Tesla Blames Suppliers For Model 3 Production Issues

Tesla Model 3 Production


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?

Source: Barron’sElectrek

Categories: Tesla

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161 Comments on "Tesla Blames Suppliers For Model 3 Production Issues"

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Helps explain why Tesla does more vertical integration than most. If the suppliers won’t or can’t perform, it takes Telsa a bit of time, but they bring the process in-house. That may be what they are held up for now.

For you that prefer the negative side, it could be that they are about to go bust and can’t pay their suppliers. You better sell your shares quickly while they are worth more than mere pennies on the dollar.

If Tesla is making things so different and tricky that suppliers cannot keep up then they have a poor design or need to do more to support these suppliers and bake it into their launch date. If it is overly complex or unique issues caused by Tesla’s design then it’s still Tesla’s fault.

Elon learned his lesson from the complexity of the Model X and really simplified the Model 3. Hahahaha.

That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it!

To me it really does seem like a lead time issue, supply management is huge in production. Not giving your suppliers the least time that they require is like going to a gourmet restaurant and expecting to have your food as fast as McDonald’s.

To me it really does seem like a lead time issue, supply management is huge in production. Not giving your suppliers the least time that they require is like going to a gourmet restaurant and expecting to have your food as fast as McDonald’s.

Another Euro point of view

I really do not see why those delays are problematic except perhaps for Tesla own finances (they must be flooded by Model 3 parts by now I guess).
Now this is again hugely symptomatic to what extend Tesla is still acting like a start up. I mean grown up car makers iron out production issues BEFORE a car is actually revealed.

Ah, so that’s why we still can’t get a Bolt in Europe, right? From the grown up GM? Nah…

You are moving the goalposts. The Model 3 isn’t available anywhere, but yet you are picking on the Bolt having low supply in some places.

“The Model 3 isn’t available anywhere…”

Gosh then, you’d better let Motor Trend know that the car they gave a “First Drive” review wasn’t a Tesla Model 3, as they claimed. 😀

The Tesla Model 3 is here, and it is the most important vehicle of the century.


We are sucking up Bolt production in the USA. I was waiting at a light in my Bolt and saw 4 different Bolts pass me going in various directions. At my workplace there are at least 6 different Bolts I have seen in the parking lot.

@Andersen Bolt deliveries to their main market (US) started on schedule and ramped ahead of schedule.

Not delivering more to Europe is a management decision. An extremely stupid decision IMHO, but it has nothing to do with the engineering/manufacturing/supply stream which has been superb for both the Bolt and the Volt.

They could probably be making 50-100k of each per year now, had they known how to market them better.

Did GM deliver 80 percent fewer units to Europe than they said they would?

“No Ampera-e’s in Europe”.

Seeing as of last month GM is totally devoid of anything Adam Opel, start writing letters to the head of Peugeot-Citroen to start buying some so that their dealers will sell them.

I wager this simple fact will KILL the Ampera-e. Peugeot-Citroen seems to me will simply prefer their home-grown products, and the Ampera-e will Die on the Vine, unless they, unbeknownst to me, purchased all the manufacturing rights to the vehicle and can assemble them themselves without further royalties.

After working for major car companies for 10 years I can say your statement is rubbish. All car companies have these issues, they just aren’t in the spotlight like Tesla is.

“I mean grown up car makers iron out production issues BEFORE a car is actually revealed.”

If you had said “Grown up car makers iron out production issues BEFORE a car is actually sold“, then you would have had a point.

As it is, your assertion is in error.

Another rumour seems to be a welding issue ?

Who knows what to believe.

I’d believe issues with new metals (for them) in manufacturing. I didn’t believe any of the Model 3 would be steel for this reason. You’d think the robots were smart enough to figure it out on their own, though.

All that does seem for certain is that there is trouble in paradise.

C-suite defections left and right (at least 10 this year alone): https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/13/teslas-vice-president-of-business-development-leaves.html
Completely whiffed on Elon’s “1,500” 3’s in Q3 promise: http://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-model-3-production-misses-third-quarter-2017-10
Mass firings of employees: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/business/tesla-fires-workers-model-3.html
“Incinerating” capital at record rates: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/10/investors-giving-cash-incineration-engine-tesla-a-lot-of-rope-but-may-soon-lose-patience.html
Yet another delayed product (Tesla semi): http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/06/technology/tesla-semi-delay/index.html

And now they are throwing suppliers under the bus.

But the Tesla fanatics will insist everything is fine because they can’t accept the truth that Tesla is being run by a micromanaging, egotistical boy with no idea of how to run a serious car company.


There was no promise for 1500 produced in third quarter.

There was an aspirational goal, along with words of caution that any one of thousands of parts being held up could prevent the ramp up to mass production.

Musk seems to be doing fine as Tesla CEO. I don’t see too many unhappy shareholders or car owners.

Tesla Model 3 sales of 115 in September was better than 11 other plug-in vehicles on the market right now including big names like Honda Clarity, Audi A3 e-tron, Hyundai Ioniq, BMW i8, etc …

Have a little patience, they’ll get the problems sorted out. There are obviously multiple parts, both internally and externally produced, that are slowing the ramp. They’re working on it like mad, I assure you.

The issues your describing happens to every automotive manufacturer, and they still manage to hit their targets on time. Eventually Tesla needs to understand the true amount of time to launch a product and apply more accurate estimates.

Traditional auto manufacturer’s build far over 115 vehicles before they would even call it a launch. By any standard other than Tesla’s the Model 3 has not launched.

There are multiple plug-ins recently introduced on the market that have lower sales than Model 3 over the last 3 months. Do you consider them to have “launched”? i.e. Honda Clarity, Volvo XC 60 PHEV, Cadillac CT6 PHEV, Hyundai Ioniq?

