Tesla Model 3 Vs Chevy Bolt – Production Speed Wars Examined

APR 4 2018 BY EVANNEX 102


As the media barrage of negative news continues to descend upon Tesla, it’s worth noting one critical observation (via CleanTechnica). According to Maarten Vinkhuyzen, “The whole world is talking about Tesla’s inability to produce cars, Elon Musk’s unrealistic timelines, and ‘broken promises.’ But the facts are different.” Consider the following: “Fact — 9 months after start of the assembly line, GM had produced about a 1,000 Bolts. Fact — 9 months after start of the assembly line, Tesla had produced about 10,000 Model 3.”

Related: Tesla Q1 Production Soars To New High Of 34,494 – 9,766 Model 3

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla Model 3 vehicles ready for delivery to customers (Source: Street Insider)

Vinkhuyzen chalks up a lot of this bad mouthing in the media to bad PR at Tesla. After all, “in the real world, the Model 3 ramp is as good or better than the Chevy Bolt ramp… The ‘broken promises’ are hopes and expectations Musk vented when talking to the press, and Twitter remarks taken out of context.” Elon Musk’s moonshot approach may (indeed) help speed things up with factory staff. That said, it can be fodder for Tesla shorts in their ongoing crusade against Musk.

Vinkhuyzen notes, “The problem in production is mostly a problem in communication. Tesla is doing things differently from others in the car industry. Using different words to describe those actions. That results in confusion among car journalists, car financial analysts, and the public at large.”

Above: Chevy Bolt on the factory floor (Source: CleanTechnica)

Comparing the Model 3 and Bolt, “GM is using an existing assembly line with a trained workforce. After six months, it is functioning well enough to call it the start of production. In the ninth month, GM delivered its first batch of 579 cars to customers. With the cars delivered to employees and the cars in transit to their dealers, about 1,000 Bolts produced in the first nine months is a reasonable guess.”

In contrast, “Tesla used a brand new production line and a freshly hired workforce… After one month, they delivered their first 30 cars. And then the predicted and expected problems started to appear. As Tesla has often said, which has been forgotten as often — they know where they start (on the first of July), and they know where they end (with 5,000 cars per week), but the middle period is highly uncertain. The line is designed for 5,000 cars per week, and sooner or later it will work as designed. What is not known, and can not be known, is the rate of improvement and the time that it will take.”

Vinkhuyzen acknowledges, “Does this mean Tesla is 10 times as good at producing cars as GM? Not really. The Tesla line is designed to produce 10 times as many cars. Having produced 10 times as many as GM is expected.” On the other hand, “does this mean Tesla and GM are just the same in car making? Also not really. Tesla did have a more difficult route with a new assembly line and a new workforce.”

In conclusion, “It took GM 15 months before the Bolt was produced at the rate that was intended. And this was so normal that not a single journalist wrote a long article about the Bolt production problems. If Tesla succeeds in coming close to 5,000 at the end of the second quarter, using only 12 months to go from zero to full speed, that would be exceptional. If they need a few more months, that would be normal.”


Source: CleanTechnica

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

Categories: Chevrolet, Tesla

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102 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Vs Chevy Bolt – Production Speed Wars Examined"

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(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Wait, let me re-phrase that…..

EVANNEX………. Meh.

I am not a fan of his articles and writing either, because the conflict of interest is just too obvious and it shows often.

Having said that … there’s no ramp up in GM’s Bolt production. Or have I missed something? And all of that while people in countries like Canada are begging for more vehicles so they don’t have to wait as long as they have ….

Mary Barra has said that they will be ramping up to meet Global demand this year. But, were GM is different, they don’t shoot themselves in the foot with unrealistic timetables.

So if it takes a full year to a huge company like GM, why are people criticizing little Tesla??? For achieving more quicker???

I don’t get it, sounds to me like you hardcore GM followers need to find a different ball to kick. This one makes zero sense in the eyes of someone who doesn’t wear neither jersey ….


where life is going to get interesting is that the semi truck and hopefully MY, will scale up very quickly.
Still, I hope that elon will restrain himself.
Heck, ideally, he does not even introduce the MY UNTIL the line is going and in early production.

