Tesla to begin Model 3 deliveries in Europe

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Tesla has gotten regulatory approval to start delivering its Model 3 mid-size electric sedan in Europe, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The company is cutting jobs so it can profitably deliver lower-priced versions of the Model 3, Tesla's first auto targeted for the mass market.

Deliveries of Model 3 outside the United States will be a crucial development for Tesla, whose chief executive Elon Musk has said that he wasn't anxious about Model 3 setbacks because of the drop in USA tax credit, as he expected deliveries to Europe and China to take off. "While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people". A Belgian news site reports that Tesla is expected to ship as many as 3,000 cars a week to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge for subsequent distribution across the continent.

Musk revealed that while in Q3 a year ago, Tesla made a 4% profit, in Q4, preliminary, unaudited results indicate that it again made a GAAP profit, but less than Q3.

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The timing could not be better because thousands of Model 3 vehicles are now on a ship to Europe, according to the Electrek.

Another factor that could hinder future Model 3 sales is that Tesla will soon be shipping more expensive variants to customers in both the United States and Europe.

The European rollout of the Model 3 will put pressure on German premium brands that have seen Tesla's Model S outsell their flagship sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz S class.

The company last week laid off roughly 7 percent of its full-time employees and all but its "most critical (temporary workers) and contractors", Musk said in a company email. Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Launching the Model 3 in Europe is deemed crucial for Tesla, especially after Elon Musk said that the company faces a "very difficult" road ahead.

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