Or are you holding Tesla to a different standard?

Personally, I’m holding Tesla to the “100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s in the second half of 2017” target that Elon said he expected.

I’m sure that was a sincere expectation and not simply market manipulation.

You and nobody else, lol.

I took Musk’s comment you refer to, “I would say we would aim to produce 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s in the second half of next year. That’s my expectation right now.” as being part of his more or less impossible to meet internal goals such as achieving volume production July 1. Which he basically said was impossible and that the more realistic ‘external’ volume production goal would actually be late 2017.


I searched for any instanced of Elon saying that 100k-200k Model 3s in 2017 was “impossible” and I could find no such quote.

Market successfully manipulated!

It’s behind a paywall. Provide a direct quote, please.

Preferably not the quote from the same earnings call where Elon says that making the July 1 2017 production date would be “impossible” (which turned out to be true!).

M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD

Because Tesla makes 2 models–all BEV. It IS their primary mission.

All the other companies have profitable cars and in volume and much better margins. They only have to make BEV/PHEV to get CARB and rest is really to stay in the conversation until the industry matures enough.

This distracts from the main point – Tesla has had a poor rampup history. Despite hiring a specialist from Audi, still having issues from supply chain — wonder if the contracting is too tight – or single source vendors?

Well maybe if Tesla had opted to go thru Beta testing they would have had way more time to iron out these “Supply problems” and could have launched on time a few months later.

“Traditional auto manufacturer’s build far over 115 vehicles before they would even call it a launch.”

I guess you don’t know about the 200+ pre-production Model 3’s which Tesla built, and used for months of testing.


Now that’s not to say there isn’t a point to be made; GM puts its cars through, as far as I can tell, two stages of pre-production testing which Tesla skips.

But to criticize Tesla for not building cars like GM does is rather silly. GM is an older, larger, conservative business, and is acting like one. Tesla is an agile “young Turk” company, and is acting like one.

Tesla will mature as a company as it grows; it will indeed grow up. But expecting it to act like it’s grown up while it’s still growing is not very realistic!

Go Tesla!

I’m sure there are more than one reason why Tesla is seeing delays. If this was all about suppliers, then why didn’t Tesla say that initially two weeks ago when they reported 3rd quarter results? Instead, they talked about bottlenecks in their production process. I think it’s spin to say that this is the same thing. It’s easy to blame suppliers, as Musk has done in the past, but they’re really being set up to fail from a timing standpoint. Since most suppliers are used by other companies, there is a queue and Tesla is trying to jump in front of other customers with their aggressive timing. No, it doesn’t take 9 months to make a tool or die, but it might take 6 months before a supplier can start working on your part from the time you place the order. Actually, it’s not even clear if Tesla is talking about car parts or tooling/equipment used to make the parts. Would be nice to see a little more transparency here, because it just leaves everything open to speculation. I’ve seen quotes from Musk saying that they’ve “fired” suppliers and moved production in-house to speed up timing, but that only works… Read more »

Is anybody surprised? Tesla started “production” of the Model 3 6 months before they should have, cut all kinds of corners to get there and now they are looking for even more people to blame (it was the employees now it’s the suppliers) for their production delays. Sounds very familiar to me.

No, I’m not at all surprised to see various articles trying to create controversy where none exists; as if we had not already seen headlines like:

“Elon Musk says production deadline for Model 3 ‘impossible'”



“Elon Musk on Model 3: ‘We’re going to go through at least 6 months of production hell'”


Delays were almost mathematically certain. Anyone who is actually surprised either wasn’t paying attention, or is an idiot.

And I’m definitely not surprised to see Tesla bashers and haters jump all over this, just as they always have with every new model that Tesla launches. Same ol’, same ol’. Pretty tiresome, pretty boring to see the same complaints trotted out by the Tesla haters every time, with the FUDsters trying to spin things as if somehow Tesla doing the same thing it always has indicates it’s in trouble.

If it’s true, it’s disappointing.
Pretty easy to put the blame on someone you choose to team with.
But you’re are responsible of your choice of teammate.

And, since It was your choice, it’s your fault.

Yeah, thats how i See it too. Tesla learned with the model x already that some suppliers might need longer than Tesla want them to perform. Money can only buy you so much.

Go in and learn your business.

“Pretty easy to put the blame on someone you choose to team with.”

This is only a rumor, despite the misleading headline. This entire article rests on a quote from an analyst who said “we understand…”

In other words, it’s not even an indirect quote or paraphrase of anything said by anybody at Tesla! It’s just one guy’s impression, and therefore should be classed as a rumor.

Production Hell delay tactics are not playing out well. Which supplier/s is/are going to piss off all of the Tesla Model 3 reservation holders patiently waiting?

Hopefully these future Tesla buyers don’t get frustrated, and bail out on St. Elon and his first mass market EV.

Tesla still has three things: Vision, Purpose, and the Supercharger network.

People love Tesla, since they are doing something concrete about climate change. They are not telling themselves that it’s a hard problem that invalidates their world view, so let’s just ignore it. (As opposed to GM, Ford, FCA, VW, etc, etc).

Tesla… doing things differently may them cool in some regards, fall flat in others. Tired of the missteps, which doesn’t help the electric car movement. Sometimes it is best to do what works best & focus on innovating where the shortcomings are… instead of trying to do *everything* differently.


Musk said the Model 3 was so popular they were getting the “A team” from A-level suppliers. He also said they placed orders for 1000/week in July, 2000/week in August, etc. Who’s fault is it when the best of the best miss your schedule by 3+ months?

And what about all the suppliers who met the schedule. Is Tesla honoring their commitment to take delivery and pay for the parts they ordered? Or just stiffing them?

