March 4, 2019 / 8:57 PM / 17 days ago

Musk says $35,000 Model 3 to reach volume production mid-year

SpaceX founder Elon Musk looks on at a post-launch news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifted off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 2, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Monday production of the $35,000 version of the electric carmaker’s Model 3 will start this month, but would not reach “volume production” until mid-year.

"Gap in understanding is that $35k Model 3 production *starts* this month, but will not reach volume production until mid year. Extremely difficult to predict middle part of manufacturing S-curve," Musk said in response to a tweet here.

It was not immediately clear what Musk meant by “volume production”. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

The launch of the $35,000 version, Tesla’s cheapest model, last week comes at a crucial time for the company as some analysts had raised concerns that demand for the higher-priced versions of the Model 3 was beginning to dry up in the United States, especially after a federal tax credit was cut in half this year.

Tesla also said last week its global sales would now be online-only, in a bid to cut overhead costs.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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