Tesla (TSLA) Chief Executive Elon Musk suggested in a tweet Friday that he’ll announce on Sunday when his company’s highly anticipated Model 3 sedan will arrive.
XAutoplay: On | OffIn a tweet from @Douglas Baily, asking for clarification on the Model 3 release date Musk replied: “news on Sunday.”
The Model 3 is Tesla’s first car for the masses and one that could determine the long-term fate of the electric vehicle maker, due to the many risks involved.
Tesla’s goal is to ramp up production to 500,000 Model 3 vehicles a year — a huge leap from its 100,000 run rate with its Model S sedan and Model X sport-utility vehicle. The Model 3 is a five-seat sedan with a starting price of $35,000, vs. $68,000 for the Model S and $82,400 for the Model X, both of which typically sell for about $100,000 when customer options are included.
Tesla recently affirmed that its Model 3 production is on track to begin in July at its Fremont, Calif., assembly plant, but did not specify when.
Tesla stock was up a fraction at Friday’s close to 361.61 on the stock market today.
IBD’S TAKE: Tesla stock hit a record high of 386.99 on June 23 and is up 70% in the past year. An analyst warned that a wave of optimism toward Tesla could wane once investors begin to judge the company on product demand, growth and profit.
Tesla has labored under financial pressure since it was founded in 2003, and has yet to turn an annual profit, but that hasn’t stopped the stock from climbing ever higher.
Tesla’s current production goal is to be making 1 million cars a year by 2020. The stock is pricing in auto sales of 2 million units in 10 years, estimated UBS analyst Colin Langan in a recent research report. This would be in line with BMW today and just shy of the 2.4 million from Daimler’s Mercedes unit, Langan wrote.
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