Tesla missed its weekly Model 3 production target today and said it was facing a 40% import tariff in China due to the ongoing US-China trade war. 

The electric car maker said it was speeding up construction of its Shanghai factory as it seeks to combat hefty tariffs. 

Tesla produced over 5,300 Model 3 cars in the last week of September, falling short of its target of 6,000. 

Overall in the third quarter the company produced 53,239 cars in the third quarter, in line with its target of 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s, and delivered 55,840 of the vehicles to customers. 

The Model 3 sedan is key to the money-losing company's growth and profit plans and underpins its goal of eventually becoming a mass-production car maker. 

"With production stabilised, delivery and outbound vehicle logistics were our main challenges during Q3," the company said in a statement. 

Tesla first met a long-held target of 5,000 vehicles a week at the end of June after a series of production bottlenecks and delays. Since then the company has been striving to sustain and increase that level. 

Including its flagship Model S and X vehicles, Tesla produced a total of 80,142 vehicles in the quarter and delivered 83,500. 

Tesla has said it will deliver about 100,000 Model S and X vehicles in 2018.