Elon Musk has been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately. Yesterday, he confirmed reveal dates for the Tesla semi truck and pickup truck. In yet another tweet, he said the Model 3 will have its "final" reveal in July, the same month Tesla has promised to start production of the $35,000 electric car.
Tesla unveiled a prototype version of the Model 3 last year, and while it did not reflect the final design of the car, it was enough to generate over 400,000 reservations in a matter of months. That's what a 215-mile range at a mainstream price, combined with the Tesla mythos, can do.
The "final" version should answer a few remaining questions about the car. One area of the Model 3 still generating a lot of questions is the dashboard. The Model 3 prototypes Tesla showed last year had a single central display screen that looked interchangeable, with no conventional instrument panel. Musk subsequently hinted that this did not represent the final design. Last month, he said the production Model 3 will rely solely on some form of central display screen to really information to the driver.
Tesla plans to begin production of the Model 3 the same month as the unveil of the "final" version. It will need to ramp up production quickly—not only to fill all of those reservations, but to meet Musk's goal of building 500,000 cars per year beginning next year. With its more mainstream pricing, the Model 3 will account for the majority of that volume.
However, Tesla has missed every one of its vehicle-launch deadlines so far. Any delay with the Model 3 could jeopardize that 500,000-car target, not to mention prolong the amount of time Tesla goes without turning a profit. But Musk believes improvements to Tesla's manufacturing process will allow things to go smoothly. Tesla is currently retooling an engineering firm it bought last year into "Tesla Advanced Automation Germany" to support Model 3 production.