Tesla Just Barely Achieved Its Model 3 Production Goal in Q2

Now Tesla is aiming for 6,000 Model 3s per week.

Tesla produced 5,031 Model 3 electric cars in the last seven days of the second quarter, achieving a much-discussed production goal by the thinnest of margins. The automaker also produced 1,913 Model S and Model X vehicles in those same seven days.

"The last 12 months were some of the most difficult in Tesla's history, and we are incredibly proud of the whole Tesla team for achieving the 5,000-unit Model 3 production rate. It was not easy, but it was definitely worth it," Tesla said in a statement.

Tesla's total second-quarter production was 53,339 cars. The company said that was a 55 percent increase over the first quarter. That total included 28,578 Model 3s, marking the first time production of the sedan exceeded combined Model S and Model X production. Tesla said it produced almost three times the amount of Model 3s than it did in its first quarter. The company also said its second quarter of 2018 was its most productive quarter ever, the second quarter in a row that it has made that claim.

GA4, the controversial new assembly line set up in a tent outside Tesla's Fremont, California, factory, was responsible for 20 percent of Model 3s produced in the final week of its second quarter, the company said, adding that quality from that line matched that of its existing Model 3 assembly line. Tesla said the conventional assembly line, known as GA3, can reach a production rate of 5,000 Model 3s a week alone, but that the new GA4 line helped achieve that goal faster, and will help exceed that rate. Tesla hopes to increase production to 6,000 Model 3s per week by late August.

While Tesla built 53,339 cars in its second quarter, it only delivered 40,740 to customers. That total included 18,440 Model 3, 10,930 Model S, and 11,370 Model X vehicles. As always, Tesla said its delivery count was slightly conservative, as it only considers a car to be delivered once the vehicle is in a customer's hands, and all paperwork is completed. 

At the end of the second quarter, 11,166 Model 3 and 3,892 Model S and Model X electric cars were in transit to customers. These will be counted toward the automaker's third-quarter delivery tally. Tesla said the number of Model 3s in transit was unusually high due to a significant increase in production toward the end of the quarter.

Even with that production increase, Tesla still has a lot of Model 3 reservations to handle. The company said it had roughly 420,000 outstanding reservations at the end of its second quarter, with 28,386 cars delivered. Tesla expects demand to spike again as it begins offering test drives at its retail stores. The launch of dual-motor all-wheel drive versions of the Model 3 will likely attract a cluster of new orders as well.