Elon Musk Admits Paint Is The Current Model 3 Bottleneck

AUG 31 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 193

Some Tesla Model 3 paint issues are leading to building a whole new car.

A Model 3 reservation holder tweeted to Tesla CEO Elon Musk complaining that he still hasn’t received his car. This is still the case for many people, however, this particular owner-to-be was already set up to take delivery. His VIN was canceled due to problems with the car’s paint. At this point, according to the Twitter user, Tesla is unable to confirm when a replacement will be ready.

It’s no surprise that paint is one of the remaining bottlenecks in the Model 3 production process. However, the fact that Musk admitted it, went so far as to say that they’ll even rebuild entire cars if they have to (and perhaps already have), and elaborated about challenges with particular colors, makes it an interesting share. On the positive side, it’s becoming increasingly clear the Tesla is laser-focused on making sure the Model 3 is right. While there may have been multiple issues early on, it seems the automaker has worked most of them out and is not going to settle for anything unacceptable.

More clarification

This may mean some people begin to experience more delays. Hopefully, it may also mean that their Model 3 will be bordering on flawless.

Are you surprised that Tesla may be having to build entirely new cars due to paint issues? How is the paint on your Model 3? Share your thoughts and wisdom with us in the comment section below.

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Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.) Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.

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193 Comments on "Elon Musk Admits Paint Is The Current Model 3 Bottleneck"

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Viking79

I figured that is why the price on those colors jumped, something to do with them being more difficult. Nice to see it confirmed. Automotive paints are incredibly expensive.

3laine

Perhaps in addition to the material costs, they raised the price to also dissuade people from selecting them as they slow everything down. Wouldn’t be the first time Tesla did something as an anti-sell.

mzso

“Some Tesla Model 3 paint issues are leading to building a whole new car.”

Utter BS.

Viking79

Well, the car wasn’t complete at that point. My hunch is the rejects will still be remanufactured or at least recycled. Cheaper to catch this now than in the field.

Google Kia Stinger Yellow and see why they don’t want to sell cars with paint problems. Kia essentially has to field repaint all the cars, offer to buy them back, and give owners satisfaction money. They are incredibly upside down on that. Tesla at least is catching this before the cars leave the factory.

There are numerous postings on Tesla message boards and Facebook groups with paint problems. It’s not all being caught. Granted some of the issues involve transport.

antrik

Sounds to me like they decided to raise the standards after seeing too many complaints?

Ashgrave

There are very little complaints. Like one out of every 5,000. Just fox news runs it like breaking news. Go look up any review site, they rank much higher than most new cars.

antrik

A survey someone run not long ago suggested it’s actually >10% of buyers seeing some sort of quality issues… Don’t remember how many of these were paint, though.

bro1999

Uh, elon tweeted that.

David Green

Crazy, huh? But don’t worry, sustained profits are coming..

Viking79

I would only expect a profit next two quarters. I would suspect they will go back negative 2019Q1 as he made no mention of that quarter.

David Green

I think the profits are going to be a challenge in Q3 as volumes at this stage are well below guidance tracking.

antrik

No they are not. they completed ~29,000 cars in 8 weeks. They have to complete 21,000-26,000 in the remaining 5 weeks. That means they have to go *somewhat* faster than in the first 8 weeks — but that’s always been the plan. In other words, unless encountering further unexpected problems, they are perfectly in line with guidance.

Toast

I don’t know whether they’ll succeed, but Elon did say that they anticipated being profitable throughout 2019 and beyond.

Pushmi-Pullyu

To be fair, Elon has repeatedly made past predictions about Tesla becoming sustainably profitable, but that hasn’t happened. I think this time he’s serious about it; investors finally seem to be holding Tesla’s feet to the fire on this subject.

But if it doesn’t happen, I won’t be that surprised. As I’ve said many times, Tesla really needs to continue expanding as fast as it can while the market for compelling EVs is so empty, which almost certainly means until fall 2020. So I can see that Tesla would want to continue to ignore profitability until at least that date.

