Tesla confirm the $US35,000 Model 3 to enter production
Tesla's long-promised "Standard" Model 3 is finally entering production.
The headline-grabbing $US35,000 ($49,300) was confirmed by Tesla last week with the first examples expected to reach US customers in the next two to four weeks, according to its US website.
Tesla boss Elon Musk has previously tweeted to Australian fans that the Model 3 would be priced the same locally - plus currency conversion, import duties and other taxes.
The standard vehicle is more modest inside with cloth upholstery and a more basic version of the car's navigation and audio technology.
Tesla claims the Model 3's battery has a range of 354km and can propel it to 209km/h, via doing the 0-60 miles per hour (97km/h) sprint in a nifty 5.6 seconds.
Buyers who want a little extra range and speed can upgrade to the Standard Range Plus version which can travel an extra 32km and lowers its sprint time by 0.3 seconds. Ticking this box raises the price by $US2000 ($2800).
However, the bad news is Tesla Australia has no further update on local prices or availability, saying the first Model 3 cars of undetermined specification should land locally from about July.
Tesla also announced it would shift all its sales online as the company closed a large number of stores, keeping only those in high traffic areas to serve as "galleries".
This move was to help reduce expenses so the company could keep the price to the promised $US35,000.
Tesla will invest some of the savings in its servicing program. The maker aims for same-day services, with the majority carried out at a location convenient to the owner.
The Tesla Model 3 recently came under fire from US organisation Consumer Reports - which performs a similar function to Choice in Australia - for its poor reliability.
The ratings agency reduced its recommendation to "Do not buy" after its latest reliability survey.
However, Tesla has said the data for the survey was from months ago and it has improved quality markedly over that time. The brand maintains that it strives to fix issues as soon as they become known.