Here’s how it should go:
Press: “Elon how many Semi’s will Tesla be producing this year?”

Elon: “Without a doubt one maybe more.”

Press: “What about the Model Y? When will production start for that?”

Elon: “Soon. Stay tuned.”

Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3 (soon)

The difference is Alpha and Beta production runs. GM does this for worker buyers and favored buyers like fleets. They have done this for decades and most understand this as the way GM rolls out a model. Tesla says July 2017 FULL production.

So Tesla can now only use the exact same words as GM? Why?

because Tesla is making promises it cant keep and people are tired of Elon over promising and under delivering.

Over promising and under-delivering?

The Model 3 was originally a 200 mile range car. They are delivering 220 and 300+ mile versions. Current Model S beats every single performance and range and charging rate spec that were originally announced. How is that underdelivering? Underdelivering is like when the Volt was supposed to get 50 MPG running on gas, and they fell well short. Or 230 MPG,

The Model 3 will eventually hit their sales targets, just like Model S and Model X. But 7 years later the Volt still hasn’t hit their 60K/yr sales target. And instead of holding their feet to the file, everybody just shrugs their shoulders and doesn’t even notice that they don’t even publish sales targets anymore!! Same for all the other ICE car companies who don’t even publish sales targets AT ALL. Yet Tesla gets held to a different standard while everybody blindly ignores that most ICE companies simply don’t even try to have any targets at all.

The Model 3 was originally also a $35k car arriving in 2013.
It started as a $50k+options car in 2017, and the $35k version is still not available. Even in the most optimistic Tesla time, the $35k version is still 4 to 7 months away.

It isn’t evenexs content. They are just putting out cleantechnias content with their name on ir

Well then, my opinion of CleanTechnia just went down. I had not noticed them running outright cheerleader articles full of nothing but rosy praise for a company before.

I expect far better of CleanTechnia than I do from Evannex.

I wonder what technology might scale better. May be solutions without Kobalt and rare earths…

No bigger compliment than being quoted like this.
I feel honored, EV Annex. 🙂

This is stupid. Who cares if the Bolt is selling or not, GM certainly doesn’t, so why should anyone else? The fact is Musk made many promises that never came to fruition. If he hadn’t, no one would care.

Why not instead compare the Model 3 to the new Nissan Leaf? Oh wait, that makes Tesla look bad…

LMAO, Leaf 1.5s documented and known problems with DCFC and no TMS makes the Leaf look bad compared to properly engineered BEVs like the Tesla or Bolt.

You are absolutely right, unless you are an average range commuter, who only charges at home and never uses the Leaf for multiple fast charge (2+ DC CHAdeMO) road trips.

..and live in a mild climate.

in what way does the leaf make the model 3 look bad?
Demand is MUCH MUCH higher for model 3 than leaf.

theBrandler said:

“Why not instead compare the Model 3 to the new Nissan Leaf? Oh wait, that makes Tesla look bad…”

Here, let me fix that for you:

Why not instead compare the Model 3 to the new Nissan Leaf? Oh wait, that makes Nissan look really bad…

In the mind of some people, when it’s Elon Musk or Tesla involved, every ‘expectation’, ‘timeline’ and ‘intent’ instantly becomes a ‘promise’.

I challenge you to post this list of broken promises (_true_ promises in the dictionary meaning of the word).

Yeah, that is not how that works, nice try though. Chevy’s first month of Production was Dec. 2016 for a total of 579 units. Tesla’s was July 2017 for 30 units. You don’t get to count pre-production at Chevy as production time but ignore it when Tesla, skipped most of that step. At 9 months (Aug 2017) Chevy had sold 22,194. Defects were minimal and setbacks non-existent as GM said they’d be on sale end of 2016, they were. Musk over-promised and said vehicles would be on Sale 3rd Qtr 2017 and held a spoof start of production with the 30 units that went to employees. Customers didn’t see cars until Nov.

The cleantechnica articles were so garbage it was actually funny. Some poster on another forum said it looked like the work of a high school dropout. Lol

It’s always a poster … that one guy, you know … who is somehow unhappy, eh?