Have you seen or heard anything to suggest Tesla isn’t paying its suppliers for parts delivered?

I’m guessing this is just more FUD. Hey, why not shovel some more B.S. on the pile here? It’s getting awfully high, might as well go for the record!

“Have you seen or heard anything to suggest Tesla isn’t paying its suppliers for parts delivered?”

I DID NOT suggest Tesla hasn’t paid for delivered parts. Stop putting words in my mouth.

Tesla made suppliers commit to an aggressive schedule. Now that Tesla is behind schedule, they have two choices:

1. Accept delivery of the parts they ordered
2. Refuse delivery and leave their suppliers hanging

The first requires stockpiling parts and materials for ~24,000 cars in Q3 (using Musk’s order rates). If the bottlenecks persist through November they’d hit a cash crunch in December.

Option 2, on the other hand, conserves cash at their suppliers’ expense. Knowing which approach Tesla chose would tell us a lot about how confident they are about how soon they can fix the bottlenecks. That’s why I asked the question.

A convenient excuse for sure, it’s someone elses fault! If they were building their 400k a year maybe. But how long was the ramp up to this initial phase? And how few were they making at first and still couldn’t manage to keep up? Seems like horribly poor planning on Tesla’s part if supplier issues are causing a problem at the very onset when that should be the least of their issues.

I think we all should take from the positive side, Tesla may have noticed the competition is taking serious steps to outperform Model 3 features and it takes time for Tesla to implement some alterations to Model 3 on the fly. There’s no other reason for bottlenecks other than this one, even more enahanced and tweaked Model 3 than previously showcased. Good move Tesla.

Just imagine how cool it will be when you finally could get it in 2020!

The competition isn’t standing still. The Model 3 may look substandard when it finally is available to everyone without a significant delay.

I’m not talking 2020, but alterations to be done on the go. I’ll explicate: the other day I was passing and stopped by a Mercedes CLA 250 Sport, which is way out of my league in terms of buying. That car in Europe fares for around 55-60k Euros and when I looked inside, can you tell what I spotted? It has a CD radio factory built-in and there are some serious reasons for Merc to deliver that in a 55k € car. No matter to what to what extent some automakers believe to be disruptive, they need to do their market research homework and not touch things buyers are are not willing to part with. This what I posted is called attention to detail and Mercedes is a prime example in cherishing that. This is one thing Tesla ought to alter across its whole lineup, if it wants to cater and cuddle buyers and boost sales even more. Tesla, CD radio, thanks.

Ahhh, I see. The Model 3 will be saved by including a CD player after all of these “suppliers” get in line. Hopefully sometime before 2020!


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


I have a CD player in my 2013 leaf — and I have used it a total of exactly 1 time…..and I’m old…..

No CD player should be the new normal. How many laptops have a DVD player today? Why not include an 8-track payer while you are at it….

Sigh. It’s always the suppliers’ fault for Tesla’s delays.


That’s not true. Sometimes it’s the fault of several hundred incompetent employees that you fire all at once.

It’s never the fault of the CEO making ridiculous promises based purely in fantasy, though.

Bad move, Tesla, and not believable, either.

Supplier issues weren’t even mentioned when the Q3 results were released, and I don’t believe it now.

What *is* happening is design flaws that require hand reworking to make a few parts fit, but it takes hours per car. Retooling those items will take many weeks. So I predict sluggish production for quite a while.

And then you fired 1 in 20 people at the plant.

Consequently, I’m losing confidence and trust. Perhaps my Model 3 reservation money should be redirected to another mfr.

“And then you fired 1 in 20 people at the plant.”

Probably more like 2%. The rather biased article from a rather biased newspaper cited a rather broad range of guesstimates, and only the top number is being cited by people referring to that bad piece of bashing masquerading as “reporting”.

Before you go on saying “biased”, lets put in perspective, all the employees of Tesla do not work in the plant, so in a mass-firing you lose 5% of Plant workforce vs 2% of overall workforce, that says a thing or two about the Plant.

Shocking discovery … a supplier or suppliers are to be blamed.

It just never is Tesla’s fault, is it?

Oh, why is it so hard to do the right things and just admit that while going for the big goals we blew a deadline. I guess admitting, that their “new” skip-validation-anything was a bad idea would hurt someone’s ego.

Anyway, end the blame game pls, set realistic goals and deliver some cars to real paying customers so we can see how good the cars are.

That’s what normal, ordinary people not wearing Tesla glasses want.

Sure sounds like an organization that works in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, doesn’t it?

Sometimes, I confuse Elon with the Mango Messiah.

Not even remotely.

But hey, good job of trolling there; I’m sure the other trolls are applauding how well you pulled off that guilt-by-association B.S.

“…why is it so hard to do the right things and just admit that while going for the big goals we blew a deadline. I guess admitting, that their ‘new’ skip-validation-anything was a bad idea would hurt someone’s ego.”

Ummm… skipping validation steps is nothing new for Tesla. They have done it this way every time, so far. Hope you’re not buying into the FUDsters’ Big Lies about this being something new for Tesla, because it’s definitely not.

But to address your (possibly rhetorical) question: I think it’s more likely that Tesla’s PR department, or Elon Musk, or both, think that if Model 3 reservation holders think the delays are not directly Tesla’s fault, then they’ll be less likely to cancel their reservation.

Cynical? Heck, yeah. But then, so is the PR from nearly all companies except some of the very smallest.

Tesla needs to realize that Model 3 buyers are not ‘first adopters’. They’re people who would otherwise buy a high-end Sonata, Altima, Accord, or Camry, and are stepping up in price. Or maybe 3-Series buyers looking for an alternative.

This demographic doesn’t want or expect drama from their car mfr. Tesla is going to find that many reservation holders will quickly lose patience with these shenanigans and will bail.

