These tweets come right after the official launch of Tesla's most affordable vehicle the Model 3. The lithium ion battery pack delivers 350 km of range on full charge, while the auto has traditional Tesla acceleration - 100 km/h takes just 5.6 seconds, with a top speed of 210 km/h. Development of the Model 3 has cost the company billions, forcing it to launch another stock offering last May.
Tesla also says it aims to deliver a total of 47,000 to 50,000 Model Ss and Model Xs in the first half of this year, but it hasn't given a figure for Model 3 target sales.
The Model 3 has always been part of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla's plans.
"Owners of the more expensive Models S and X are generally more willing to tolerate problems because they have other vehicles they can drive while their Tesla is in the shop", said David Sullivan, a senior consultant with AutoPacific.
'The whole point of Tesla was to build a great affordable electric vehicle, ' Musk said at gathering for the rollout of the first Model 3 cars.
He later offered an unfavorable comparison to his career, tweeting: "If you buy a ticket to hell, it isn't fair to blame hell". People ordering a vehicle now likely won't get it until late 2018. Musk said more than 500,000 people have put down a $1,000 deposit for the vehicle.
Tesla starts production of the Model 3 in later this week. The latest effort began in February after Tesla employee Jose Moran made a number of allegations in a post on Medium about the working conditions there, including lower-than-average pay, excessive mandatory overtime, low morale, unfair promotions, high turnover, and frequent workplace injuries. It has no instrument panel; the speed limit and other information normally there can be found on the center screen.
Still, Musk said he's expecting "at least six months of manufacturing hell" as the Model 3 ramps up to full production. Tesla's quality has been notoriously uneven. Toyota Motor Corp. made more than 10 million vehicles past year. The company reported an earnings miss in the past two quarters, but before that it was a yo-yo pattern of hits and misses. Murdoch and Rice earlier this month had been brought to the board as a compromise by Musk following shareholder pressure to have a more balanced perspective not beholden to Tesla management.
"A decade ago they were a little more than golf carts".