This may be very true. I don’t follow them, so I have no idea or opinion. However, I can tell you that if you are right, it’s pretty sad though, since CleanTechnica is honestly one of the most successful related sites in the entire industry. Crazy right?

Those Bolt hit pieces the cleantechnica author attempted to pen were based on such ridiculous premises (comparing Bolt preproduction with Model 3 final production, claiming “production wars” that don’t exist) that he was doomed to fail miserably. I’ve read blogs that are much more professionally written than the steaming pile cleantechnica served up. So bad they were, they ALMOST make Electrek articles look good. Almost.

Here is a site that has a writer that doesn’t put out HS dropout level garbage: https://electricrevs.com/

While the story and its tone may not go with you’re opinion or reasoning, and it may not be a fair premise when looked at differently, the quality of writing far exceeds a high school dropout. There are not blatant typos, unclear ideas, mixed up sentence structure, etc. The actual writing, in terms of its grammatical quality, flow, and clarity is just fine. In fact, it’s better than a lot of writing out there. The following sentence and word use doesn’t come from a high school dropout (although many HS dropouts may be very smart, I can only assume those that you are referring to would be “bad” writers, otherwise your comment wouldn’t make sense): “As the media barrage of negative news continues to descend upon Tesla, it’s worth noting one critical observation … ” Keep in mind that most of the article is relying on rehashing a whole bunch of direct quotes. That has nothing to do with the writer. I understand that the EVANNEX articles are not for you, as they are not for many of our commenters, which has been repeatedly made abundantly clear. However, although we have a huge base of people that comment here, and… Read more »

bro8008 — I ran your post through a third party site, here are the results:

“Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level rating of 8th grade level.
Equivalent age level: 13.3 years old.”

bro1999 said:

“Some poster on another forum said it looked like the work of a high school dropout.”

I guess your imaginary friend knows some rather different high school dropouts. None of the ones I know could construct a paragraph that was both correctly spelled and grammatically correct to save his life.

I don’t think much of the extreme cheerleader bias in the article — even more extreme than Evannex articles usually are — but the writer can certainly communicate clearly.

Your numbers are wrong in the other direction

The cars Delivered in dec were notBuilt in dec

Those production cars were built starting in October and held for reworks until December

That still excludes preproduction cars

There are no “production speed wars”. GM isn’t trying to produce as many Bolts as possible, as quickly as possible.

GM’s production speed is perfectly matched for its level of demand. 99% of Americans have a choice of several Bolts within a short drive of their house. Any time someone online complains there aren’t Bolts in their area, I check that city/zip on Autotrader and find their claims baseless.

It’s actually Tesla’s production speed that is all wrong for demand, but it is getting better.

If this article is a backhanded slap in the face that Chevy isn’t selling a higher volume of Bolts, well, that’s quite a different story that needs quite a different headline. But the current headline implies that Tesla and Chevy are in a production race to see who can build more, and that could not possibly be further from the truth.


Correct. GM never intended the Bolt EV to be a high-volume car, so I don’t know why they are using it as a comparison. Why not compare it to the Cruze, Malibu, Equinox ramp up?

Yes, we concurred on this long ago, and were correct then and still are.


Evannex is a spokesweasel. At least this is one of their better articles.

Coming up: We compare apples and oranges. News flash: Both are round…

This is actually a CleanTechnica article shared by EVANNEX and then shared with us.

That’s like being a “re-gifter”……lol

Yes indeed!

@Brian D:

Thank you! for pinpointing exactly what’s fundamentally wrong with this “article”, and why it utterly misses the mark.

But you didn’t — you scored a bull’s eye! Kudos, sir.

Sigh. What does absolute production numbers have to do with whether or not promises and “guidance” is kept/delivered?

Zilsch and de nada.

GM did however also lie, at the time of the “near production ready” prototype being shown (CES, January -17). Barra said the car wouldn’t be production constrained. And then we know what happened, with every Bolt for the while year getting sold in minutes in South Korea.

Even so, Bolt is in fact being produced to meet demand in the US. And the Opel version is a very different case to delivering Model 3 in Europe (that number is zero, by the way).