Whether or not investors will continue to fund Tesla’s ongoing growth without profitability, though… that’s the real question.

antrik

I do not get the impression at all that investors are insisting on profit. It seems to be an entirely self-imposed goal.

BTW, he has always been serious — but underestimating the costs of new vehicle programs. No idea whether that will still be the case in the future…

Ashgrave

Well profit is good as you can use internal revenue to expand your business instead of debt. It also raises debt rating which will be important for giga factory Europe and Shanghai.

Doggydogworld

I think some large funds want to see profits.

ug

Profitability is hard to obtain when your margins are being eaten up by rework and warranty service. They need to get it right the first time.

Ashgrave

Only if they ad another assembly line. They brought in 4 billion in revenue last quarter and will see that go up 60% this quarter. Coupled with a finished 4 assembly line means they will have a lasting profititable business for years to come, especially with the staggering demand

BroncoBet

What demand?

BroncoBet

Elon has predicted profits many times and they never came.

Get Real

And sustained Reeking Alpha whining is already here on InsideEVs as Tesla continues to dominate the EV scoreboard.

Counterpoint

In all likelihood, sustained profits ARE coming. Tesla has demonstrated the ability to get sustained Model 3 production up to, conservatively, 4000 a week. And they continue to work out problems and streamline the process, which will allow for higher production rates and better quality. The better they get, the less they need to spend to maintain what they have.

Tesla has a history of putting profits into research, development, factory space, and tooling for new products. If they continue as they have been, each new product rollout will initially be a challenge, and will then improve dramatically. And their products sell like proverbial hotcakes, sometimes even faster than they can make them. So there’s nothing to stop Tesla from dramatic sales growth except their ability to manufacture fast enough. And they have proved and are proving that they can address that. So the question to me is not whether Tesla can make sustained profits. It’s merely when.

BroncoBet

Tesla has a history of not having profits, not reinvesting them, but it is fair to laud them for their great success, even if they do not turn a profit, they will at least reduce their losses.
Yes, there are many reasons for Tesla not to achieve dramatic sales growth, lack of ability to manufacture and lack of demand, lack of capital, lack of managerial expertise. That doesn’t mean they won’t overcome those limitations, they are the number one Ev company now and they won’t rest on their laurels.

Dave_the_braver

The reason they haven’t had profits is because they are expanding and putting $ into infrastructure. If they stopped growing, they would be profitable.

Ashgrave

Lack of demand? That’s the only think Tesla does not lack. Beyond the 1/2 million reservation holders, there are another 5 million waiting for delivery time to drop to under a month.

Doggydogworld

Sales guy told me It’s under a month now, at least for RWD.

MDEV

I was missing the Russian troll lol

Robc
It’s not BS, but maybe it could have been phrased a little differently in the statement. Tesla had to reschedule my M3 delivery date because my car was “rejected” on inspection (by Tesla, not me) due to a paint issue/defect. The delivery specialist told me exactly what the issue was with my car, including sharing that the paint shop was backed up. They gave me my pick of options on what to do, either I could either wait until the car was repainted, or they would be willing to order me an entirely new car off the factory line, whichever I preferred or whichever I would be happiest with. I selected the new car option given that they said it likely was the quicker option of the two. I love my new M3 and while I wished I had it sooner, I’m glad it’s flawless. The delay only ended up being about two weeks. Tesla was absolutely awesome about the process throughout. So yes, in my case, a paint issue did lead to building a whole new car. I’m thrilled that a repaint wasn’t forced on me and the option regarding remediation was mine. From a customer relations point of… Read more »
Doggydogworld

Exactly. A number of people have had their VIN pulled. Tesla assigns a new VIN, which means they builds “a whole new car” for that customer.

No word on the fate of the original car that didn’t pass QA (or did pass QA but was rejected by the customer). Presumably it gets repainted and sold at some point. People occasionally report buying a low VIN

BroncoBet

Great job, they often encounter problems but they are very good with the customers. The paint shop is one reason they can not expand production much, they have the permits to expand the paint shop but it is expensive and takes a year, they have not begun the process,so it is the same as the cells for the X and the S, lack of demander ,Tesla projections of not enough demand to warrant it.
If or when ,we ever do hear of paint shop expansion, that would be a very bullish sign.If they ever do build another factory, say in China, they would benefit from their experience.

