As eyes are on Tesla to accelerate Model 3 production to ludicrous speed, the automaker issued delay notices to reservation holders because it is still in limp-home mode.

Received yesterday. Recipient’s name erased.


Stories abound pinning different reasons to the delay, but supplier and battery production issues have been blamed.

Yesterday, when Tesla reported its worst quarterly loss in its history, it said it would delay ramping the car’s assembly line to 5,000 per week until the first quarter of 2018. Previously it had said by now it would be at or well on its way to that rate.

“While we continue to make significant progress each week in fixing Model 3 bottlenecks, the nature of manufacturing challenges during a ramp such as this makes it difficult to predict exactly how long it will take for all bottlenecks to be cleared or when new ones will appear,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CFO Deepak Ahuja said yesterday in a shareholder letter.

At present, the bottleneck appears to be more of a choke hold, and somewhere below an estimated 300 units have been built, and Tesla is asking owners to hold on.

Sent along with the email.

Industry watchers have suggested Tesla rushed to declare the Model 3 ready to go in part provoked by the Chevy Bolt EV, which while a different style of EV, does match its price and range close enough, and was General Motors’ attempt to do so.

Tesla has a history of setting goals it does not meet, and the Model 3 was technically its first car not to miss a first-delivery projection, and did with more than usual hand assembly and by skipping full “beta” testing by selling first to employees.

Tesla has also projected by end of 2018 it will produce 500,000 cars, 80-percent of which could be the Model 3. This has for some time now not been believed, but the actual status at present is a guessing game.

At this stage, the automaker is politely telling some of its reservation holders “your estimated delivery timing will now be slightly later than we originally expected.”

The company is updating online user accounts to adjust projected delivery dates.