Production numbers for Tesla electric cars have always been slightly murky.
The company announces deliveries only quarterly and refuses to break them down by country, meaning there are no sales figures that directly compare with those routinely issued by other makers.
The Tesla Model 3 has endured a long, painful, and somewhat public "production hell" as the company struggles to get it into steady, automated, high-volume production at the necessary levels of quality.
Similar concerns over the earlier Model S and Model X led Tesla owners and fans to create "VIN Trackers," essentially lists of observed vehicle serial numbers in cars seen in public.
Now the Bloomberg media empire and financial analysis group has joined the fray, launching its own Tesla Model 3 Tracker to help understand how many Model 3s have been built and when.
As of this morning, the Bloomberg tracker estimates that just over 7,500 Model 3s have been built since July 2017.
2018 Tesla Model 3
It also calculates that current weekly production volume is just over 950 cars per week.
Bloomberg says it uses two methods to obtain Model 3 serial numbers.
The first is to request information on the latest VINs Tesla has submitted to the NHTSA, which registers every serial number so it can track and expedite vehicle recalls.
The second method is to track social-media reports of Model 3 VINs observed in public.
As Bloomberg notes, this is "a crude way to track the rollout because not all VINs are produced sequentially, deliveries can be delayed, and ... some newly released cars" will inevitably be missed.
The company has added to that its own reporting function, inviting all new Model 3 owners to register their VINs and help track the latest cars to emerge from the assembly plant in Fremont, California.
2018 Tesla Model 3
The Model 3 production rate is only at issue because not only financial analysts but also the 455,000 reservation-holders have a strong interest in knowing how the Model 3 launch is progressing.
Not all of those $1,000 deposits will turn into Model 3 sales, of course, and a few have already walked away and purchased a different electric car.
Many of those buyers seem to opt for either a pricier Tesla Model S or the 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Last July, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confidently projected the company would be making 5,000 electric cars a week by the end of 2017, a deadline that was pushed back three months and then another three. It's now scheduled to happen by June 30 this year.
Meanwhile, the company hopes to be building 2,500 cars—Model S and Model production included, as well as the Model 3—just six week from now, by March 30.
Perhaps inevitably, as Bloomberg notes, "Tesla declined to comment" on its Model 3 production numbers or the accuracy of the tracker.