Tesla Model 3s are starting to show up at the company's retail stores for the first time

Business Insider | Jan 12, 2018, 08.30AM IST

Tesla Model 3

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

A Tesla Model 3 at the company's retail store at Westfield Century City.

  • Tesla is starting to bring production versions of its mass-market Model 3 electric sedan to retail stores as customer deliveries begin.
  • The first ones are showing up at Tesla's California retail locations in the Los Angeles suburb of Century City, and Palo Alto in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Customer deliveries have begun, but Tesla has encountered some production challenges in the last several months that have prompted delays.
  • Tesla says it hopes that putting the Model 3 on display at its stores will give customers a chance to experience the car while they wait to take delivery.

CENTURY CITY, California - Tesla is starting to bring its mass-market Model 3 cars to its retail stores in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Model 3 is Tesla's first offering in the entry level luxury segment. With customer deliveries officially underway, the company says it wants to give some of its roughly 455,000 reservation-holders and potential customers a chance to see the car in the metal for the first time inside its stores.

Starting Friday, people will be able to sit in the cars, kick the tires, and learn about the features and equipment from Tesla staff, but test drives aren't happening just yet. That's coming later, the company said in a press release.

Tesla Model 3

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

A Tesla Model 3 at the company's retail store at Westfield Century City.

The first Model 3s will show up at Tesla locations in the Los Angeles area, beginning with its Westfield Century City store.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, you can catch the Model 3 at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.

It's no secret Tesla has encountered some Model 3 production challenges in the early going. It produced only 260 Model 3s out of the projected 1,500 in the third quarter of 2017. And in the fourth quarter, Tesla produced 1,550.

Tesla announced last week that it would slash Model 3 production targets in half for the first quarter of 2018. The company says it expects to crank out 2,500 Model 3 cars per week by the end of Q1 2018, and 5,000 cars per week on the tail end of the second quarter.

Despite the lag, the company set a sales record for 2017, delivering 101,312 Model S and Model X vehicles alone during the year - the first time Tesla crossed the 100,000-vehicles-sold benchmark in 14 years.

Get the latest Tesla stock price here.

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