It could easily have been described as a love fest when Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk waltzed onto stage at the company’s Fremont, California factory on Thursday night. Cheers quickly turned into a roar of praise as Musk introduced the maker’s highly anticipated Model 3 sedan.
Tusk suggested those at the event sign up to order the new battery-electric vehicle, but they’ll have to wait in line. Even before the car was revealed, Musk stated, Tesla had already taken 115,000 orders for a vehicle that won’t reach showrooms before late 2017 — at the earliest.
“I feel confident [deliveries] will begin next year,” said the South African-born entrepreneur, revealing a slight hesitation. Tesla’s most recent entry, the big Model X SUV, was two years late to market, compounding the carmaker’s ongoing financial woes.
Despite Tesla’s high performance in the stock market, with a valuation far in excess of industry giants like General Motors and Toyota, however, it has barely turned a profit in its 13-year history.
But the Model 3, guarantees Musk, will change all that.
According to the company website, the Model 3 combines real world range, performance, safety and spaciousness into a premium sedan that only Tesla can build. Tesla’s most affordable car yet, Model 3 achieves 215 miles of range per charge while starting at only $35,000 before incentives. With a five star safety rating, Model 3 will also be the safest car in its class.