Tesla aims to produce half a million cars annually by 2018

Ramping up production in the face of fresh losses and executive departures...

Tesla Motors is revving up production of its forthcoming mass-market Model 3 car, and has promised to be building 500,000 of the electric cars by 2018.

The latest announcement puts their production acceleration two full years ahead of schedule, as Telsa also warns that spending will increase 50% more than previously forecast as a result.

Elon Musk's company is hoping that its Model 3 sedan will help move Tesla from niche manufacturer to high-volume automaker.

There are 400,000 reservations on Model 3s already that have to made good on by the end of the decade.

On Wednesday, Musk confessed during a press conference call that his company had struggled to meet demand for its cars in the past.

He said:

"Tesla is gonna be hell-bent on becoming the best manufacturer on Earth.

"Thus far I think we’ve done a good job on design and technology... The key thing we need to achieve in the future is also to be the leader in manufacturing. It’s the thing that we need to obviously solve if we’re going to scale and scale rapidly".

The call was primarily to announce Tesla's Q1 results, with the firm reporting a $283 million loss during the start of the year. It was its 12th consecutive quarterly loss, and followed Musk's incorrect prediction that Tesla was about to find itself in the black.

Despite this, the loss wasn't as significant as Wall Street had expected, meaning its stock rose 4.4% for the rest of the trading day.

It was also confirmed that two of Tesla's senior manufacturing executives, VP of manufacturing Josh Ensign and VP of production Greg Reichow, are leaving the company.

Musk put out the request:

"To the best manufacturing people in the world, we want you to come join our company".