank after several analysts questioned whether Tesla would be able to sustain the Model 3 production momentum, which is crucial for the long-term financial health of the company.

Musk has said he plans to double Model 3 production to 10,000 as it adds a third production line at its Fremont, Calif., manufacturing plant.

The company has been beset by controversy in recent weeks, as Musk accused former employees of sabotage after a small fire on one production line and filed a lawsuit against another for orchestrating a data leak to the press.

TipRanks indicates Wall Street is evenly split between a battle of bulls vs. bears on this electro vehicle giant giant.

In the email to his staff, Mr Musk wrote, "We did it!" Statements from officials say that, despite being built in a tent, the Model 3s that roll off that line are "as good as" those coming off GA3.

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"When we start to provide customers an opportunity to see and test drive the auto at their local store, we expect that our orders will grow faster than our production rate", the company said today. Reaching that goal required building a tent outside of the factory to house an all-new assembly line, pulling workers away from the Model S and Model X production lines, and running two 12-hour shifts every day of the week.

Doug Field was relieved by Elon Musk as head of Model 3 production in April and is now taking a break from the company. Reservation holders waiting for the Model 3 welcomed the news like a Christmas basket.

Hitting the target is another against-all-odds achievement for Musk, who first revealed the Model 3 in late 2016. It is not clear how numerous orders are for the more premium version.

Tesla in the remaining days of the second quarter managed to hit its production goal of 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week, albeit only barely. Tesla has delivered 28,386 Model 3 cars to date.

Tesla has missed earlier production goals for the vehicle. When we start to provide customers an opportunity to see and test drive the auto at their local store, we expect that our orders will grow faster than our production rate.

Overall, Q2 2018 production came to 53,339 vehicles.

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