Tesla keeps its Model 3 production a mystery —and it’s fueling speculation about how many cars it’s really making (TSLA)

elon musk

Tesla doesn’t report vehicle sales on a monthly basis for the US, as do all major automakers.
Tesla has also been very vague about Model 3 production levels.
This has led to a strange sub-industry that tries to use unconventional methods to figure out what we could simply ask of another carmaker.

Tesla doesn’t do anything like a traditional carmaker. A particularly annoying deviation from business-as-usual is the company’s production and sales data.

The company doesn’t report US sales on a monthly basis, like every other major automaker selling vehicles in the US. Tesla shares that information on a quarterly basis, depriving financial markets and the public of transparency around the company’s operations.

On the plus side, when it comes to Tesla’s high-ticket luxury vehicles — the Model S and Model X — annual production appeared to be calibrated for about 100,000 in deliveries. So we can reasonably predict something like 25,000 in quarterly production, which boils down to roughly 8,500 vehicles per month.

If Tesla can sustain demand for the Model S and X, we could start to think of those cars like the stalwart sedans and pickups of the US market. Ford, for example, is always going to build around 800,000 F-Series pickups, give or take 100,000 depending on demand. Nobody thinks about this — it just is.

The Tesla Model 3 is a different story

The mass-market car, priced at launch at $35,000, but currently only selling in a $44,000 version, was supposed to be pushing Tesla toward something in the ballpark of 400,000 units in 2018-2019. But thus far, Tesla has manufactured only about 2,700 since last July. The company says it will get to 5,000 per week by the end of the second quarter of 2018.

Obviously, there’s a lot of ground to cross between those numbers, and anybody who placed a $1,000 deposit on a Model 3 has to be asking what the holdup is all about.

Additionally, a whole strange sub-industry has emerged around figuring out how many Model 3s Tesla is making. Bloomberg appears to have recently exerted considerable effort on this dark art, scouring the internet for reported Vehicle Identification Numbers and even asking Model 3 owners to send in the VINs.

By Bloomberg’s analysis, 7,341 Model 3s have made it off the assembly line as of Valentine’s Day.

That’s not good.

At some point, the floodgates will presumably open and CEO Elon Musk’s much-discussed exponential production ramp will truly take off. It’s too early in the Model 3’s roll-out to not give him the benefit of the doubt, although it’s worth noting that it took the company about a decade to hit 100,000 in yearly deliveries on the Models S and X.

Playing a game with the public

For years, Tesla has played this game with Wall Street, the media, and fans. We’re effectively not allowed to know what’s happening with sales or production. Mind you, the traditional industry isn’t 100% transparent because an automaker’s US sale is to a dealer, not an end customer, and car companies can …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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