The most important question Tesla faced when the Model 3 was announced was if it was going to be able keep up with production. The answer to that question is turning out to be a resounding no.
Last week, we reported Tesla missed its production goal of the Model 3 by 81-percent. Tesla followed that up by delaying the unveiling of its electric semi for November 16 to focus on the production bottleneck affecting the Model 3. But the Model 3’s problems are nowhere near to being resolved.
Multiple reports from The Wall Street Journal and Jalopnik have pulled back the veil on the “production hell” the Model 3 is going through. The main culprit for the delayed production is that the proper machines needed to build the Model 3 were not ready until September. This meant the few Model 3s that have been made were put together by hand.
Since those reports, Elon Musk posted a video on Instagram of the Model 3 being manufactured by machines. The video shows the chassis of a Model 3 being tweaked by mechanical arms. Musk notes that it has been slowed down to one-tenth the speed to show the process in full detail.
What does this all mean for the Model 3? It means Tesla overreached with its ambitious goals for the Model 3. It will eventually catch up with production when it gets all the proper machines are up and running. The bigger question is now when people will get their Model 3 preorders.
Currently, only Tesla employees have received early production cars. Musk still thinks there is a chance regular customers will receive their Model 3 by end of October.
This is Tesla’s first big test of full scale manufacturing. Hiccups and issues were always going to be a part of the process, but it’s been a tougher road than Musk and his company may have foreseen.