Tesla falls short on Model 3, but overall sales rise in 2017


Electric car maker Tesla Inc. has again fallen short of production goals for its new Model 3 sedan.

The Palo Alto, California-based company made 2,425 Model 3s in the fourth quarter. That's only a fraction of the 20,000 per month that CEO Elon Musk promised last summer when the car first went into production.

The company exceeded its overall sales targets, delivering 101,312 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs in 2017, up 33 percent over 2016.

But all eyes are on the Model 3, which is Tesla's first lower-cost, high-volume car and is crucial to its goal of becoming a profitable, mainstream automaker. Tesla at one point had more than 500,000 potential buyers on the waiting list for the Model 3. In a statement Wednesday, the company thanked those buyers "who continue to stick by us while patiently waiting for their cars."

Tesla says it made significant progress in reducing unspecified production bottlenecks toward the end of the fourth quarter. It now expects to be making 10,000 Model 3s per month at the end of the first quarter and 20,000 Model 3s per month at the end of the second quarter. But the company said it's focusing on quality and plant efficiency, not just meeting volume targets.

Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst for the car buying site Autotrader.com, said Tesla would have been better served by not announcing such lofty production targets initially.

"The Model 3 must be right in terms of quality. Ramping up production levels with a flawed product is foolish," she said.

Tesla shares fell 2 percent to $310.50 in after-hours trading.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

State nears end of probe into deadly shooting involving Moraine police
State nears end of probe into deadly shooting involving Moraine police

The state has among the last pieces of evidence it needs to complete its criminal investigation into how a Dayton man died in an October shooting involving Moraine police officers. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation said Tuesday it has the final autopsy report on 23-year-old Jamarco McShann, who died from “multiple shotgun and gunshot...
Trump physical results: 6 things to know
Trump physical results: 6 things to know

President Donald Trump is in excellent health and likely to finish his term in office without any medical issues, a presidential doctor said Tuesday at a news conference, four days after the president underwent a physical exam. “The president's overall health is excellent," White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday. Here are six...
Dave Matthews Band returns with new album, summer tour
Dave Matthews Band returns with new album, summer tour

Last year, the Dave Matthews Band took a rare hiatus from the road. This summer, the band will embark on an extensive North American tour May through September, according to a Monday announcement on the band’s official website. >> Read more trending news  Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 2 on livenation.com. The band is...
Enrique Iglesias, Anna Kournikova share photos of newborn twins
Enrique Iglesias, Anna Kournikova share photos of newborn twins

Enrique Iglesias is taking a break from his ulta-private life to share the first photo of one of his twins with the world, and so is his rumored wife, retired tennis star Anna Kournikova. >> Read more trending news  E! News reported that the singer, who welcomed twins with Kournikova in December, shared the first photo of himself...
How to win an argument at work - or stop one before it starts
How to win an argument at work - or stop one before it starts

No one expects to navigate the work world without the occasional argument. And it's nice to "win" when you're in the right. »RELATED: Does birth order affect you in the workplace? But what really matters more than besting your manager or co-workers in an argument is how you handle the conflicts that are an inevitable part of work, ...
More Stories