Tesla pushes back Model 3 targets again after production miss

05 January, 2018, 15:21 | Author: Lynette Payne
  • Tesla CEO Elon

The electric vehicle maker said it delivered 1,550 Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter of 2017, up from 220 the previous quarter.

Tesla shares fell as much as 3.6 per cent to US$305.68, the biggest intraday drop in five weeks.

The Model 3, the electric auto starting at $35,000, is meant to take the Silicon Valley startup to hundreds of thousands of vehicles a year, but it has been in "production hell" for several months, in the words of CEO Elon Musk.

Many analysts believed Model 3 production would ramp up significantly in the fourth quarter this year and that roughly 4100 examples would be delivered. But early versions of the Model 3 suffered battery quality problems, and it's not clear whether those have been sufficiently resolved.

We're very grateful to everyone at Tesla who has poured their heart and soul into helping with the Model 3 ramp and creating the progress we are seeing.

Tesla had originally expected to be making 5,000 Model 3s/week by the end of Q4.

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"Tesla has really lofty goals for automation", Tasha Keeney, an analyst at ARK Investment Management, which holds Tesla shares, said in a phone interview. Overall deliveries were up from the 25,336 vehicles it shipped in the third quarter, but the all-important Model 3 numbers were well below what analysts anticipated and what Tesla CEO Elon Musk once predicted. "Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec", Musk tweeted back in January.

Previously, CEO Elon Musk signaled that Tesla's launch of the vehicle would be hard and described it as "production hell".

Furthermore, the company also managed to deliver a total of 15,200 Model S sedans and 13,120 Model X SUVs a year ago.

Update: Tesla's earnings report is out and the company manufactured 2,425 Model 3 units for the quarter, good enough for about 2716 for the year.

It'll take Tesla another three months to double that number. Many thought that the same would happen with Model 3 - that early cars would have issues, and later cars wouldn't. It built 793 Model 3 cars in the last seven working days of the fourth quarter, according to the press release issued Wednesday afternoon.

The company said it will "continue to focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing the highest possible production in the shortest period of time". The organization said that over the most recent couple of days of the quarter it achieved a creation rate that "extrapolates to more than 1,000 Model 3's for every week". The automaker expects to hit a rate of 2,500 vehicles a week in the first quarter. The quarterly total is a 27% year-on-year rise, a 9% quarter-on-quarter increase and also the company's new all-time best quarter for S and X deliveries.



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