Ultimately, Tesla will be able to fulfill the reservations, but only because it is a lower number.

It’s estimated that the first 100K+ are going to employees/VIPs/current Tesla owners…Tesla has repeatedly stated they’re going after the Audi and the BMW 3 series…The Model 3 is a compact, the Camry/Accord are midsize and quite frankly, they’re very vanilla…Any Tesla or EV in general is not considered vanilla…

“Ultimately, Tesla will be able to fulfill the reservations, but only because it is a lower number.”

Anti-Tesla FUDsters said that about the Model S, too.

How did that work out, again? Let’s see…

Tesla’s annual automobile sales totals:
2012: 2650
2013: 22,300
2014: 31,655 (+41.95%)
2015: 50,580 (+59.8%)
2016: 76,230 (+50.7%)

Context: TSLA market value.
This is what Pro-TSLA people forget and Anti-Tesla people cling to.

Tesla will survive and will has good cars, that is not the question. To justify its current stock value, Tesla has to hit home runs month after month for the next few years. That mean, Model 3 should be the Model T of 21st century, that is the argument.

Sure, if they are producing 50,000 Model 3 for next 3 years that is fine, but they promised half a million cars in the immediate future, that is the dissonance. The price creep of Model 3 is one more thing.

It looks like they are on wrong footing on delivering their promises, even though Model 3 itself being a good car.

Blame game for sure, but I have to wonder – “will it matter?”. Let’s say these guys deliver in “real” volume a full year late – next July. Will it matter in terms of the “competition”? There still doesn’t appear to be any and if we magically saw something like an electric BMW series show up at that time…Tesla always has the “supercharging” advantage.

I would say the real risk is to the viability of the company (i.e. delayed deliveries mean delayed revenue stream), but Elon can milk another 9 months EASY with excuses, teases, distractions (Semis, boring company, etc.) – he’s a Jedi Master at that – and then all will be forgiven.

The Bolt is competition, and now GM has more time to perfect that car before the Model 3 starts delivering in significant numbers. How about the Ioniq EV and Nissan Leaf, also planning longer ranged versions?

Plenty of competition, and that is a good thing, because I *really* don’t want to have all my eggs in Tesla’s basket with headlines like these.

The Ioniq EV is a complete sales dud.

Come on, dude! We all know why it’s not selling and has nothing to do with how good the car is. That car will sell very good as soon as it’s available.

So a FWD semi-subcompact, tall, narrow semi-crossover with rock hard plastic interior and no available ACC on any trim level…A car with thin, narrow seats that are complained about universally…is competition for Model 3? These are the comments that out non-car guys. Look, the Bolt is a grand stroke by a major carmaker to meet a 200 mile range goal, make a measly 26,000 units to sell to early adopters at $37-44,000 apiece. But a person whose head only sees 228 miles of EV range as deciding factor sees automobiles as boring appliances like a microwave oven. M3 is a totally different category of car. Stop comparing the two. Bolt is great for what it is, but I wouldn’t cross shop the two. M3 is performance oriented. Right off the bat, rear wheel drive makes that clear. M3 has lower and wider seating position and far nicer seats. It’s faster and quicker even in base form. M3 is sleeker with lower coefficient of drag, making it more efficient at higher speeds. Bolt has a hatch. That is good. But it’s a small car. With seats up on back there is a very small space that barely fits anything. Put the… Read more »

238 miles, not 228. #StoptheFUD

And, as I and many others have proven, near 300 mile ranges are not difficult to accomplish, in mild weather, if you have no charging available, and yes I was fully keeping up with traffic.

I heard their main trouble with the “3” is that welding Steel (something that for detroit is ‘old-hat’), involves several tricks that the Wall Street Journal says that apparently Tesla is not yet up to speed on, although they are being forced to learn very quickly.

Your mileage may vary.

FUD, no. Would you be happier if I went on at length splitting hairs? We all know EPA ratings and reality vary, so why get your Fruit Of The Looms in a twist over minutae?

You missed an entire post of logic because I said 220 miles. Thus the blindness of brand loyalist fandom.

If anything, your daily pouncing on Tesla is much closer to FUD, wouldn’t you say?

It’s best to correct clear errors in fact where ever they occur. If isn’t corrected, some fool will use it elsewhere. If you feel it’s minor to your point then just ignore it.

James – that is damning the Bolt ev with faint praise – for one thing, if you find the Leather Seat option (Premiere Trim), as I did very uncomfortable, you can just order the plain-jane LT trim, save at least $4,000.00, and have actually very comfortable cloth seats which have the added benefit of being comfortable both in extremely hot and extremely cold weather – which Buffalo, New York unfortunately suffers from.

The car is built down to a price, and it is so uncanny that when MONTHS ago it was expected that the M3 would be LOWER in price than a typical BOLT ev, now the realization/rationalization is that ‘OF COURSE THE M3 IS A LUXURY CAR COMMANDING A PREMIUM PRICE!’ (hehe).

The model 3 is a typical bare-bones chevy. But it is the Value Leader for what it is, and for those who care about EV range/$ ratio, the BOLT ev STILL bests even the future ‘3LR’ if and when it is released, seeing as the MSRP just misses being the best now, but any Boltevs from here on in will no doubt be sold at several thousand off.

Guess I can’t walk and chew gum atst. BOLTev is a cheap chevy, obviously.

Thanks for clearing up that confusion.

I’m still wondering what the “3LR” is, though…

I don’t really have a big stern, so I can live with the Bolt seats, leather or cloth. I wouldn’t enjoy sitting in them on long trips, however.