David Green

Wow, this is really interesting… When trying to squeeze a razor thin profit margin that cannot be helpful..

Viking79

I think this was obvious last month when they raised the price of those colors.

Clive

Yeah that is when I started think he’s high on something. $1500 for standard metallic paint is ridiculous.

Clive

It’s completely ridiculous.

BMW raised standard paint to something like $770 and people were pissed.

So within a few months it was back to $550.

That’s reasonable. $1500 isn’t.

Viking79

My hunch is it is representative of their costs. The paint material itself for a car is hundreds of dollars.

David Green

1 panel repair costs far more then the entire original paint job… So having consistently flawed paint jobs is hugely expensive, I wonder if the flawed paint cars are the ones stacking up at Lanthrop?

philip d

No. I hear they are just barging them out into the Pacific and dumping them.

Matthew Kennel

That’s idiotic. If it got that far (it shouldn’t!), they’d remove and reuse the new parts and recycle the body.

Jean-Pierre White

I heard that Musk shoots cars into space.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“I think this was obvious last month when they raised the price of those colors.”

Exactly what I was thinking, Viking79. The situation reported in this article would explain why Tesla raised the price of some of the paint colors.

Raising the price also pretty strongly refutes Mzso’s claim that it’s “B.S.” that Tesla is re-doing some cars because of a bad paint job. Looks to me like that’s quite real if it has caused Tesla’s costs for some paint colors to increase.

mzso

Sure, believe that they taking the cars to the scrapyard. Utter fool.

antrik

That’s not what he said, smartass.

ffbj

They’ll figure it out. but shorts will cry it’s over for Tesla.
Btw I think it’s about time to cover for those out there who follow my prognostications on TSLA. FMV $330.

I think the uncontrollable things are actually in Tesla’s favor. For instance, I consider Trump to be out-of-control, and his fight with foreign automakers will clearly benefit Tesla. Put a 25% premium on the “Tesla Killer” I-Pace, and it doesn’t look so appealing anymore.

Seven Electrics

Relatedly, it looks like Amazon has now claimed the title of most shorted stock. All of the FAANG stocks are up there, though.

REXisKing

Well, the Trump recession is coming. Leading indicators are heading down.
And a new set of Trade War tariffs against China too.

America may soon learn Presidential IQ is an important issue.

David Green

It is bigger then Trump, we need a recession to correct some things, housing has gotten too expensive, the stock market os majorly bloated, and the average family is strained to make ends meet. Interestingly we still have very low interest rates,, so not much can be done there to slow the fall.

Clive

Not sure where you live but that’s a great story bro.

Pushmi-Pullyu

He lives on Bizarro planet FÜDster, obviously; where everything “am backwards”. A very long way from planet Earth!

ffbj

He can’t afford to live there. He is just renting.

Clive

I bet he shorts the landlord as well…

Bikejumper

It should be “than Trump”. Please learn the difference. I won’t even point out the”os” or the” ,,”. Try mixing in a period now and then.

philip d

But Trump has the highest IQ. He already told us that silly.

Fool Cells

Compared to the failed Obozo, that is not saying much.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Actual tweets from the twit-in-chief… er, the twitterer-in-chief:

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.”

“I’m much smarter than them. I think I have a much higher IQ. I think I went to a better college — better everything.”

Fool Cells

All true statements

Get Real

Go back to Breitbart fool (cell).

Steve

Trump is doing his part to upset the world economy ><

Fool Cells

yeah, it is terrible to have a US President putting America first again.

Pushmi-Pullyu

You mean last.

Fool Cells

Sure is terrible having someone stand up for American workers against the unfair trade our “allies” engage in. Or stand up to China.

