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Tesla to unveil electric 3 Series rival next March

Discussing future plans in its Q1 2015 investors’ conference call, co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said that the company is investing heavily in new technology, reduced per-unit manufacturing costs and additional capacity for the new and existing models – factors which had contributed to its $154m operating loss for the first three months of the year.

In the short term, this will prepare it for the Model X SUV, which will be available to configure – though likely only for North America at first – from July, with first deliveries expected in the autumn.

Musk said the delays were a result of bigger than expected differences to the Model S, comfirming that the Falcon Wing doors, which hinge upwards to allow easy access to the seven-seater’s third row, will be retained from the concept car. The range will also include a high-performance dual-motor version similar to the Model S.

The Model 3, a compact newcomer which will be Tesla’s pure electric rival to BMW’s 3 Series, is scheduled for a March 2016 unveiling, which implies it could break cover at the Geneva Motor Show. Musk said he believes this will arrive from mid-2017, though added that the autumn was more realistic.

Tesla delivered 11,160 vehicles globally during the first quarter of 2015, up 10% on forecasts, and is anticipating expenditure will continue to rise during the second and third quarters. With the first Model X deliveries, the carmaker expects to have delivered 55,000 units by the end of the year.

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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