For me, Bolt might work. As the range makes it a 100 miles out and back car. I’m not going to hunt down rare or occupied CCS chargers. 100 mile EVs are 50 out and back, yet the inconvenience of public level 2s (far more CHAdeMO around these parts) would have me looking at another Volt.

All BEVs and plug ins in my price range compromise to pay for the pack. You expect hard, thin surfaces and some missing features. You just hope for fewer and well-hidden ones.

No ACC is glaring. Especially since GM brags about how many fully self driving test Bolts they’ve got on the roads.

To John Q. Public, >$35,000 is a lot of dough for a small commuter.

EV capability is impressive. It’s a fun car to drive. Entertaining, quick and nimble-ish.

I’d prefer Bolt to any i3.

Prices won’t come down and range up until EVs are mass produced.

As far as EVs go, M3 is a premium car.

If premium to you means scent dispensers and 23-way massaging seats, buy a Mercedes.

Luxury to me is EV low cost to maintain, fueling at home and smooth, quiet EV drive + freedom from the oil cartels.
Premium Luxury to me is not a label. It is performance, ride and handling dynamics along with top tier safety. The soft touch and lasting materials do factor in.

I do believe there will be a $35,000 base M3.

Why all the griping about a range of equipment levels? So the expensive ones come off the line first…So what?

I think impatience is rearing It’s ugly head. Hang on, there’ll be M3s of every equipment level everywhere in a couple of years. By then, Tesla will be an experienced, well-oiled mainstream auto producer.


When Tesla claims they want/expect to produce 500k Model 3s annually, they’re not just shooting for the entry-level premium customer, they’re shooting for the Camry/Accord customer.

The Camry/Accord price range overlaps with the low-end Model 3, so I can easily see people cross-shopping these vehicles with a Model 3.

In today’s EV world, we find people looking for value and range, in which the Model 3 promises to be the best. But those same customers are certainly cross-shopping the Model 3 against the Bolt, Leaf 2, and potential offerings from many others.

I don’t really care about the ‘aspirational’ aspects of a Tesla; I want the best value and flexibility I can find. Tesla was aspirational when its vehicles cost 2-3x vs mainstream cars. The Model 3’s price, however, is aspirational, much more than I expected.

Since other mfrs offer much less drama with their cars, maybe I’d be just as happy with a Chevy or a Nissan as a Tesla.

I’m happier each day there is more choice for everyone.

It’ll be more fun discussing pros and cons of different cars when there ate 2 or 3 in every category to compare.

For some, the category today is: EV.

True…for less than 5% of the population. Competition is in the eye of the beholder. Not many 3 reservation holders see it as you do but perhaps a decent percentage of Bolt buyers did or do, particularly if they see themselves driving long distances. Those are the practical shoppers that are bothered by the Bolt’s appearance or size but like the Supercharger network. A sliver of a sliver of the car market.

“The Bolt is competition, and now GM has more time to perfect that car before the Model 3 starts delivering in significant numbers.”

Didn’t we see just the other day, here at InsideEVs, a comment asserting that GM has absolutely no intention of doing any updating at all on the Bolt EV until very late next year?

Maybe that’s just a rumor, but it would certainly seem to fit in with GM’s rather diffident approach to producing the Bolt GM, and the shockingly disorganized way it handled distribution and inventory.

GM is producing the car, but they don’t seem at all interested in promoting it or making sure it’s available for sale.

BMW will have something Tesla will never have, a great lease deal.

60% of all BMW 3 series are leased. 70% of C Class are leased.

Never is quite a long time, and you may be right, as right can be!

Next decade might be a bit different in EV car buying terms, and especially EV car Leasing. Tesla will have to adapt when it becomes the volume affordable mass production EV leader, obviously not this decade, the way the Model 3 is currently playing out.

I suspect suppliers delivered products on time only to be rejected because they didn’t meet the specifications and quality requirements agreed to. Tesla isn’t going to use inferior products in it’s vehicles and will hold it’s suppliers feet to the fire may have had to go to another supplier.

I think they’ll get through it in a few months and start making real sales (without NDAs) sometime in the first quarter.

This is a nice dose of reality for the people who really believed Tesla could magically put a car into reliable production faster than companies who have been doing it for 100 years.

You’re imagining things. I don’t recall anyone ever previously using the term “reliable production” with respect to any car Tesla makes.

So, your expectation is/was that they’ll mass-produce unreliable vehicles for some period of time while they work out the bugs?

That is exactly what they’ve done in the past, but the evangelical Tesla fans have been claiming for months that this time will be different.

Anyone who was realistic realized that those initial deliveries were alphas and that the car was nowhere near ready. But, anyone who said that was crucified here.

Well my wife has been considering a Gen 2 Volt or Model 3. We are not current Tesla owners or day one reservationists so it will be well into next year before we can buy.

We have now taken one 250+ mile round trip and are currently on one 400+ mile round trip in our Bolt.

If the trip home to Dallas goes as smoothly as our trip to Austin then she will be fully comfortable dropping the ICE backup. Knowing 2 new GM EVs are coming next year makes her feel even more comfortable in the future of electrics.

She is fine with small CUVs but she prefers a sedan-like profile. So it is Tesla’s sale to lose.

I think by next summer, production will be on track. But I hope it is able to burn through enough of the backlog by the time she is ready. If she can get the Buick EV before a model 3 she might go for it.

The new Buick EV should have some nice features not present on the Bolt EV. I’d expect power seats, sunroof, ACC, etc. It also sounds like it will be a little bigger too.

…and more expensive…

Pain to me is watching ICE OEMs dribble out EV product.

That little Buick EV crossover (Electra?) may well be built in China, retail for $48,000 and trickle into our market at 20-30,000 units/yr…or one or all of the above.