Unplugged

Yep – America First for the sludge of corporate America. America First for the corrupt politicians and all of Trump’s friends. America First for the polluters and those who want to see America turned into filth.

Fool Cells

where do you come up with such nonsense? Last I checked, the economy was booming, record low unemployment and record high consumer confidence. That is how you move the country forward. the more wealth gained by all, the cleaner the environment. Government is not the answer, it is the problem.

David Green

I am looking for a spot to short AMZN, and cleared out all of my manufacturing holdings, I think recession is coming… Still holding MSFT & APPL long, but will convert those to short when I find a nice level.

eject

Amazon will crash. The only thing they have going for them is AWS. The whole marketplace part is not only not profitable it is also a huge scam. With many articles it is possible that you will receive fakes even though the last order was the genuine thing. The EU will also put a stop to amazon facilitating overseas sellers sales tax scams.

Viking79

You can avoid those issues by ordering only items shipped and sold by Amazon. However, I am moving away from all my Amazon services as they are getting too big. I like to go with a reasonably competitive underdog to encourage competition. Amazon jacking up the price of prime was my trigger.

David Green

Not sure i agree with you, but I do think Amazon is more likely to go down then up in the next year. I think that statement is true for most of the market.

Bikejumper

Please learn the difference between then and than.

Clive

David get a coach or something.

🙄

Get Real

Or a real life besides posting demonstrably false anti-Tesla garbage all over the EV/RE websites.

Nix

Oh God, nobody gives a rat’s backside about your shorting activity. Take it elsewhere.

ffbj

Yep, pretty pricey. Also related to my point is that Ford cancels China made car intended for the U.S. and GM is trying to get an exemption for the Buick made in China.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ford-kills-plan-sell-chinese-153244008.html

BroncoBet

GM’s Buick in China is all screwed up because of A123 batteries.

Steve

Preach it brother. 🙂

antrik

I don’t see how Tesla would profit from the trade war. It makes parts more expensive, and it endangers exports. Low-volume I-Pace was never major competition to begin with.

William

Whut b the discount for the factory paint reject Model 3s?

I could use one of them $35k Model 3s, that EVery Buddy keeps promisin’ n’ talkin’ bout!

The Tesla $35k Model 3 fact-rej. bargain bin, come on Elon, bring it!

Viking79

Although that would be nice, it would dilute their brand image. Repainting a car can cost thousands, and is labor intensive. There isn’t much to the car at the point it is painted, so maybe cheaper just to scrap it. Alternately, maybe they could chemically strip the paint to repaint it without the labor involvement since it is mostly a husk of metal at that point? Still probably expensive and requires room. The car is easily recyclable at that point so it isn’t that wasteful.

Quebec 100% EV

Someone who plans to vinyl wrap it wouldnt care, especially with a smalll discount they would jump on it

Pushmi-Pullyu

Seems unlikely to me. That vinyl wrap is going to be stripped off after a few years, isn’t it?

William

I know the Billion dollar Tesla brand can’t be tarnished with a compromised product, especially due to paint blemishes on the Model 3.

Maybe create a sub brand like “Toastla”, to move those Model 3s, that would otherwise be scrapped.

/S

The Toastla vinyl wrap job is genius!

https://goo.gl/images/NkMNfn

jelloslug

They are not scrapping cars. They are building new cars for customers that had cars with damaged paint and then fixing the damaged one.

Seven Electrics

Some on Twitter claim the current bottleneck is a shortage of silicon carbide inverters.

David Green

I only believe that 50%, but production has been bad recently, and the quality is not terrific, reading in Tesla Motors club almost every delivery has some kind of paint blemish…

philip d

I was reading on the iPace owners club site that the iPace has the most amazing paint jobs. Owners are reporting that the paint actually gets better with age.

David Green

phillip, I actually have not hear 1 report of a paint flaw on the I-Pace, so not sure how relevant your message is.

Pushmi-Pullyu

@philip d

ROTFL!
😆 😆 😆

Just what we needed, thanks! Trolls have no sense of humor.

