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06 January 2018, 01:42 | Clyde Nash
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Confirmation of these lower-than-expected delivery figures come just a couple of days after the Californian EV startup pushed back its target of producing 5000 Model 3 sedans per week until the end of the second quarter.
Model 3 production is acceleratingTesla had initially predicted to reach the milestone of 5,000 vehicles per week in December, but in November deferred the target to the end of the first quarter.
Tesla shares fell as much as 3.6 per cent to US$305.68, the biggest intraday drop in five weeks.
However, it said it made "major progress" in addressing the issues during the period, meaning its production rate grew significantly towards the end of the three month period and it has made as numerous vehicles in the weeks since Dec 9 as it did in the four months previously.
The company expects to see a gradual production rise through the first three months of 2018, though, with the first quarter likely to end at a weekly rate of about 2,500 Model 3s.
A Tesla Model S vehicle is seen in a showroom in Santa Monica, California, US, January 4, 2018. Even though Tesla executives promised that things would be different with the Model 3, Tesla this week revealed that it was once again pushing back its production schedule for the Model 3.
Tesla is burning billions in cash as it struggles to achieve its vision of mass-market electric cars powered by Tesla-brand solar roofs through Tesla-brand home storage batteries. It comes after a disappointing third quarter past year when only 222 Model 3s were delivered (Tesla was predicting 1,500). So was Jonas rending garments when Tesla announced that instead of making 5,000 Model 3s every week, the company made 1,550 apparently bespoke Model 3s in three months?
Tesla said on Wednesday it shipped 1,550 Model 3 cars to customers in the fourth quarter of 2017, with another 860 Model 3 cars in transit to customers. "But I would not question their ability to finance at this point". Investors, on the other hand, will probably focus on the company's cash flow and the potential effect, which production delays may cause on its performance.
Analysts said on Thursday they continue to believe that sales of the Model 3 sedan could transform the niche automaker into a mass producer, giving it an edge over a host of rivals such as General Motors and BMW who are entering the nascent electric vehicle market.
"Tesla is always a quarter away, and now you have to wait six months to get your report card on your investment thesis", Osborne said by phone Wednesday.
The company said it has made "major progress" toward eliminating Model 3 production bottlenecks. "They've kicked the can down the road".
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