Try making 100,000/yr. and see cost drop…

“That little Buick EV crossover (Electra?) may well be built in China, retail for $48,000 and trickle into our market at 20-30,000 units/yr”

Well it is a Buick.

If it sells 30,000 units a year in the US, it would likely be their second best selling product! lol I am thinking more like 10k-15k units a year max.

Serial anti tesla troll thomas

Tesla investors are still quite optimistic. All other stocks would tumble with such very bad news but Tesla stock is raising…it’s definitely a ponzi scheme.

Actually, anyone with a brain who follows the company could predict mass production would be held up for at least a few of the thousands of parts needed for this car. So the aspirational goal of 1500 produced in the third quarter was very unlikely to be hit.

Since that is an almost self-evident truth, the market already priced it in. I’d guess that Tesla has another couple months of expectations for low production built in. If we get to January and they are still only building a couple hundred a month, then there will be a price paid in stock price, but if they’ve cranked it up over a 1,000/month by then they’ll still be in good graces.

1000 a month in Jan 18 ?

They were supposed to be at 5,000 a week by December and 10,000 a week by the end of next year.

Not sure good graces will stretch that far ?

Yeah, the 5,000/week in December was never in the cards the same way the 1500/third quarter never was.

But you may be right. If they’re only producing 1000/month in December then there will definitely be grumblings on many fronts.

On the other hand, if they have provided Model 3s for review by then, and the reviews are raving praise, then the hype will still be building that the car is a game changer. And if they can honestly say they are rapidly ramping up at that point, then I think the market would still be forgiving.

For those of us guesstimating ~20,000 total Model 3’s produced (not necessarily delivered) by the end of the year, a run rate of only 1000 per week at the end of December would seem to indicate that Tesla will miss that mark.

But so far at least, I see no reason to lower my estimate. Delays were expected by everyone who has been following the “story” of Tesla for years. In fact, I considered them almost mathematically inevitable.

I also consider articles like this one to be pointless, repetitive, and little more than magnets for Tesla haters and FUD.

Yet a earlier in the year, many were guessing the Model 3 would handily outsell the Bolt EV in 2017. I’m betting my Nov-Jan reservation will be creeping back to March 2018 at the earliest.

None of the Tesla fanatics want to that bet anymore. The same ones that were pimping 5k Model 3’s a week in December. Lol

Good links, bro. The article from CNBC about the “cash incineration machine” is the telling story. TSLA has borrowed, sold stock, set up lines of credit, done all kinds of things to gin the some capital to finance the Model 3 development cycle, but that is probably it. The cash well probably will be dry for a while from those sources. It HAS to start turning these Model 3 “reservations” into sales and cash, and soon.

Given the sky-high stock price, I’d say that Tesla can easily raise more money with stock sales if they need it. And don’t be surprised if they continue to sell stock and borrow money at a rapid clip for the foreseeable future while building out various factories.

Selling more stock (that derives its valuation from potential and not actual earnings) is a great move until it isn’t. It’s like saying, “Let’s add another floor to our condo buildings, and we can use the proceeds to pay for the rest of the foundation work we need to have done.”

I don’t think your condo comparison makes sense. How is selling stock to finance capital investment remotely like adding floors to a condo to finance foundation work? One is business as usual and the other is absurd.

It would be “business as usual” if Tesla’s current stock valuation was tied to their earnings instead of their potential.

Since it is the latter, I think my analogy is apt. Tesla is standing on a house of cards right now, and Elon’s current approach is that the house needs to be taller.

There is no growth stock that trades on earnings, that’s just not how it works. If you are a developer, you buy the land based on what it could be not what it is. Evan mature dividend stocks don’t trade on earnings most of the time. Selling stock is nothing uncommon, most companies on the stock market have done it more than once.

I agree: there is no “growth stock” that trades based on earnings instead of potential.

That’s my point: relying on sales of your growth stock to keep the doors open is not a fundamentally sound strategy. The value of a growth stock is almost entirely speculative, which only works until it doesn’t. Kind of like a house of cards.

BenG said:

“…Tesla can easily raise more money with stock sales if they need it. And don’t be surprised if they continue to sell stock and borrow money at a rapid clip for the foreseeable future while building out various factories.”

Thank you for that reality check, BenG.

It’s astonishing to see someone as usually well-informed as HVACman post something so completely contrary to reality. Just recently I’ve started seeing a definite anti-Tesla bias in some of his posts; I hope he hasn’t become one of those Tesla short-sellers!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I bet if they had a model 3 that had no fancy door handles, no AP……bare bones they would have 2000 of them out.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I like how some state Tesla’s “unreasonable deadlines” for suppliers/vendors.
If the supplier/vendor knows they couldn’t meet that schedule then they shouldn’t have signed the contract…….PERIOD!
They knew what they were getting into and THEY should’ve planned for this.

If you’ve never run a business that supplies parts then you have no clue what it takes to keep a business afloat.

Gives the trolls some meat to chomp on for a while. Meanwhile the stock is up 65% for the year outperforming the market by about 50%.

The slow production is probably a combination of many factors and will be resolved shortly, within a few months.

SABOTAGE in supply chain is what “I heard”

Maybe it is as simple as Tesla balking at the payment terms demanded by a few key suppliers who see risk and want to play it safe.

Tesla has yet to show a profit. The Model 3 represents a big shift for Tesla, and its success (or failure) remains to be seen. If its sales fall short of expectations combined with the possibility of its presence undercutting Model S demand, Tesla’s financial standing could become fatal.

WOW are the FUDsters and Tesla haters working overtime here! That’s the second post insinuating that Tesla isn’t paying its suppliers.

If you have even the slightest shred of actual evidence that Tesla is missing payments to suppliers or anyone else, then please do post that. I’m guessing that you don’t, and that this is just more B.S.