Gator Rican

According to sources who have licked the iPace, the paint tastes just like the fruit the color is named after.

rey

My friend who had a Jag said the cracking of his Jags upholstery adds character to the car and so with the wood varnish cracking

“Some” is actually one: skabooshka, a short-TSLA Twitter troll, who has built a whole thread around this topic in an effort to weaken confidence in Model 3 production and thereby affect the stock price. He doesn’t have any insight into Tesla supply of parts, but if you’re inclined to believe the short narrative, you might fall for his argument.

This is the same account that either doesn’t know or pretends not to know that “Force majeure” is part of standard language in contracts and financial forward-looking statements.

*pulls out hair

Seven Electrics

It’s a joint collaboration of three people. One can consider them Twitter randoms except that skabooshka’s production numbers have been fairly accurate in the past. Of course, there is no way to verify this claim, just as there is no way to verify Elon “I just tripled down on my pedo claims” Musk that the bottleneck is paint.

I never said he’s a rando. He’s part of a network of people working to manipulate a stock price. Telling one truth does not mean one does not also lie. A narrative, however false, cannot be constructed of strictly lies.

Get Real

Domenick, I think you should consider that we have a cabal of fellow shorters right here on InsideEVs constantly repeating skumbooshka’s propaganda here for their own benefit.

David Green

I am not short Tesla, but do care more about the truth of the matter, then I do about “the Tesla Story”

Bikejumper

Please learn the difference between then and than. Momo

ffbj

One reason I think he’s a Russia. The name for one, too common. Then continually misusing the Queens English, of course that could be due to working construction, as he claims, for decades, as they are not known for their locution. Also It could be more then one “David Green”, just a number of people using the same name.

Whatever it is I think most can agree it’s rather annoying, Though I think by attacking the veracity of the website and the editors, he has stepped onto a rather slippery slope, that than goes downhill, as do many of the threads that he comments on, seem to.

M Hovis

Agree with all of that. I think this one is a different David Green due to the language change and he is not aware that one of the other David Greens noted that he had shorted Tesla.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“I am not short Tesla…”

So, you keep carpet bombing comments here with shorter propaganda out of the goodness of your heart. How special.

David Green

Can you show one example of Sakbooska lying? I would say he is not always right on, but he says there is a range in what he says as he is not getting 100% of the story, he has to fit the information he has into a story…

David Green
Interesting to hear you attack Skabooska, Domenick, as his accuracy of predictions has far exceeded yours, or even the media’s. He has assembled a clan of folks that are watching Tesla, and Elon Musk closely to attempt to figure out what is really happening inside Tesla, Skabooska has stated for months that the paint shop is the bottleneck and struggling, now Elon finally admitted that. Skabooska reported the paint shop fire earlier this year, 2 days before the media, or Tesla admitted anything. Skabooska also reported the recent factory slowdown on August 12th, which coincides perfectly with Elon Musk admitting to Marques Brownlee that the Model 3 GA3 line had recently had a robot fixture broken and had to have a part flown in from Europe. (Brownlee filmed on Aug 15th) So when you look at the timeline, Sakbooska had pretty good insight as to what is going on at Tesla. Note what Elon says at 7:55 on this video… Remember this was filmed on Aug 15th, and Skabooska reported the slowdown on Aug 12… Credibility??? Skabooska nailed it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr9kK0_7x08 Domenick, If you are wanting to be considered an objective member of the media, you need to look at all… Read more »
Steve

Elon didn’t admit paint shop is a bottleneck. He was talking to one tweeter about that guy’s specific car.

Doggydogworld

Good find in the MKBHD video, David. It kind of undermines Skabooshka’s SiC theory, though.

David Green

I think Skabooska’s theory on the SiC is a long shot…. Like I said above, I have no opinion on that. But he notified the clan to the slowdown on his twitter Aug 12th, you can go see that to verify. Tesla also has leaked on a Tesla biased site that production was well below guidance, and there have been no 5K or 6K weeks since June. That Tesla biased site today in their podcast gave the right up to the minute production that had been texted to the host in the last hour. I m betting Elon or one of his lieutenants was on the other end of that text.

antrik

Occasionally, or even frequently, making some technically correct statements doesn’t in any way contradict him being a troll. It’s in fact exactly what you are doing quite often: bringing up technically correct facts in misleading or inappropriate contexts just to stir pointless controversy.