There’s just no getting away from Tesla being the far, far worse party here. And I resent that you defend such behaviour by selectively presenting only this facts that make Tesla look good. Even the ad-ticles from Evannex should not be completely free from editorial oversight. For example, it’s a fact that Tesla guided 100,000+ Model 3 produced in 2017. It’s a strange fact to overlook if you want to make this comparison.

Oh there’s a way … you just have to take off your GM overall. It’s really not that hard when you simply admire any EV effort and not selectively just some.

Are you even debating whether Tesla at the end of 2018 will produce more model 3 unit’s than Bolt? Talking production, forget the guidance BS figures, which everyone knows to take only to attract investors with fat pockets.

“whether Tesla at the end of 2018 will produce more model 3 unit’s than Bolt?

Huh? Did you check the march EV sales report card? They are already producing more Model 3’s than Bolts.

Once again it has to be pointed out to Terraidiot that what VAG and other Euro auto OEMs did by blatantly lying about their “clean diesel” emissions scandals was a real lie and not comparable to Musk’s overly ambitious stretch goals on production used to motivate Tesla and EV adoption.

Any one with common sense can figure out that LG Chem’s first attempt at building electric power trains would need a ramp up period.

I don’t think there is anything about the rest of the car that would have slowed GM down since they produced 273,000 Cruzes one year and even higher production of some truck models.

It was the first powertrain from LG Chem while the Model 3 was the third vehicle that Tesla produced (they contracted the original Roadster out).

At the risk of nitpicking, Tesla did build the EV powertrain for their first car, the Roadster. It was the rest of the car (the “glider”) which they contracted out to Lotus.

What are talking about the European version the Opel Ampera E? That’s dead. That’s a tale of woe, whereas prospective buyers were sadly mistaken that they would ever see them.

I read the header, laughed, made a prediction to myself and lo and behold, my prediction was right.
Tesla fanbois subject/header, then the author has to be Evannex.

In this case it was Evannex quoting a wannabe evannex. Blind leading the blind. Lol

Is there any way we could start a Kickstarter so that we can raise money to give to IEVs so they drop these Evannex “articles”? I’ll chip in $10. 😀

Or just restraint yourself and don’t click and read … I guess not something, you can do, eh?

Another Euro point of view

I will put $20.

We receive no compensation from EVANNEX. They share their content for free. It’s actually a CleanTechnica story that we were going to attempt to cover until it came across our feed as having already been published by EVANNEX. So, we used it instead of a standard EVANNEX post. You don’t have to read the EVANNEX stories. We make it clear on the site who the author is and that it’s shared content. We have a huge following of people that read them daily, so we can’t really just cut the content out. We try to publish a wide variety of stories about various brands and with various opinions and stances in order to appeal to a wide audience.

Steven, I really hope your web analytics numbers are right on this (and it’s not just clicks).
I regularly click on these EVANNEX articles and then get angry about myself having fallen for cheap click bait again (especially on my cell phone where it’s harder to see the author).
We all understand that this is a free site and clicks and site visits matter. But reputation does as well, when looking at the long term success of news media. For my sample size of 1, they are the main reason I have started to frequent this site less often, since they make me trust the other content less.

One article a day out of 10-20 makes you leave a site? If you accidentally click, simply click off the article. Yes, engagement numbers are huge and time on page is lengthy since the articles are generally long and involved. Many of our competitors make huge bank by only publishing Tesla “fluff” pieces. We refuse to do that. If it’s bad news for Tesla, we’ll publish it just the same, even if there’s a chance we will be hit with a take-down request. So, reposting another site’s free content for the people that choose to read such articles is a better way to handle it. This is especially true since we can put a disclaimer saying it’s free content and not necessarily our opinion, but nonetheless, it’s here if you’d like to read it. I won’t resort to publishing IEV author-written Tesla fluff for clicks. However, these pieces also get picked up often by content partners, which is part of how a site like ours is able to stay alive. Otherwise, we’d have to stoop to having a full day’s worth of Tesla fan posts making the company king of the world in order to stay afloat. It’s a very… Read more »

Thanks Steven,
Really appreciate the response and the hard work you and your team put into this website.

Thanks Chris! We appreciate your support!

If GM had 500K+ people waiting in line, they would be producing 50,000 cars per month after it first became available for sale to consumers. If you want to count all the years that car was in development as “production time”, Tesla 3 has been in production for 5 years!

