Tesla's Model 3 dreams show no signs of turning into reality. Of the 2,425 Model 3 vehicles produced in the fourth quarter, 793 of them (or almost 33%) were made in the last seven working days of the quarter, according to Tesla. But production of the Model 3 was slowed by manufacturing glitches at Tesla's giant battery plant in Nevada, known as the Gigafactory. Instead, the firm is now saying it'll be making 2500 Model 3s a week by the end of this quarter, hitting the 5000 mark by the end of Q2. For the year gone by, Tesla delivered 102,432 vehicles, a solid increase from the 83,922 vehicles it delivered in 2016.
"Perhaps the issues that have significantly hobbled the Model 3 ramp really can be fixed in a cost-effective manner and shortly cycled past (although this did not happen in 4Q)", Brinkman said.
The company said Model 3 deliveries to non-employee customers, "are now accelerating rapidly".
Tesla shares are sliding ahead of Thursday's opening bell, down 5.44% at $300, after the company reported fourth-quarter Model 3 deliveries that missed estimates by a mile. It also surpassed its 100,000-vehicle goal for 2017.
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While investors certainly won't look at another Model 3 production delay favorably, they may at the very least find solace in the fact that interest in the Model S and Model X is higher than it's ever been.
Tesla announced Wednesday it delivered 101,312 Model S and Model X cars in 2017, a 33 percent rise over its 2016 figures. These will be counted as deliveries in Q1 2018, Tesla said.
In the United States, the Model 3 will be priced from just $US35,000 ($44,500), putting in reach of many consumers who would normally opt for a petrol-powered passenger auto in the segment. Previously, Tesla was hoping to reach the 5,000/per week rate by the end of March. Tesla vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company's financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.