After months of delays, round-the-clock manufacturing and other drastic measures, Tesla appears to have met its long-sought 5,000-per-week Model 3 production target -- if only just. An employee briefly posted a photo on Twitter showing fellow staffers signing a "Model 3 5K Club" poster with the question "why would you doubt us," suggesting that Tesla had hit the elusive goal and was celebrating its achievement. Electrek reported other workers apparently cheering the achievement on social networks, while Reuters cited two workers who said the last car of the batch officially rolled off the Fremont line at 5AM local time on July 1st -- a little late, but close enough.
We've asked Tesla if it can confirm the reports. The company is expected to release its production numbers for the second quarter within days, though, so it may verify (or shoot down) the claim before long.
There's no question that Tesla's production rate has been improving. It was up to 3,500 per week in mid-June (around when its tent-like assembly line launched), and the company was comfortable enough that it started manufacturing Performance variants after months of sticking to one configuration. The very first international deliveries began in May, for that matter. The question is less about the goal itself as it is the sustainability. Did Tesla need a short-term burst to get to 5,000, or is this a sustainable figure even if there were no further upgrades?
If this is a sustainable number, it'll be important for both Tesla and its customers. The EV producer has long seen that 5,000-unit weekly goal as essential to turning a profit on Model 3 production (to date, each vehicle has represented a loss), securing its long-term health and widening the number of models it can make. If you ordered the fabled $35,000 base Model 3, you may be one step closer to getting it.
Update: Elon Musk has since tweeted that Tesla produced 7,000 cars in the space of a week, although that figure is more likely to include Tesla's other vehicles in addition to the Model 3.