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Tesla says Model 3 saloon production still on track

Tesla has flatout denied rumours there will be a production delay for its affordable all-electric Model 3 saloon in the wake of a ‘speculative blogger report’ that claimed otherwise.

The Californian company took to the Twitter to dismiss the claims that production will be pushed back to 2018, a year later than expected. Tesla communication chief Ricardo Reyes tweeted: “Contrary to speculative blogger reports, we still plan to show Model 3 in 2016 and begin production in 2017.”

A slide in an official Tesla Motors slideshow presented by chief technical officer JB Straubel at the 2015 EIA Conference in Washington DC sparked the confusion. It said the Model 3 was ‘planned for 2018’, leading to reports of a pushback.

Tesla quickly clarified the slide in question was meant to reference “full production” of the Model 3 in 2018.

A spokesperson explained to Forbes: “Model 3 remains on schedule. As we’ve stated, we plan to show Model 3 in 2016 and begin production in 2017. Straubel’s slide is a high-level look into when Model 3 will be in full production.”

It is easy to understand why Tesla would have been keen to iron out the misunderstanding. The Model 3 is an extremely important car as it will go toe-to-toe with the likes of BMW and Audi in the fiercely competitive saloon market.

Tesla has a tough job on its hands against established rivals, but it knows the lure of never having to fill up with fuel will be a big draw for many motorists, especially when the expected retail price of the Model 3 is US$35,000 – significantly less than the larger Model S.

The Tesla Model 3 is expected to feature a 200-mile range between charges, will be a crossover and have a dual motor option, according to reports. It is possible a longer range version or versions will also make the cut for those who are willing to pay more for less range anxiety.

Tesla’s current focus will, of course, be on the Model X. The all-electric sports utility vehicle is expected to roll out the new model within the next three to four months.

More than one billion miles have been travelled in the Model S since its release in the US three years ago, the equivalent of 40,000 trips around the globe. British Model S owners have racked up 6.6 million miles between them, which is the same as 27 trips to the moon.

Read our Tesla Model S P85D first drive while you wait patiently for the new models to be unveiled.



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