After all that big talk about aggressive production rollout, Elon Musk and Tesla needed to really come through with the Model 3. Instead, according to Fortune’s calculations, production is 84 percent lower than Musk projected by this point.
Musk’s initial statements indicated third quarter Model 3 production would be a little over 1,600 vehicles. The reality is that Tesla delivered 260 to customers.
It’s going to be difficult for Tesla to make BMW 3 Series sales zero, as one investor famously said recently, if the California automaker can’t deliver on its promises.
This comes after Model 3 deliveries started on time, surprisingly, but under a shroud of secrecy. More recently, Tesla withdrew the Model 3 from consideration for the World Car of the Year, again despite big talk. Some industry insiders think Tesla’s trying to hide something. The behavior is certainly odd and suspicious.
Naturally, all the analysts who said Musk’s production ramp-up predictions were hogwash are feeling vindicated.
Tesla told investors the cause of low production has been “production bottlenecks” at the California assembly line and Gigafactory in Nevada. The company is playing down those issues, saying none are “fundamental.” It says that the sticking points have been identified and will be fixed, but didn’t provide a timeline, saying only they’ll be resolved “in the near-term.”
We’ll see what happens, but so far Tesla has stepped up to the plate, swung, and missed big.