It is widely known that the Tesla Model 3 production has been going through a “production hell.” But, how bad it is, is not known, as CEO Elon Musk gave no exact number of the Model 3 vehicles produced last month.
Model 3 production – going very slow
While speaking to analysts during the company’s conference call last week, Musk refused to reveal the Model 3 production number for October, saying, “people would just read too much into it.”
However, a report from Electrek claims that it has the Model 3 production number for the month.
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Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report claims that since the start of the Model 3 production in July until October, Tesla has built 440 Model 3 units. Previously, Tesla confirmed that between July and September it built 260 Model 3 units and delivered about 220 of them. If you do the calculation, it will come out to 180 units for October.
On an optimistic note, 180 units last month can be seen as a definite production ramp up (though not on a scale that Tesla wants), compared to 260 units in the previous three months. Tesla’s goal was to make 5,000 vehicles per week at some point in December, but it is clearly not anywhere near that as of now. The company has already said that it now expects to hit a weekly run-rate of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles by the end of the first-quarter.
Electrek’s report also notes that the 440 Model 3 vehicles have been delivered to the Tesla employees, company insiders and family members of the employees. The deliveries for regular customers were scheduled to start “late October,” but that deadline has clearly been pushed back, owing to the Model 3 “production hell.”
What exactly is the “production hell” for Model 3?
What actually is this “production hell” that Tesla and the Model 3 are going through? Musk spoke about it last week after the EV maker reported less than expected third-quarter numbers.
“The primary production constraint by far is in battery module assembly,” said Musk. Further, Musk mentioned that the Model 3 battery module production involves four “zones,” and there is a major problem with one of them.
“This is where a systems integration subcontractor really dropped the ball, and we did not realize the ball was dropped until recently, and we had to rewrite the software from scratch,” Tesla’s CEO said.
However, Musk showed confidence that going forward the battery module production will be more efficient as Tesla now has a better hand on the process.
Analysts, however, feel that with Tesla delaying the 5,000 Model 3 units target until next quarter, it puts greater pressure on the automaker. Many believe the delay could risk the future Model 3 targets, along with raising questions about Tesla’s other project’s timeline.
“We believe the market should not ignore fundamental challenges that persist with regards to Tesla’s Model 3 profitability, stationary storage & solar businesses, and eventual need to raise cash,” UBS analyst Colin Langan said in a note last week, according to CNBC.
At 9:48 a.m. EST, Tesla shares were down 2.20% at $297.50. Year to date, the stock is up over 39%, while in the last three months, it is down over 18%.