Tesla blames ‘bottleneck’ as only 260 Model 3s are produced in Q3

3 Oct 2017

People queuing to order the Tesla Model 3. Image: TierneyMJ/Shutterstock

It appears as if the thousands of customers who ordered their Tesla Model 3 cars will have to wait a while longer as the company blames ‘production bottlenecks’.

Anyone who has recently had their new Tesla Model 3 delivered may feel as if they have won the lottery based on the latest quarterly report from the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer.

Despite Tesla having as many as 400,000 orders for the car Elon Musk views as the entry-level option for the mass adoption of EVs, the company admitted that it has only managed to produce 260 of the Model 3 since its launch this summer. On top of that, Tesla added that it has only been able to deliver 220 of those to customers.

At this current rate, many thousands more could be waiting years for their delivery.

In its quarterly statement, Tesla blamed “production bottlenecks” for the hold-up.

“Although the vast majority of manufacturing subsystems at both our California car plant and our Nevada Gigafactory are able to operate at high rate, a handful have taken longer to activate than expected,” Tesla said.

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

Models S and X on track

Such problems don’t seem to be an issue for its older S and X models, however, as Tesla reported that it produced a total of 14,065 and 11,865 of the EVs, respectively.

This, it added, made Q3 its all-time best quarter in deliveries to customers, marking a 4.5pc increase on the previous year.

Musk somewhat pre-empted the bad news for Q3 in comments made during the previous quarter, where he tried to convince investors to not get bogged down in quarterly figures.

“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 but that is simply because of the arbitrary nature of when a quarter ends.”

People queuing to order the Tesla Model 3. Image: TierneyMJ/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic