Many customers may have to wait awhile to receive Tesla’s first mass-market model.
Tesla launched its highly-awaited Model 3 back in July, with some 500,000 reservations already placed. Enthusiastic buyers threw the company their money, and the waiting list stretches out for years to come. Despite all the hype, few examples of the Model 3 have actually made it onto the roads. That’s not necessarily a surprise, as Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, explained that production would start slow and ramp up over time. However, based on previously claimed targets, the company seems to be having issues with Tesla Model 3 production.
As it stands, some reports claim Tesla has manufactured fewer than 500 Model 3s between July and October. That falls well short of intended production numbers. Originally, Tesla planned to produce 20,000 Model 3s per month by the end of December, ramping up from there. So why are Tesla 3 deliveries at a trickle rather than a steadily strengthening current?
Musk tweeted last month that the Tesla 3 is currently stuck in “production hell”. In a conference call with financial analysts last week, he made it clear that there are still production issues that need to be worked out. In fact, it’s such an issue that he refused to confirm exactly how many Model 3s were produced in October. Various manufacturing bottlenecks are hampering Tesla Model 3 production. The main constraint seems to be battery production line at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. Musk claimed a subcontractor really “dropped the ball” in one of the most complex areas of the Model 3’s manufacturing process.
Another Tesla subcontractor claimed that body welding issues could also play a factor in the Model 3’s slow production. This information comes courtesy of a Tesla forums post wherein a current owner discussed the inner workings of Tesla production. It is important to note that, while the forum member assured the veracity of the subcontractor’s claims, TFLcar cannot independently verify their accuracy. Nevertheless, it seems Tesla has more or more bottlenecks that will slow down production and deliveries to eager owners.
Reservations are holding steadfast
While Tesla Model 3 production may be experiencing bottlenecks at the moment, reservation holders aren’t backing away. Tesla now claims it won’t be able to build 5,000 units per month until March, but faith in the brand is keeping reservation numbers steady.
As mentioned in our article on the possible elimination of the EV tax credit, we mentioned that Tesla is banking on the success of the Model 3 to secure its future. The Model 3 is a hugely important model for the brand, as it signals the transition from a startup, boutique manufacturer to mainstream car company. Many reservation holders are hoping a longer wait will translate to higher quality, and cement their confidence in the brand. Hopefully, Tesla will be able to work out its current production issues to make the Model 3 a success.