Tesla bashers have been insinuating since day 1 that Tesla secretly is having financial problems and is headed towards collapse. After at least 9 years of constantly reading that same B.S., contrary to all the financial statements Tesla has filed since its IPO, it’s not very credible anymore.

Chill out, PP. Nowhere did I say Tesla is NOT paying their suppliers. What I DID say was there might be a key supplier asking for payment terms that Tesla won’t agree to. Big difference.

And I gave reasons which you ignored, maybe because they are difficult for a Tesla Fanboi to swallow.

It hardly matters really. A company has to work hand-in-hand with their suppliers. Failure to deliver the proper parts on time is a failure on both parties and as seen impacts the final product production.

You have to measure the risks of having a short schedule and a single supplier and then strike a balance that works for you. And when it doesn’t work out, it isn’t a problem you can then just run away from. It’s partly your own doing, not just your suppliers.

I swear I read that Tesla was lining up multiple suppliers for parts so that if supplier A couldn’t deliver on time, supplier B would be there to step in.

I guess that didn’t work out like they wanted.
I read that at least 1 supplier was “fired” (so not just employees being canned). How long will it take to replace them and whatever part they were responsible for making?

bro1999 continued his very active FUD campaign against Tesla:

“I swear I read that Tesla was lining up multiple suppliers for parts…”

You certainly do assert or even “swear” to a lot of made-up B.S. about Tesla, Mr. Troll.

What Tesla spokesmen, or at least Elon Musk, actually said, has been reported as:

“If you listened to what Musk said on the call, the intent is that Tesla will be ready to make any part in-house if suppliers fail to deliver.”

Of course, anyone exercising critical thinking will realize there are limits to that. Obviously some parts, such as computer chips, can’t be made in-house!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Failure to deliver the proper parts on time is a failure on both parties ”

You must know what was precisely happening?

Not sure how it would be *my* fault if my supplier failed to deliver my parts because their laser labeler went offline or my suppliers vendor that does the painting couldn’t get the correct colors in on time from their source.

I didn’t say fault. I said responsibility.

It would be your responsibility because you have to measure the risk. If the part is so critical that you cannot produce without it you have to consider having two suppliers in case one of their laser labelers goes down. Or you have to consider telling your single supplier to deliver 4 months early and racking the parts so that you have them when you need them.

Tesla opted against all this for scheduling and financial reasons. So it’s partly their responsibility, by definition.

It’s your product, you’re always responsible for it. Subcontracting doesn’t remove your responsibility, just change the means of production.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

S*** happens dude.

We had 2 vendors that made subassemblies using a specific 8bit micro-controller. 1 vendor in the midwest one in the east coast, geographically different in case of snow storms or hurricane. BOTH notified us of unavailable parts because the 8bit micro-controller was not available from their source and had to wait for delivery from their alternate source overseas.
Come to find out both vendors used the same primary source/distributor where one ordered direct and the other ordered from another reseller.

So no, it’s not my responsibility and yes this has happened more than once on other product lines in the past.

S*** happens. Timing is what amplifies the issue.

Yes, stuff happens. And it is your responsibility to try to make a plan that doesn’t fall apart if stuff happens.

And yes, it is your responsibility what happened to you. You have to assess the importance of the parts to your supply chain and make plans. In your case, you had to consider whether you should tell your suppliers to buy the parts well in advance and stockpile them. Whether you considered this and didn’t do it or failed to consider this the fallout is your responsibility.

When you went to your customers and said “we can’t deliver what you need but it’s not our fault, so it’s okay” did they say “oh yeah, that makes it okay”?

Nope. You couldn’t deliver your product. And delivering your product is your responsibility.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“When you went to your customers and said “we can’t deliver what you need but it’s not our fault, so it’s okay” did they say “oh yeah, that makes it okay”?”

Nope, they said “OK, understood. That happened to us a few times.”

Tesla said they were getting “the A team” from suppliers, who were doing a fantastic job.

Tesla said the firings were performance related when it fact it was cost cutting.

The autopilot program is a complete mess, right now.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“The autopilot program is a complete mess, right now.”

I prefer no AP myself. They should’ve made it an option.

Those grapes were almost certainly sour anyway. And I don’t even like grapes.

AP (now called Enhanced AP) is an option. It’s $5000. Add another $3000 for “full self driving”.

It’s an option to activate, but the hardware is there regardless.

JyChevyVolt said:

“Tesla said the firings were performance related when it fact it was cost cutting.”

Quite aside from you stating mere opinions — and biased opinions, at that — as if they’re facts, you’re not even making any sense. Mass terminations as a cost-cutting measure are not called “firings”, they are called “layoffs”.

Yes, those are properly called layoffs. But I’m sure you would agree that it would not be a good look for Tesla to be laying off people in the middle of the M3 ramp up.

So I think it’s fair to state that even if Tesla needed to let employees go now for cost-cutting reasons, they would need to frame it as performance-related because mass layoffs would undermine investor confidence.

“Yes, those are properly called layoffs. But I’m sure you would agree that it would not be a good look for Tesla to be laying off people in the middle of the M3 ramp up.” I may or may not agree depending on where those layoffs and/or firings occurred. It certainly would not make any sense whatsoever for there to be a layoff from the production line at the Fremont assembly plant, or the work going on at surrounding buildings feeding parts and sub-assemblies to that line. But if there were layoffs elsewhere, that might indeed make sense. For example, at one point Tesla was assembling battery packs on the second floor at Fremont. That work has been shifted to the Gigafactory, so if there was a layoff at Fremont for that reason, it makes perfect sense. As I recall, the article in question was from a newspaper with a noticeable pro-union, anti-Tesla bias. Also as I recall, at least one comment to the article suggested that most of the layoffs happened at Tesla’s other facilities, perhaps more among office staff rather than production workers. Again, that may well make sense if Tesla is shifting things around between their various… Read more »

I heard it was their LCD monitor supplier. If only they had put in a speedometer instead. 5,000 a month would already be getting cranked out.


