The success of the Model 3’s production plan is highly important not only to Tesla, but to the ~400,000 people who by pre-ordering the vehicle are now planning their next car purchase around the release of the Model 3. If Tesla starts volume production in late 2017 and manages to manufacture 500,000 vehicles (Model 3, S and X) in 2018 as planned, the automaker will work through its backlog fairly quickly and everything should work out fine.

But if god forbid Tesla misses some deadlines, it will create headaches for a lot of people, including the automaker. The next important deadline is pencil down on the design of the Model 3, which should be this week based on Elon Musk’s most recent timeline. expand full story