Tesla opened the taps on Model 3 sales this week by dropping the exclusive reservations list it established past year, allowing anyone in the U.S.to order one of the small sedans with a $2,500 deposit.
Musk said Tesla had previously gambled its existence on its first and second vehicles, the Roadster sports auto and Model S sedan.
According to Bloomberg, Tesla may have delivered more vehicles to customers outside the U.S.in Q2 in order to avoid hitting the 200,000 USA delivery cap in that quarter and hit the cap in Q3. China already is Tesla's No. 2 market after the United States. It'll take another two to three years for the factory to reach its capacity to build about 500,000 vehicles annually.
Though Musk believes keeping Tesla's production numbers stable has left the company with "one foot left in hell", he's optimistic that Tesla won't face another existential crisis.
Tesla says an agreement signed recently with a Shanghai city government agency calls for construction to start in the near future.
The Model S sedan and Model X sport-utility vehicle can each cost more than $100,000.
The Model 3, which starts at $35,000, was created to broaden Tesla's customer base beyond the luxury segment and accelerate the pace of electric-vehicle adoption. That falls to 25% during the six months after that. Yeah, I've been sleeping on the factory floor, not because I think that's a fun place to sleep.
Tesla is the first automaker to reach this milestone, while General Motors has said that it expects to follow sometime later this year. But the joint statement described the plant as a Tesla "wholly owned Gigafactory".
Tesla's losses increased by 97.5 per cent to just under $785 million in the first quarter of 2018, despite the fact that earnings rose by 26.4 per cent to more than $3.4 billion.
Tesla announced in June it was cutting nine per cent of its workforce, or nearly 4,000 jobs, in an effort to boost profitability.
"If foreign automakers develop and build electric vehicles in the country, its domestic industry has the chance to absorb new, advanced technologies, helping China transform from a mere market into an automaking heavyweight", a report added.