Elon Musk isn’t afraid to think outside the box. Sometimes that is a good thing, like solar roof tiles that could become the norm. Sometimes it’s a very bad thing, like thinking free frozen yogurt is as good as a union. However, between the company’s cars, hyperloops, and trips to Mars, Musk and Tesla’s visions of the future have been rather expensive. Musk will try to change that this week when the Model 3, Tesla’s first mass-market car, launches.
The first Model 3, which will cost about $35,000 — still steep for the average car-buyer, but it’s a start — will roll off the line Friday, and Musk says production will steadily increase with a goal of hitting 20,000 a month by the end of the year. In comparison, in 2016 Tesla produced some 85,000 cars though with a price tag averaging nearly three times the cost of the Model 3 for its other cars.
Musk, however, appears to be betting big on the Model 3. The company built a $5 billion dollar factory in Nevada to produce the car’s batteries and is considering opening a plant in California. Earlier this year, the company raised over $1 billion through stock offerings and debt to offset recent quarterly losses. Investors so far seem to be buying in: Tesla shares are way up this year, leaving the company with higher valuations than traditional car-makers like General Motors and Ford.