Tesla Delivers 19 Of The Model S For July

Tesla Delivers 19 Of The Model S For July

While smaller automakers like Fisker, Coda, etc. do not report monthly sales, they also don't have the 12,000+ people waiting for their cars like Tesla does, so the maker of the Model S has some pressure on them to give updates on just how things are going, especially after announcing production for this quarter will be halved from 1,000 plug-ins to 500.

George Blankenship - PR Guys Never Get Any Love

George Blankenship - PR Guys Never Get Any Love

Dutifully, George Blankenship, Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Ownership Experience at Tesla, takes the wheel and hits the news wires with a timely update.

"It's hard to believe it's already August. It seems like only yesterday we were getting ready to deliver our first cars and open a few new stores. A lot has happened in the last month or so, and it seems like the perfect time for another Inside Tesla update."

Then he got to the not so good news, complete with Tesla-spin:

"Our focus on quality has paid off as we moved from building three cars per week, to five cars per week, to ten cars per week. We have now produced 50 cars that received unanimous signoff from Elon and the entire quality team."

Considering where the company has come from, and saying they are now in the process of ramping up, 50 doesn't sound too bad, but then you release that this number represents produced all-time, and does not reflect what has been sold and delivered since Tesla first delayed and cut production.  According to Tesla, of those 50 cars, almost half are being "used by our Service and Engineering teams" or are being "enjoyed by reservation holders at Get Amped Model S Tour test drive events."

Mr. Blankenship does eventually reflect on actual deliveries to date from Tesla, "we have 29 that are either already in the hands of their new owners or on their way via Tesla Personal Delivery."  Given the fact that 10 were delivered at the first delivery ceremony in June, that leaves a maximum of 19 that could have been delivered for July.

Still, Tesla states that these 50 Model S vehicles have now driven over 50,000 miles, and that "we have officially completed more than 3,500 test drives. With three weekends to go, the 5,000 test drive goal is well within reach."

The company also lets us in on some of the difficulties that company has been having with some features of the car:

  • Lighted Vanity Mirrors:  "The original beta Lighted Vanity Mirrors on the front sun visors were simply not acceptable to us from an appearance, function or size standpoint, so we rejected them and immediately started working on another solution. In the meantime, we started delivering cars. We did not want to be delivering cars without Lighted Vanity Mirrors when our Specs page at teslamotors.com said they would be present…so we changed the Specs page to accurately reflect there would be no Lighted Vanity Mirror in the sun visors."
  • Second Row Reading Lights: We removed them from the Specs page because we were working on another initiative that might impact what type of light we could use. Basically, we found a way to potentially add a few millimeters of additional headroom in the back seat. As part of that initiative, we didn’t know for sure if we would be able to use the same light fixture, or even the same type of reading light going forward…so we deleted it from the Specs page to be more accurate at that moment in time.  You will soon see the addition of Second Row Reading Lights back on our Specs page...we have been able to accomplish what we set out to do with the rear seat headroom. To avoid any further questions about what will happen next, let me be perfectly clear, there will be a few early cars delivered that do not have Second Row Reading Lights. We will be happy to install them in the future (at no charge, of course). The wires are already in place so this is not a major event.
We are fairly confident these are not the reasons the car has been delayed somewhat, but it is nice to see Tesla making the effort to communicate to its customers that are awaiting the car.  As for next month, Mr. Blankenship says, "We have now produced our first 50 cars and have our sights set to double that number in the next two to three weeks." which pretty much takes up the bulk of the selling days for August.

Therefore, we would estimate that maybe 50 more cars get delivered for August, leaving Tesla to produce over 400 in September to hit their goal of 500 for the quarter.  For Q4 (October through December 2012) Tesla says 4,500 Model S EVs will roll off the line.  The Tesla VP closes his update with the statement, "It's going to be a great second half of the year!"


(Our review of the Tesla Model S can be found here.  The rest of George Blankenship's comments can be found here)

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