Institutional investors are checking out the Tesla Model 3 this weekend in New York and at least one such investor/analyst who's seen the car in person says it's not quite up to expectations.
Blue Tesla Model 3
Upon viewing the Model 3 up close and personal, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi concludes it has widespread shortcomings in fit and finish. This has long been a problem with early release Teslas and now we're learning the issue(s) haven't been corrected yet on the Model 3, despite it being in production for some 4 months now.
Sacconaghi stated that his inspection of the Model 3 "revealed widespread shortcomings in fit and finish." He added:
"We had the opportunity to see and test drive the Model 3 at Tesla's showroom in Red Hook Brooklyn, NY … Fit and finish on the two demo cars we saw – perhaps not surprisingly – was relatively poor."
"While we doubt that it would impact (or even be noticed by) most prospective buyers, we do worry that poor overall initial quality could undermine Tesla's brand and potentially overwhelm its service network."
"Tesla representatives acknowledged some of the fit issues, but stated that they believed that Model 3 was much further ahead than where Model X and S had been at this point in production."
"...we can't help noting that Tesla likely chose to share with us its highest quality/best assembled units, so issues on other cars may be even more pronounced."
Certainly not the takeaway Tesla would've hoped for.
It would seem, investors/analysts are also not allowed to comment on their driving experience of the Model 3. CNBC noted earlier on the invitation sent to institutional investors of UBS.
"It says drivers at the closed-door event will be accompanied by Tesla representatives and barred from taking photos or videos."
CNBC reached out to Tesla for comment on the fit and finish issues brought up by Sacconaghi, but the automaker didn't respond.