This article is nothing more than comparing average gas prices to highest electric rate to say that EV is more expensive. Not true! Cancel your Tesla 3 reservation (and wait until I get mine or buy the S or X now)!

“If GM had 500K+ people waiting in line, they would be producing 50,000 cars per month after it first became available for sale to consumers.”

Then they would be selling them without battery packs.

GM couldn’t match Tesla’s production for large-capacity EV battery packs even if their executives’ lives depended on it. Nobody is ramping up EV battery production even remotely as fast as Tesla’s Gigafactory One; certainly not LG Chem!

From the article: “The problem in production is mostly a problem in communication. Tesla is doing things differently from others in the car industry. Using different words to describe those actions. That results in confusion among car journalists, car financial analysts, and the public at large.”

So Tesla doesn’t have a problem at all. It’s experienced automotive journalists and the top automotive industry financial analysts who just don’t understand Tesla nomenclature…Tesla is so far ahead of the industry they had to develop “new terms” to describe their processes.

The problem is that they actually DO understand…that Tesla is deliberately using rhetorical double-talk in an attempt to explain away their numerous failures to actually produce what they said they would produce when they said they would do it. Everyone else in the industry seems to be able to do that.

The communication problem is that Tesla now has Tommy Flannagan handling their PR. Yeah, we’re producing 1 …uh 2,000 Model 3’s per week. Yeah, that’s it.


Article Headline: “Tesla Model 3 Vs Chevy Bolt – Production Speed Wars Examined”

Cars sold is what matters.

March 2018 INSIDEEVs ScoreCard says:

Tesla Model 3: 3,820

Chevy Bolt: 1,782

So Tesla Model 3 beats Chevy Bolt by over 2X.

And when in Q2/18 Tesla Model 3 is being produced and delivered to buyers at a rate of 4X over Chevy Bolt there will still be the same crowd complaining about Musk’s production *goal* setting tactics.

Well GM will sell close to 10 million vehicles this year. Tesla if lucky will be about 200k. GM wins… I truly don’t think GM loses much sleep over Tesla and what they do. I’m sure they are more concerned with VW. VW has scale and money.

Their actions indicate otherwise.

theflew said:

“I truly don’t think GM loses much sleep over Tesla and what they do.”

A head-in-the-sand attitude toward upstart fast-growing competitors during a disruptive tech revolution may serve GM as well as it did for Eastman Kodak and BlackBerry.

But hey, both Kodak and BlackBerry are still in business… altho only as tiny, pale shadows of their former market dominance. Maybe GM will still be hanging on that way, 15-20 years from now?

You can witness Tesla going from outfitting gliders with an electric power train by hand to mass producing 100’s of 1000’s of vehicles per year in a mere 10 years (this is a very short time in such a large and mature industry with a long product cycle).

On top of that, they are by far the largest producer when it comes to the technology that is widely seen as the future.

Of course no automotive CEO loses any sleep about that….

How is it ‘better’ if Tesla is producing 1960’s Detroit era rattle boxes?

I agree, these ‘canned’ articles are a waste of space since GM doesn’t consider itself in any kind of race with the BOLT ev, – even though they claim it is important to them – it is quite obviously a ‘back burner’ car since it seldom if ever shows up in any advertising campaigns.

If people bought 50% more BOLT ev’s , GM would make 50% more of them.

That said, I think GM is going to get some REAL stiff competition from the HONDA CLARITY PHEV.

Forget the Clarity FC model, that will be permanently a Niche product barring widespread (doubtful) acceptance of H2 as an every day low-cost fuel. The cost is what will kill it. But the PHEV Clarity is the REAL sleeper, and its a good value, and ‘ITS A HONDA’ making it a super-reliable ev car brand. As I’ve stated, this is the greatest value for an upscale midsize. 47 miles shows Toyota up also. Apparently Honda can do things Toyota is unwilling to do.

As someone else said, there is no war. A war is an all-out contest with both sides putting in maximum effort.

