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Tesla zips ahead of Model S production goals

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Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/File

(Read caption) People wait to see Tesla Motors Inc CEO Elon Musk demonstrate Tesla's battery-swapping program in Hawthorne, Calif. in June 2013. Tesla recently announced that it is ahead of its target production goal, setting it on the way to produce 800 Model S vehicles by late 2014.

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All is still well at Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA], it seems, with CEO Elon Musk announcing the company is beating its self-imposed production targets.

As Bloomberg reports, Tesla is ahead of its 400-per-week production goal, by a margin Musk describes as "not trivial."

Meeting such a target is all the more important as Tesla's sole new product, the Model S, is set to go on sale in European markets in the next few months.

Back in January, the company announced it had reached full production capacity of 400 units per week, after a slow start in 2012 which saw Tesla miss its 5,000-car delivery goal.

Tesla is clearly capable of more, though. Musk says the pace of production will rise to 800 per week by late 2014: "I'm very confident we'll get there," he told Bloomberg.

Targets are higher than that, of course, Musk providing an optimistic soundbite that Tesla's Fremont plant will one day return to its full, pre-Tesla production capacity of half a million vehicles per year — numbers achieved in the plant's GM-Toyota period.

To this, he added, "We going to have every kind of car you could possibly imagine ... if it moves, we'll make it."

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For the time being, production will be a little lower than this, and the combined efforts of the U.S, Asia and Europe should see 21,000 Model S delivered this year. That's still a number below only a handful of major automakers' own electric vehicles, but one expected to grow when Tesla's future models come on song--including the Model X crossover and a sub-Model S sedan.

Beating production targets is the latest in a string of good news stories for Tesla and its fans, including the firm's first-quarter profit earlier this year, and the announcement it had paid off its Department of Energy loan a full 9 years early.

 


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