Skip to main content

Tesla is behind on Model 3 production

Tesla is behind on Model 3 production


‘We understand what needs to be fixed’

Share this story

Tesla Model 3 Gallery
Photo: Tesla

Tesla has produced 260 Model 3s since the car’s launch this summer, meaning the company is behind the original target of around 1,600 mentioned by CEO Elon Musk on Twitter in July. Of those produced, 220 were delivered. “Production bottlenecks” are to blame for the poor starting pace, according to Tesla, which says that “a handful” of manufacturing subsystems at both its California plant and Nevada Gigafactory “have taken longer to activate than expected.”

“It is important to emphasize that there are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production or supply chain,” the company writes. “We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.”

“There are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production or supply chain.”

The information comes from a report published today by Tesla that details its production and delivery numbers for all vehicles during the third quarter of 2017, which was otherwise a record-breaking one. Overall, Tesla delivered 26,150 vehicles — 14,065 of those were Model S, and 11,865 were Model X — which the company says was good enough to make it the “all-time best quarter” for both of those vehicles.

And while Tesla was under its own target of delivering 50,000 vehicles for the first half of the year, it says it expects to beat that number by “several thousand vehicles” in the second half, meaning it would deliver 100,000 Model S cars and Model X SUVs across all of 2017. Buzz from the release of the Model 3, as well as Musk’s attempts to shoo customers away from the waiting list (which is around a half a million people long) appear to be having an impact.

Attention will likely linger on the Model 3 production and delivery numbers until they come in line with the CEO’s expectations, though Musk has warned that they could be ugly at the outset. He even went so far as to say the company was entering “manufacturing hell” at the car’s launch.

Musk expects to ramp the production up rapidly to 10,000 Model 3s per week by the end of next year, and so he warned the company’s investors of fretting over early numbers when he spoke with them after last quarter’s results. “I would simply urge people to not get too caught up in what exactly falls within the exact calendar boundaries of a quarter, one quarter or the next, because when you have an exponentially growing production ramp, slight changes of a few weeks here or there can appear to have dramatic changes,” he said.