In this case, Tesla is apparently putting in maximum effort (sad as that is). GM is using half the strength in one pinky. If GM decided to go all-out, the war would be over very quickly. Tesla is a fly compared to that the industrial juggernauts that are GM/Ford/Toyota/VAG/etc.

LMAO, ClownCIE shows up to disparage Tesla’s impressive accomplishments as the dominant Western high-mid range EV manufacturer.

And this after this fool’s chicken-little FUD all weekend with the other loser shorter trolls like Mental MadBro and trollftf about how Tesla’s Bankruptcy was imminent.

ClownCIE is such a POS loser troll that he is an embarrassment to trolls in general!

If GM really went to “war” with Tesla, it would be over quicker than the Iraqi military caved in Desert Storm. The Bolt is a tiny, tiny slice of GM’s overall sales. They could have just priced it at $20k and handed out 0 down, $99/month leases and attracted swarms of Model 3 reservation holders. But they care about something Tesla really doesn’t: making money.

While Elon is trying to save the world with his 15 side projects (and not making a black cent all the while), GM is doing what it’s done for over 100 years: sell huge amounts of metal on wheels.

Tesla is nothing more than a gnat buzzing around the big boy automakers’ heads. They are just now getting annoying enough for the other companies to start half-hearted swatting.

After bankruptcy and government bailout I hope they are focused on making money.

“Tesla is nothing more than a gnat buzzing around the big boy automakers’ heads. They are just now getting annoying enough for the other companies to start half-hearted swatting.”

That is what they said about Toyota and Datsun too.

CCIE continued his Tesla Hater cultist campaign:

“GM is using half the strength in one pinky. If GM decided to go all-out, the war would be over very quickly.”

That’s a pretty amusing Bizarro FUDster fantasy world you’ve created, where GM could out-produce Tesla for long-ranged BEVs!

That’s Tesla’s name on the side of Gigafactory One, where all those batteries are coming from. GM has nothing like it, and doesn’t even have any plans for controlling their own battery supply. GM is utterly dependent on LG Chem for its batteries, and can’t possibly ramp up BEV production any faster than LG is willing to build out new production capacity for them.

Panasonic is building out new production capacity for Tesla far faster than LG Chem is building out new production capacity for GM, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Even if GM threw many billions of dollars at LG Chem for building out massive amounts of new capacity, they would still have to wait about two years to get it.

“If GM decided to go all-out, the war would be over very quickly. ”

The Volt was built as all out war against the Toyota Prius attempting to leapfrog Prius sales and put GM on top of the green car sales number. It was part of an all-out war against Toyota when GM was fighting them to be the top global sales leader.

It failed. They tried, and failed. Their original target was 60,000 Volts in the first year of sales.

What is with sourcing this as evenex content when it is ass clearly cleantechnia content with the source link back to cleantechnia?

That is like having your granny read you a book and then giving her the credit for writing it

EVANNEX has permission to use CleanTechnica’s content. We had a draft to cover the story. However, it popped up in our search as already covered by EVANNEX. We have free permission to use EVANNEX content but not CleanTechnica’s content. EVANNEX posts some pieces on our site and some pieces at CT. So, it made more sense, rather than featuring any other of EVANNEX’s content today, to post this CT story via EVANNEX. I hope that makes sense, as it’s a bit twisted to read.

Thanks for the clarification. It makes sense in an odd way.

This article would be better if it covered how much rework both the model 3 and bolt require after they come off the line. All mfg have a certain percentage of rework, but I think Tesla has a pretty high rate needing rework also how many people needed per car produced?
This article is just no news fluff

This is completed cars, so it includes all reworks from both Tesla and GM.

“All mfg have a certain percentage of rework, but I think Tesla has a pretty high rate needing rework also how many people needed per car produced?”

On the former question, I’d love to see some actual figures. Tesla might be re-working a comparatively high number of Model 3’s, as compared to more established auto makers, while still having a low number in terms of percentage of all units.

As for the latter question: It’s well understood in the industry that Tesla makes more of its parts and sub-assemblies in-house than other auto makers. So if you look at only the ratio between cars made and the number of Tesla employees,, you get a surprisingly high number. But if you were to add in all the employees working at all the auto parts manufacturers which supply auto makers including Tesla, I suspect the numbers would be much closer to parity between Tesla and legacy auto makers.

