Tesla makes 5,000 Model 3s per week, but can it continue?

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Inc. made 5,031 lower-priced Model 3 electric cars during the last week of June, surpassing its often-missed goal of 5,000 per week. But the company still only managed to crank out an average of 2,198 during the second quarter.

Tesla says in its quarterly production release that it made 28,578 Model 3s from April through June. It expects to reach 6,000 per week by late August.

The Model 3 is the key to turning Tesla from a niche maker of expensive electric cars to a profitable, mass-market automaker. The company badly needs cash from the compact cars to deliver on CEO Elon Musk’s promise to post a net profit and positive cash flow later this year.

Critics question whether the company can sustain the 5,000-per-week rate and produce quality vehicles.

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