Tesla Misses Model 3 Delivery Estimates for Q4

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Tesla Misses Model 3 Delivery Estimates for Q4

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock, which closed down 1% at $317.25, continued dropping in afterhours trading and fell -2.07%. Tesla does not count cars as sold until they are paid for, all the paperwork is completed, and they are actually in a customer's hands.

For Tesla, the delay follows production problems with every model it's produced so far.

The stock has now plunged more than 20% from the all-time high it set past year, which means that Tesla is technically now its own little bear market. It also marks the 4th quarter of 2017 as the best ever for the company.

The holdup with the Model 3 is probably resulting from Tesla biting off a lot to chew - CEO Elon Musk has recently promised a new electric semi truck, an electric pickup and a new road-rocket Roadster, on top of a "Model Y" compact SUV - plus manufacturing issues and "niggling problems" with the Model 3, Peterson said.

Tesla reminded people that it intends to focus on building high-quality cars rather than "pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time". Quality control obviously matters - nobody wants his or her vehicle of the future to be a buggy mess, a "lemon" in old-world parlance - but quality control and mass production have been happy bedfellows for literally decades, since Toyota revolutionized auto manufacturing in the 1970s and '80s. The overshadowed and highly positive news is that sales of its traditional cars continue to climb.

"Tesla is always a quarter away, and now you have to wait six months to get your report card on your investment thesis", Osborne said by phone.

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Lastly, unlike Google Maps, Tesla's trip planner asks any impressed users if they'd like to either buy or reserve their very own Tesla.

In the fourth-quarter, Tesla delivered 29,870 vehicles, of which 15,200 were Model S, 13,120 were Model X, and 1,550 were Model 3.

Update: Tesla's earnings report is out and the company manufactured 2,425 Model 3 units for the quarter, good enough for about 2716 for the year. That marked a 33% increase over 2016. Ah, yeah, I just told you in the title - 2 weeks, or precisely 14 days. The last update on Model 3 production calls for "a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by late Q1 2018", which we believe is ambitious. Tesla also had about 2,520 Model S and X vehicles in transit as of the end of the quarter.

During Q4, we made major progress addressing Model 3 production bottlenecks, with our production rate increasing significantly towards the end of the quarter.

Quality over volume is the "right focus" for Tesla, but it would've done better to avoid announcing "such lofty plans" for Model 3 production, Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs said by email Wednesday. Apart from the recognizable auto parts of the vehicle - the exterior features, the interior, wheels, brakes - the Model 3 isn't that different from the larger and much more expensive Model S, aside from the greater use of aluminum in the Model S construction.

Now, the company said it will be the end of June before it's producing 5,000 Model 3s a week. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5%.

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