(Though often enough you are just talking entirely out of your arse for the same purpose.)

BroncoBet

He’s pretty reliable.

offib

Paint is also one of the largest contributors to total manufacturing carbon cost. Could be a quicker, greener way to use paint molded panels like the i3 uses maybe?

jelloslug

My i3 had rust running down the carbon fiber tub after a few months from the unpainted fasteners in the door jam.

Steve

Yuck! And they claimed they had carbon manufacturing figured out… SMH

ModernMarvelFan

What? They are too cheap to use stainless fasteners?

rey

those SS screws and bolts do add up in $ and torque settings might not be adequate enough, SS can be brittle just try to exceed a SS screw , use an impact gun ,you’ll see what i mean.The i3 is expensive enough for what it is

Pushmi-Pullyu

This is the first time I ever saw that problem reported.

Maybe there was more than one reason why BMW’s investment in building car bodies out of carbon fiber doesn’t seem to have caught on… even at BMW.

alohart

Odd. Our 8/2014 i3 (fairly early model) has parked less than 300 feet from the Pacific Ocean exposed to our humid, salty air for almost 4 years with no obvious rust anywhere. I’ll try to remember to check whether the fasteners in our door jams are unpainted.

alohart

Unfortunately, i3’s have painted thermoplastic exterior panels. The color of the thermoplastic itself isn’t the car’s color. The paint process itself seems similar to that used to paint all cars.

offib

Such a wealth of comments here, hearing stuff I never could’ve knew before. Woah. Must aware of that if I ever go looking for an old i3

Roy_H

So this is why production is way down?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Nobody is claiming Tesla’s production is down except the FÜDsters. The fact that their propaganda is diverging more and more wildly from reality shows their growing desperation.

David Green

Do you consider Electrek FUD’sters? they reported the actual production numbers today, right up to the minute…

Clive

It’s mostly you brosef !

CU

Is the paint some kind of cutting edge technology at Tesla? Other car manufactures don’t seem to have this severe paint problem

David Gould

Just google for “car brand” paint problems and I think you will see your error.

Robert Weekley

Or, they have simpler color blends. Reds are tough, at best, and, as Elon Said, the Multi-Coat Red, even more so than Multi-Coat White, because of the extra Red Tint in the Clear Coat, adds operation complexity!

At work last night, early for some Robot refresher training! Coupon operation failed a few times! It was recently worked on last week or so by the supplier! Who knows what they changed! Stuff CAN Happen, not always as planned!

theflew

Come on every car manufacture has a red tint coat color and a pearl white color. This is not rocket science.

Toast

You’re right, but other automakers have had problems with paint too. Look at Kia’s current problems with the Stinger, for example.

antrik

Yeah, turns out mass-manufacturing cars is harder than building rockets…

Doesn’t mean other makers aren’t having issues — they are just not reported as widely most of the time.

rey

It doesn’t even have to be red Google GMs problems on some of their minivans, sedans

Not that Dave

My guess is the issue here is speeding up the robots and the application of paint. If they want more throughput, then they have to speed up the paint shop since they only have one. The multi-coats are not going well in the speeded up line, so they are trying to figure out how to apply it correctly at speed.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“If they want more throughput, then they have to speed up the paint shop since they only have one.”

If you’re suggesting Tesla can only paint one car body at a time, then I think you’re misinterpreting things. I see a reference to “paint booths” (plural) in an article, and there was the 4-second video InsideEVs posted just the other day which showed multiple cars going thru a wash process simultaneously just before entering the paint shop area.

I’m just speculating here, but perhaps Tesla has added several booths to the paint shop, to increase throughput, while still having only a single “paint shop”.

