In a tweet response Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that buyers waiting to order a Model 3 with all-wheel drive or the Performance package can begin placing their orders by the end of this week.
Last month, Musk had said that the Dual Motor all-wheel-drive and Performance versions of the Model 3 would not be available until after the company reached full production of 5,000 of the cars a week at its Fremont, California, factory.
Now, facing a cash crunch and sitting on deposits from thousands of buyers waiting to order these models, Musk has moved up the timeline.
Tesla will enable orders end of next week for dual motor AWD & performance. Starting production of those in July. Air suspension prob next year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2018
After shutting down the assembly line last month to improve production, it’s not clear whether this announcement means that the company has reached full production of the Model 3. Musk has since upped the Model 3 production target to 6,000 cars per week.
The all-wheel-drive and Performance versions of the Model 3 will likely carry higher profit margins for Tesla, which would help the company build revenue. The long range, rear-wheel drive Model 3s that Tesla has been building so far, have been selling for $50,000 to $55,000, with most buyers opting for AutoPilot according to anecdotal reports in Tesla forums.
The all-wheel drive and Performance options will sell for even more.
Deposit holders still waiting to order basic $35,000 Model 3s likely will wait longer.
With more manual labor in assembly since the factory shutdown, Tesla’s cost to build each Model 3 has likely gone up, and the company may be seeking higher revenues from new Model 3s to offset those costs.
The rollout follows the pattern Tesla used with the Model S and Model X, selling initially to investors, employees, and board members, then expanding to the highest volume model a long-range battery and the most desirable options, then beginning to offer more affordable variants.