Not everyone thought it was possible, but Tesla towards the end of June finally manged to manufacture 5,000 Model 3 units per week. The path towards hitting that threshold, though, was anything but easy. Initially, Tesla boasted that it would hit the 5,000 per week mark by December of 2017, a goal that the company was forced to push back a handful of times as production hurdles kept on popping up.
Explaining the cause behind a string of delays, Musk earlier this year took the blame and said that the company, at his insistence, relied too heavily upon automation.
“Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” Musk said via Twitter this past April. “To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
With the 5,000/week threshold now in the books, and with Tesla now claiming that a production rate of 6,000 Model 3 units per week will be hit later this month, Tesla investors certainly have much to cheer about. Of course, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that not everyone is impressed by Tesla’s latest achievement.
Interestingly enough, Tesla shares traded down on Monday after the stock was downgraded to “sell” by CFRA analyst Efraim Levy who argued that Tesla won’t be able to sustain the 5,000 units per week production rate it recently achieved. In a note obtained by Marketwatch, Levy explains that the production rate isn’t “operationally or financially sustainable.” Moreover, Levy adds that Tesla’s recent announcement that Model 3 reservation holders need to fork over an additional $2,500 to secure the car “seems to be an aggressive attempt to meet otherwise difficult targets of being cash flow positive” during the September quarter.
Again, Tesla’s next production goal with the Model 3 is to manufacture 6,000 units per week before August hits. It’s an ambitious goal, to be sure, and whether or not Tesla can reach it will likely go a long ways to proving whether or not Tesla has finally figured out how to ramp up production in a significant manner or if the 5,000/week production rate was nothing more than a fluke.