Not that Dave

I said there was only one paint shop. I do not know how it is configured. Whatever they are doing to speed up the paint process, it is not working perfectly for multi-coat, whether it is new machines or actually speeding up the machines.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Other car manufactures don’t seem to have this severe paint problem”

That’s because this isn’t news when it happens at other auto makers. Tesla is the only car maker with such intense, magnifying-glass-level of scrutiny of its production.

To be fair, Tesla invites such scrutiny by using free press coverage for its advertising. But it does get a bit exasperating when the exact same thing happens at Tesla as happens at other auto makers, and it’s reported as somehow “unusual” or “bad” because it happens at Tesla. Exactly as we’re seeing here.

Zach

I received my multicoat red model 3 on July 13th. It is stunning. I had is ceramic coated and the results could not be better. I imagine this level of quality is not easy to hit.

alohart

I would hate to have to have one of these multicoat paint jobs repaired after damage. Must be very difficult to match surrounding panels.

HVACman

Bad paint jobs happen. My question is: How do bodies with terminally-flawed paint jobs make it to the body/chassis marriage station on the GA line and allowed to then be assembled into a total vehicle? QC should be identifying and pulling those bodies when a too-big-to-fix problem is first detected before the whole unit gets assembled. Either in-factory paint-shop QC has a different definition of “terminally-flawed” than post-assembly QC or there is just too much pressure on everyone to “get every unit possible assembled and factory-gated” at the risk of costing the company more money on high post-assembly scrap/rebuild rates.

Nix

Where are you seeing that all the cars are getting completed before they catch any of the paint problems? We don’t actually know that information, and what the mix is of identifying paint flaws. The VIN is assigned before paint, and stamped into specific hidden locations before paint. Having the VIN reassigned can actually happen at any time after the the body is stamped with the VIN, before a single part is added to it.

Get Real

deleted

Eco

My metallic blue Model 3 is gorgeous!

CCIE

I picked-up my deep blue metallic RWD M3 last night, with VIN in the 57,XXX range. I was worried after reading the paint horror stories. Ended up finding one small blemish on my second pass around the car. Almost looks like a very small chip that had touch-up paint applied. Can’t even see it from 5 feet away, so I don’t care. The car will have plenty of usage marks soon enough.

I traded in my Spark EV and I was a little sad to see it go, but the M3 really is a nice car. Rides/handles well, comfortable seats, great sound system, and that acceleration will put a grin on anyone’s face! Even the efficiency is better than I expected at 203 wh/mi for my 30 mile commute this morning.

Since I do enjoy being called a Tesla FUDster and shorter, I will say that I maintain my view of the stripped base M3: It will never ship in more than token numbers. Tesla can’t survive and sell a $35k car anytime soon.

Daniel Lavia

You can say what you like about Elon, but the man is closer to operations to any other CEO you can think of. My respect for the guy.

BroncoBet

You have no basis for that statement,people who worked with Elon said they would have made more cars without him, that is the worst thing you can say about anyone.

GE

My dark blue M3 is beautiful. I made my reservation in mid December 2016 and picked it up in early July of this year.

Steve

I have a 5yr old Model S with over 150,000 miles on it. I am generally very impressed with the quality of the paint job after all this exposure to the elements. People look at it and think it’s new. If course I do hand wash it a lot 🙂

But this speaks to the commitment they make to excellence. I had no problem waiting for my car when I ordered it, and I am glad they took the necessary steps to ensure it was perfect out of the factory gate. Folks will not be disappointed when they get their Model 3, no matter what the wait time is.

Jeff

No matter now flawless the paint, it’ll still get scratched when it falls off in the middle of the freeway on your way home.

Get Real

Kind of like your logic, or lack thereof.

Jeff

What’s the point of focusing their QC effort on the paint when the QC on build quality is still lacking?

Jeff

What’s the point of focusing QC effort on the paint finish when it’s build quality that needs attention? Missing the forest for the trees.

Clive

Its very much a part of the entire production lines Q.C.

Please Troll Elsewhere Jeff !

