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Tesla Model 3 Sales One-tenth of What Was Promised

Stop us if you've heard this one before, Tesla just missed its delivery promise.

September was supposed to be the Model 3’s big month. Elon Musk had promised "above 1,500 cars" would be built and delivered in September, but the production-challenged automaker only managed less than a tenth of that number. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Tesla’s launch flops in the past, and will not likely dampen the enthusiasm of the EVangelists who see the Model 3 as the big game changer for EVs in America.

Tesla was forgiven the slow launch and many production flaws in the Model S. After all, the Model S was an all-new idea; an EV that actually had decent range and fantastic performance. However, Tesla’s Model X launch flub didn’t really make sense. The company should have learned to better manage expectations, better prepare the vehicle before launch, and to ensure its production pipeline was firmed up before starting the delivery of that third Tesla model (remember the Model 3 is Tesla 4rth car, not its third – Roadster, Model S, Model X, Mode 3). Even after its launch, Tesla still missed production goals and misses its overall 2016 goal as well.

Related Story From 1 Year AgoHow Will Tesla Build 400K Model 3s If It Can't Build 1K Model Xs per month?

Tesla clearly thought ahead on the Model 3. The company isn’t really selling the car to the general public at this point. It is filling orders from its own employees who are far less likely to publicize problems and complain about delays and glitches. Tesla is also hedging on repairs and recalls by planning to sell cars in California close to its home base before filling orders from its pool of hundreds of thousands of pre-orders farther away from the very limited Tesla repair facilities (Some states have zero locations).

With Tesla's Model 3 September being about a tenth of the expected production, it is unclear if Tesla still plans to be selling “5,000 per week” by year’s end. Having followed Tesla Launches in the past we wish the company luck.


springer (not verified)    October 3, 2017 - 9:24AM

Unfortunately, Tesla is an emperor without clothing! It has no sustainable edge in anything, and all other auto giants like GM, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, etc are all jumping in the EV pond with both feet and launching hundreds of high performance long range EV. And auto giants have no problem scaling up their production unlike Musk's fantasy scale up predictions. Tesla will be very lucky just to stay in business, never mind auto manufacturing. After restructuring it might simply become just a powerwall and solar company minus auto manufacturing, as auto manufacturing is extremely cut throat busuness and Tesla is simply not competitive.