The first Model 3 may have rolled off the production line this weekend, but the real work for Tesla lies ahead. With upwards of 400,000 Model 3 reservations on the books, Tesla will have to traverse a number of significant challenges over the next few months for the Model 3 to be considered a success.
First off, the company will have to pull out all the stops in order to ramp up production in a timely manner. Last we heard, Tesla is aiming to churn out 20,000 Model 3 units per month by December of this year. By 2018, Tesla hopes to increase Model 3 production to 40,000 units per month. Of course, even if Tesla can meet these targets, an order for a new Model 3 placed today likely won’t get fulfilled until the end of 2018 at the very earliest.
Second, the number of Tesla vehicles on the road is about to explode. In turn, Tesla will not only have to increase the scope of its Supercharger network, it will also have to vastly increase its ability to service problems as they arise.
Addressing the second issue, Tesla earlier today announced its plan to significantly enhance its ability to service its growing fleet of cars.
Tesla is adding over 100 new service centers around the world, and putting over 350 new mobile service vans to work with its roaming fleet for house and work calls. The goal is to increase its service capacity threefold overall, as a way to help get ready for the new demand that’s going to flow from the many new Model 3 customers joining the Tesla owner pool in the future.
Tesla also signaled its intention to add 1,400 new service workers to help handle its increased service capacity. Not surprisingly, Tesla said that its new service centers and mobile service vans will primarily be located in cities with a large proportion of Tesla owners. What’s more, Tesla said that it has examined the location of existing Model 3 reservation holders in order to get a better grasp on where those cities are.
For some additional context, consider this: Tesla last quarter delivered approximately 22,000 vehicles. By the end of the month, Model 3 production alone may top 20,000 vehicles.
Indeed, Tesla’s challenge with the Model 3 has nothing to do with demand. On the contrary, demand for the Model 3 is so high that the real challenge lies in keeping a handle on supply.