Jeff

Clive, tell me how I’m trolling… then please tell me which statement is more important:
1. “we’ve got to get that pearlescent red paint looking just right” , or
2. “We’ve got to make sure the bumper is properly secured to the car, and make sure we don’t have mismatched door panels.”

SJC

Their customers will wait, there is status in having a deposit.

ModernMarvelFan

Better ways to fix paint problem is to add an inspection station just outside of the paint shop (post baking) before general assembly. That way, bad paint can be caught early and reduce inventory cost even if it needs repaired or replaced.

waiting until the final inspection to find defects will potentially add a lot of cost. Of course, that works better if the failure rate is low. But if the failure rate is high, then it is better to add inspection just after the paint shop.

antrik

Who says they haven’t?

My 142xx May delivery has very good paint. Only two tiny imperfections on the rear trunk lid. Otherwise I am impressed. Mine is Midnight Silver Metallic.

louie

I’m a retired auto body and paint repair tech.I can certainly understand why problems and delays occur on a regular basis.Producing flawless paint finishes on a consistent basis is,well,not gonna happen.
There are just plain too many unforeseen events surrounding the coating processes,especially because our governments,rightfully so,dictate what chemicals cannot be used.

Scott Cassett

At most scrapping a body. Although I would be shocked if they don’t recover most of them.

Robert Quigley

Was in auto paint biz for 35 years. It was and to this day is the most difficult & expensive step in manufacturing. You might remember GM repainting millions of vehicles over 10-12 years. The color and clearcoat would peel off of the primer due to UV light. Chrysler & Ford also had problems. Once helped on a Chrysler that had been re-painted at the factory 10 times. It also was very common practice to repaint panels and bumper covers at the end of the line.

Clive

Yep, Pearls are a great example of the colors that are extremely hard matching plastic bumpers to the rest of the body (Due to added flex-agent needed for the bumper to be able to flex!) Most people will never notice it, I do almost every time.

Marc Kessler

The red is rad, it’s arguably the best red available for any car… and they feature it in almost every photo, so it’s no wonder there is a bottleneck for it.

Clive

It’s nice, but not worth $2000 bux.

$1000 was enough.

Progressive from Wisconsin

Musk needs to set up at least one other factory in the U.S. The whole problem seems to stem from there being only one plant, one assembly line, one paint shop, etc. etc. Having more than one factory lets one factory temporarily go down for repairs and revisions without all production being stopped. Adding that new line under a canvas tent was a stroke of genius because it gave Musk options when the main line had to be shut down. Another factory is also called for to build the next generation of cars, pick-up’s, semi’s, and the reintroduced Roadster. That new factory in China will answer part of the problem for foreign sales, but with Trump as President, we know that those cars won’t be imported into the U.S.

Scott G

Get my Pearl Whiter next Saturday… Oh yeah, on this statement…. “On the positive side, it’s becoming increasingly clear the Tesla is laser-focused on making sure the Model 3 is right” … THANK YOU!!! I would rather wait a bit longer and get a great looking car (to compliment a great car) than get something substandard sooner.

rey

Paint problems are not a Tesla exclusive GM had a big problem with its Astro minivans the paint not sticking to the sheetmetal even saw some pontiacs with the hoods and roof getting rusty because paint came off and saw quite a few recalls,

Chris

My paint is flawless – Deep blue metallic. Delivered a few weeks ago. VIN 54,XXX

Fozzyfoe

I received my new Non-P AWD Model 3 a week ago. I did as many people in the forums had suggested and inspected my cars paint carefully upon delivery. I noticed many blemishes and scratches. I informed the delivery tram who began taking pictures. They said Tesla would take care of it for me to make sure it was corrected. I dropped it off at Tesla and they agreed there were many areas that needed to be repainted. So today is day 4 of the repainting work and I have hopes that it will as good as the standard paint job from the factory or even better, superior to the factory. I hope to hear it is ready sometime later next week. However, I am a bit concerned though the service person was great and assured me that my car would be great after their body shop completes the work. I’ll report back after I get it back. Thx.