But Tesla bashers sure do love to cite the employee-to-car ratio, in a dishonest effort to make Tesla look inefficient!

This article is crap, but it does bring a good point to light. GM made a few hundred pre-production Bolts in the spring (April-ish) of 2016. GM employees did extensive testing on these cars to verify the production line actually built the car they’d designed, with proper tolerances. During this test period GM refined their production process and trained their workers, but did NOT keep building Bolts. They waited until they knew what they were doing, then started building high quality production cars at full speed. Tesla also started out by building a few hundred pre-production Model 3s (July-Aug, 2017). It also had employees test them. But unlike GM, Tesla charged their employees full price for these pre-production cars. They even threw a big launch party where Musk claimed the cars being delivered were full production models. Why lie? To manipulate investors, of course. This is where the article is really wrong. Tesla doesn’t use “different words to describe those actions”. They use the SAME WORDS to describe DIFFERENT actions. That’s what causes “confusion”. If Musk simply said the 30 cars he delivered last July were unproven test units, there would be no “confusion”. Also unlike GM, instead of waiting… Read more »

I saw one of the pre-production Bolts parked at a Flint, Mi area high school event in May of 2016. It was in full camouflage and had a large red ‘stop’ button just in front of the shifter (emergency kill switch?). I don’t think the production Bolt was offered in Michigan until 3Q 2017.

All those Bolts were literally destroyed, down to every nut and bolt, battery cell and motor. All must be destroyed by federal law.

Somehow you think that is WORSE than Tesla factory workers bringing their Tesla cars to work in the morning, and having their fellow workers fix any problems as that GM also had to fix? And in the end not only are the cars fixed, and saved from the crusher?

That’s somehow worse? You have a twisted set of values. Every single EV that ends up on the road after being fixed is a victory over GM crushing more EV’s.

As long as the “real” non-employee customers don’t care about getting unfinished, poorly built, beta test cars as their daily driver, I guess it’s not a huge problem? Unfortunately the people coming from Honda Civics/Toyotas/entry level BMWs, etc…are not gonna be as blind as a typical Tesla fanboi.

What part about them driving to work and dropping their car off to have anything wrong studied and repaired and changes rolled into the assembly line do you not understand?

Which do you think is worse? Cars getting repaired and happy owners having pampered and inspected cars that are used to learn from? Or GM crushing more EV’s?

Where did I say Tesla’s approach was “worse”. I explained how Tesla and GM approaches are similar in some ways, different in others. And I noted that Tesla applies some industry standard terms to different parts of the process, creating confusion.

Great post.

Another Euro point of view

Actually I would not be that surprised to eventually get to know that Tesla engineers do have a rough idea what will be the REAL production figures way beforehand. I mean I am always quite surprised how a known bull analyst, Adam Jonas, makes way more accurate predictions of Tesla production than Musk does or anybody else for that matter. I would not be surprised that he collects insider information directly from production/engineering team. Musk’s information releases is likely aimed at the dumb money.

Why are we comparing Tesla production to GM? The bottom line is GM is making as many Bolts as it wants to. They don’t make money on them, so why would they want to make more? Tesla is the one that projected certain production goals that they have been unable to meet. Tesla is the one that said that the Model 3 was the car that they need to sell many of in order to be profitable. Tesla is the one that has hundreds of thousands of people waiting for a car they can’t produce fast enough.

Tesla will EVentually make any Chevy Bolt production look as though it was a valiant attempt at a comparison or any sort of competition. It may take another 24 months, but the Bolt production numbers won’t be much in the way of a battle of the equals, when it comes to Model 3.

Because mainstream media Bolt as ‘Tesla Killer’ and GM loved such comments thinking that Tesla will not make even 1,000 Model-3/month so soon.

Looking at 2017-12 sales, media crowed that Bolt outsold Model-3 in 3:1 ratio.
Last month with Model-3 outsellselling Bolt in 2:1 ratio, the media fell silent.
And why are these Tesla haters writing something really crappy to support GM.

When will GM hit the 2,500/month production, and those who don’t question GM should not ask Tesla for 2,500/week production. All automakers have formally surrendered the plugin sales leadership to Tesla. As long as they can sell their trucks and suv’s, they just don’t worry.

