Tesla Model 3 to Be Unveiled in March

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Elon Musk

The $35,000 electric sedan will be available for pre-order March 31 and enter production in 2017.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk confirmed its Model 3 — the company's bid to build a mass-market car — will be unveiled next month and enter production by the end of 2017.

"We're really looking forward to the unveiling of the Model 3 next month," Musk told financial analysts in a conference call about Tesla's fourth-quarter 2015 results.

Musk later posted on his Twitter account that Model 3 reservations, with a $1,000 deposit, would be accepted starting March 31 at Tesla stores and April 1 online. The Model 3's $35,000 list price does not take into account federal and state financial incentives, which could lower the actual price of the car to $25,000 in California.

The Model 3 is seen as crucial to Tesla's future. Musk has stated that the carmaker, whose Model S was the best-selling luxury car in the United States in 2015, according to estimates compiled by EV Obsession, and a perennial favorite of Hollywood's ruling class, will sell 500,000 cars a year by 2020.

In order to build the Model 3 in volume, Tesla is building a $6 billion gigafactory in the Nevada desert to supply batteries for the Model 3, Model S and the Model X, an $80,000 SUV that is finally hitting the streets after years of production delays related to its exceedingly complex design.

The Model 3 announcement and strong sales projections for the Model S and Model X helped temper Tesla's otherwise disastrous fourth-quarter earnings, which fell well below analysts' projections. Tesla stock, which had fallen nearly 40 percent since the beginning of this year, rose more than 10 percent following Musk's comments.