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

My guess is the door handles.

I heard that you have to begin with the words “I heard” and then it will be true and not fake news.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

You mean I’ve been doing it wrong the whole time?!?!?!?!?

No, the official form is “some people say…”.
Use that from now on…

People say that Tesla specified the wrong size for the ash tray.

DJ you’re 100% correct not sarcasm because you began with “I heard”

Model 3 was not ready for production in July when they sold the first 30 cars. When a car company assembles the first cars on the production line, these will for for testing. The process usually takes another 6 months or so. For Tesla Model 3 probably it takes even longer, because the car is 100% new. Those who expect cars rolling out of the production line in September or October will be disappointed. Early 2018 will be when the cars will be produced at significant rate.

SABOTAGE SABOTAGE SABOTAGE collusion by fossil fuel industry to destroy the only EV manufacturer that wants to sell EVs. Believe me.

Ok, if this guy isn’t a troll, no one is.

Not a troll. Maybe tin foil hat, nut job who throught insideevs was zero hedge.

I don’t know which is worse for the Tesla Model 3 supplier delay, the “believe me”, or the “Zerohedge” FUDster Troll Towne.

Delay cost money.

I predict another round of funding around the Tsemi unveiled.

For the guys, who think this does not really matter: When BMWs German factory had to be stopped for 40 minutes the last time, because a drug intoxicated worker collapsed at work, it caused a financial damage of about 1 million €. Of course BMWs plant is quite a lot bigger, but financial losses are imminent, if a big factory does not produce the output, it should. Tesla has to pay the workers, the machines, etc. With these problems Tesla is loosing many many million $ every week right now. For a company that until today only sells 100k cars per year, this damage is incredibly big.

Just a few days ago Tesla said there were no fundamental issues with the supply chain. Now they are throwing suppliers under the bus. WTF?


No, that’s just what Barron’s reported some analyst said was his understanding. Nobody at Tesla said anything negative about suppliers.

But hey, if you repeat the lie that Tesla is “throwing suppliers under the bus” enough times, that lie will become true, right Mr. Troll? 🙄

The actual quote from the analyst — not what you’re claiming someone said, let alone a Tesla spokesman — can be found here:


Straight from the horse’s mouth:

“It is important to emphasize that there are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production ***or supply chain***,” THE COMPANY continued. “We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.”

Now explain how supplier(s) getting fired/Tesla blaming suppliers for bottlenecks goes along with the Tesla narrative that there are “no fundamental issues” with the supply chain?

Source for Tesla telling Oppenheimer that they had fired at least one supplier.
Suck on that, Tesla propagandist!

You’re merely repeating your lies and FUD.

Just proving my point, Mr. Troll.

The lies are friends from Tesla, you tsla cultist.

Great news! Supercharging will not be free for the model 3. No 400 kwh/year credit. Should make sparkev happy.

@OP Eric Loveday said: “…Failing to provide suppliers with enough lead time is likely the real issue here…”

@Eric Loveday, And you base that insightful nugget on what?

It’s the supplier’s responsibility (not Tesla’s) to determine/represent that the supplier has sufficient lead time to provide the deliverables under the time frame contracted… not the other way around.

Ultimately, the buck stops at Tesla. If they were not able to accurately identify which suppliers were telling them what they wanted to hear, that’s on them.

@Spider-Dan said: “Ultimately, the buck stops at Tesla…”

Yes… insofar that Tessa ultimately decides which of the those vendors Tesla continues to use as a supplier going forward. But it’s the vendor not Tesla that determines lead times required to meet supplier’s deliverable commitments … each vendor has different lead time requirements they only the vendor knows what that is.

Before I even read all the comments, just by the title alone, I knew it would be a fire storm between Tesla fan boi and Tesla bashers…

LOL. This is of course the usual “business practice” of shifting blame. Tesla doesn’t own that monopoly.

As long as there are hundreds of thousands of reservation, Tesla will be fine. But not meeting goals and expectation will certainly hurt Elon’s ego as well as Tesla apologist’s egos.

Pass the popcorn!

I’m not sure why you are interpreting “…a handful have taken longer to activate than expected.” as referring to issues unrelated to supplier problems. This statement *could* mean this as well as anything else – and was probably said this way (ie ambiguously) deliberately.

Companies with actual real world mass production experience realize that you have to classify third party delays as forseen rather than unforseen circumstances, and bake that into your estimates.

Or aggressively vertically integrate like Apple does.

Elon likes to do the opposite: put out ridiculous timelines, lash at your workforce and work them to death, and hope for the best. Then announce the eventual delay of the product, but throw everyone under the buss except yourself.

Right…I guess that explains EM’s stunning success in establishing the first successful new auto OEM to reach true mass production in the US in the last 100 years.

Or the fact that his companies have already disrupted extremely politically and economically powerful industries like autos, utilities, aerospace, etc.

Get a clue, troll.

Do not rush a master piece for the masses. Are we always bullying Ferrari or Lamborghini to hurry up. This is the FerrariApple car and historic to reach the Supercharging of the EV revolution. Stop the Bullying!

Maybe the parts are just late because the Tesla semi has to stop and charge it’s batteries so much (JOKING)

One thing for sure though
You how many parts it take to build a Tesla to ship to a customer?
All of them!

I’m sure they will get their suppliers in line, these are not unusual problems , pretty common actually, how do you think Ford is doing on F150 production right now? Gonna be down a long time,
Due to ONE supplier.