Today Tesla share increased by $19 and the shortsellers got their fingers burnt.

So-called “articles” like this one from Evannex make me embarrassed to be a Tesla fanboy.

Hey, Matt Pressman (the Evannaex writer)! There is one not-so-small difference here:

Regarding the Bolt EV, GM underpromised and overdelivered. Regarding production volume and ramp-up of the Tesla Model 3, Telsa vastly overpromised, and underdelivered to a rather shocking degree.

And all your cheerleader RAH RAH RAHs are not gonna change that.

* * * * *

Let me provide some balance to this cheerleader article, with a more sober, thoughtful, and IMHO fairly objective assessment of the current state of Tesla’s business, from CNN Tech:

“Analysis: Tesla should be held to a higher standard”


Can you explain this? “Regarding the Bolt EV, GM underpromised and overdelivered. ”

They promised nationwide release by EOY 2016 and missed that by almost a year. They are also building as many as they said they would.

“… “Regarding the Bolt EV, GM underpromised and overdelivered. ” GM has been as honest here as anyone. The battery is either the 95% rated per D.O.E. 57kwh, or in actuality when brand new, 60.0 kwh is perfectly honest, as is its 238 mile range – I usually *do not* get this much, but on the the other hand at times I have gotten 283 miles more than once. Although a cheap car, (I never ever believed GM was losing money on it since it IS a cheap car), the car seems, quiet, solid, and very reliable. There is a slight nuisance with a poorly troubleshooted center screen that is easily corrected via a quick reboot – hardly worth mentioning since it acts up so rarely, and is inconsequential when it does. So I’d chauk it up to slightly underpromising and slightly overdelivering, in that the Battery seems to be more long-lived than even some of us were expecting. 23,000 miles on mine, and it appears to be quite a time in the future when the battery will ‘stabilize’ down to its LONG TERM value of 57 kwh. So, so far so good GM (excepting that joke of a car,… Read more »
“GM has been as honest here as anyone. ” Did the Volt come with a 3 cyl engine like originally promised? Did it get the MPG that was originally promised? Did they ever sell 60,000 a year like they originally promised? Did Gen II Volt get delivered on time? Did the Bolt sell the 30,000 units promised last year? Is the Bolt anywhere near being on track to 30K units this year? Did the Volt hit publicly announced sales targets in any year in the last 5 years? (trick question, by the way). This is yet another example of the double standard that is applied to Tesla. The answer is no to all those things, and only Tesla is called a “liar” for simply not hitting projections. Actually it is MUCH WORSE than that. Tesla actually eventually HITS their sales projections, even if a number of months late. Yet GM is never held to answer for NEVER hitting sales targets or performance that they set. The Model 3 was originally supposed to be a 200 mile range car, and Tesla is putting out 220 and 300+ mile versions, and people like you pretend that is bad. The Model 3 delivery… Read more »

As this blog is mostly reporting about the Americas, it misses a point:

The Chevy Bolt is not really available elsewhere in the world.

Here in Europe the car is known as the Opel Ampera-e. You can pre-order in 4 countries, and is unavailable elsewhere. The dealers don’t promote it or even have it for a test drive, and the model got a recent price hike making it unattractive compared to alternatives anyway. In my country, nobody talks about the Ampera-e. As an electric driver, you either own a Tesla or a BMW i3, sometimes a Nissan Leaf.

Chevy had the chance to lead Ev market in 1990’s and blew it. They Don’t Care. Like Ford , they care about produce ICE trucks. They are too fat, too big, too lazy and too greedy to chance anything.

, “Does this mean Tesla is 10 times as good at producing cars as GM? Not really. The Tesla line is designed to produce 10 times as many cars. Having produced 10 times as many as GM is expected.”


“The whole world is talking about [Tesla’s and] … Elon Musk’s unrealistic timelines, and ‘broken promises.’ But the facts are different.”
The facts are not different. HE promised to achieve 5k/week in less than 24 weeks, and now, 48 weeks later, he’s promising to hit the target in two or three more weeks.
This puts Tesla at approximately $5billion US out or pocket, compared to their plans.