This time it's the $35K base model that has been pushed back to late 2018, but current production is ramping up.
In news that will actually surprise no one at all, we're hearing that Tesla won't start delivering the most affordable base Model 3 until late this year, which likely means sometime next year or next decade according to Tesla's optimistic delivery estimates. In positive news, Tesla has begun delivering Model 3s with some regularity, building almost a thousand per week at this point according to Bloomberg's Tesla Model 3 Tracker.
But to get back to the doom and gloom, it's nowhere close to the 10,000 per week Tesla had originally promised, the 5,000 per week it downgraded to last November, and now they're not expecting to hit that 5,000 per week until this summer. Car and Driver reports that the base model will still be delivered at the promised $35,000 in "late 2018", and that the dual-motor AWD versions should hit the production line in "mid-2018". Current deliveries have all-been top-dollar, single-motor, big-battery versions, which makes business sense, but crushes the dreams of all those $35K, 200-mile EV in early 2018 dreamers that lined up with their deposits and thought putting their money down meant getting something in return in a reasonable amount of time.
Enough with the doom and gloom and let's shine a ray of hope back out there. Bloomberg arrives at its production estimates by tracking registered and reported VINs and although their production estimates are cautious, last week both input sources reached new highs, so it could indicate Tesla is finally hitting that exponential growth in production we've all been waiting for. It can't come soon enough because the first of Tesla's premium competitors has arrived from Jaguar, the I-Pace, and Mercedes, BMW, Mini, and Audi Should have full electrics flooding dealerships by next year, though BMW has stated that it is in no rush to get into the mass-market EV game until it is more profitable.