Tesla is playing the blame game again.
Who's to blame for Tesla Model 3 production issues? Depends on who you ask. Tesla says suppliers are behind the bottleneck, but is that really the case?
Several times in the past, Tesla pushed production delays/issues on suppliers. Such is the case again now with the Model 3.
Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!)
Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, but apparently Tesla made it public to Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch, who recently met with Tesla’s management. Rusch stated, via Barron's, :
“Tesla indicated that all the production equipment for Model 3 was installed and working and that all vehicles were moving through the manufacturing line."
“...we understand the delayed ramp is due to a small number of suppliers failing to deliver on time.”
Failing to provide suppliers with enough lead time is likely the real issue here, but instead of taking the brunt of the blame, Tesla is pushing it off onto these "small number of suppliers."
Whatever the true cause is, the end result is that Model 3 deliveries fell well short of expectations. As we posted in our Tesla Q3 report:
In the end, Tesla reported they built 260 Model 3s during Q3, about 1,400 light.
But this previous statement from Tesla on production bottlenecks adds one more twist to the story:
“Model 3 production was less than anticipated due to production bottlenecks. 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.”
So, what is it then? Suppliers who fail to supply? Manufacturing subsystems that aren't online? Or something else entirely?