Tesla production in China could reach 2,000 vehicles a week by the end of the year, CEO Elon Musk has said.

"It looks like we will reach volume production at the end of this year with at least more than 1,000 cars a week, maybe 2,000," Musk said, according to Bloomberg.

"If it's not then, it will be shortly thereafter."

Musk was responding to an analyst's question after a results announcement about whether he was still confident in reaching a 3,000 cars a week target.

In January, Bloomberg noted, Musk said he was initially aiming for output of 3,000 Model 3 cars a week in Shanghai though he didn't specify when that target would be reached.

Tesla's first Chinese factory, under construction, would help the company to avoid the current 15% tariff on imported cars from the US, making its pricing more competitive against local brands, the report said.

Bloomberg said the need for Tesla to expand beyond its US home market was highlighted by the earnings reported this week, with first-quarter results missing analysts' projections. The halving of a federal tax incentive for Tesla purchases starting in January dragged on US demand in the quarter, and Tesla struggled to offset that drop by starting deliveries of the Model 3 in Europe and China.

Musk also said Tesla was working to have multiple battery cell suppliers for the Shanghai factory.

Tesla, which has so far relied on Panasonic batteries, is talking with top Chinese battery producer Contemporary Amperex Technology about supplying cells for the Model 3 cars it will assemble in Shanghai, Bloomberg sources have said.