Tesla Misses August Model 3 Production Goal

Confirming last week’s report that Tesla Model 3 production has been approximately 30% below the company own guidance, Tesla has missed its 6,000 Model 3 per week production goal that it set out to achieve by the end of August, according to a new report out by the Tesla-friendly bloggers over at Electrek. 

Despite missing the August bogey, the obligatory “carrot on a string” followed immediately, with the article repeating that Tesla is on track to meet its overall third-quarter production goals. Tesla has been targeting total production of 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3 vehicles for the third quarter.

Tesla Misses August Model 3 Production Goal

Furthermore, we are still only about two-thirds through the quarter, so there is still plenty of time for force majeure events like cardboard fires, saboteur ex employees, or the CEO stopping the assembly line in order to headbutt more of his vehicles. These are among the various “acts of God” that one just can’t predict, and a lot can happen over four weeks.

Tesla reportedly built about 6,400 vehicles during the last seven days of August. However, only 4,300 of those turned out to be Model 3s – and there is no word how many of these vehicles may have to be “reworked” and how many of them were ready to be delivered to customers. Recall that according to a recent Business Insider article only 14% of 5,000 Model 3s that came off the line during the last week of June didn’t need to be reworked in some way.

Regardless of how many vehicles were able to go to customers and how many were “factory gated”, the 4,300 number is far behind the company‘s goal of 6,000 units per week by the end of August.

Tesla Misses August Model 3 Production Goal

While admitting the shortfall in Model 3 output without stating the reasons (which could be on the supply side, or worse, in response to sliding demand), the Electrek article then qualifies that statement by stating that production for the quarter is simply “trending toward Tesla’s quarterly goal”.

It notes that the company has produced about 53,000 total vehicles and over 34,700 Model 3 vehicles in Q3, as of the start of September. To meet the low end of its target range, the company would need to make 15,300 Model 3 vehicles before the end of September, or around 3,825 Model 3s per week.

Despite the company reportedly being on track to reach this goal, it is still trying to exceed it by increasing its production to 6,000 units per week.

Meanwhile, stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Electrek concludes that innocent sounding “production issues” over the past two months not only explain the company missing its August target, but also explain delivery delays for Model 3s. Finally, the pro-Tesla blog makes what could arguably be its most important declaration, in stating “As a reminder production doesn’t equal deliveries.” We wonder if that line will be used against them at some point in the future.

Finally, the biggest question – what is going on with Model 3 demand – remains unanswered.
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