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EDIT: Confirmed.... IT'S HAPPENING!!
Tesla Inc. TSLA +4.04% for the first time is notifying some reservation holders new to the electric-car brand that they can begin configuring and ordering their Model 3 sedan.
The milestone suggests production of the vehicle at Tesla’s assembly plant is picking up steam after a turbulent beginning in July. Previously, the Silicon Valley auto maker had limited opening orders to reservation holders who were employees or had been previous Tesla customers.
The Model 3 represents a key part of Chief Executive Elon Musk’s strategy to remake Tesla from niche luxury-car company into a mainstream player that sells electric vehicles, solar panels and storage batteries.
Tesla confirmed a small group of customers are receiving notifications Thursday based on when they placed their reservations. The company traditionally has rolled out invitations in small groups and over time aligned them to production rates.
Tesla has received about 500,000 reservations for the Model 3 since revealing the sedan in 2016. The company expects that customers invited to complete their design will receive their cars about four weeks after placing their order.
Production on the Model 3 began in July last year, and Tesla has struggled to meet its ambitious goals.
In January, the company reported delivering about 1,600 Model 3 vehicles during the final three months of 2017—well below its goal of a build rate of 5,000 Model 3s on a weekly basis. Tesla pushed back that goal until the end of the first half. A rate of 5,000 vehicles a week would equal about 250,000 cars a year.