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Tesla promises Model 3 production delay was all part of the plan

Model 3

Tesla’s initial production goals with the Model 3 were incredibly ambitious, with Elon Musk boasting that the company would be able to manufacture upwards of 20,000 units per month by the end of 2017. Tesla, of course, didn’t even come close to achieving its stated goal, despite pronouncements that the Model 3 would be a decidedly easier car to manufacture than the Model X and the Model S.

As we’ve since come to learn, the Model 3 was initially plagued by a number of manufacturing challenges that Tesla has since done a respectable job of overcoming. As it stands now, Tesla now maintains it will be able to manufacture 20,000 units by the end of June. Of course, with analysts and investors keeping a close eye on Tesla, any changes in Model 3 production naturally invites newfound optimism or skepticism regarding the company’s ability to aggressively ramp up production.

That said, a new report from Bloomberg relays that Tesla last month temporarily suspended Model 3 production over a four-day period in an effort to tackle lingering manufacturing issues and streamline the manufacturing process going forward.

In a statement confirming the brief manufacturing hiatus, Tesla explained:

Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1. These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.

The language above is particularly noteworthy in light of previous remarks from the company about Model 3 production delays. Just two months ago, a Tesla statement on the company’s efforts to boost production explained: “We made major progress addressing Model 3 production bottlenecks, with our production rate increasing significantly towards the end of the quarter.”

Production hiccups aside, demand for the Model 3 is certainly not an issue as the number of outstanding Model 3 reservations currently resides in the upper 300,000 range, if not higher. Whether or not Tesla can ramp up supply to meet that demand remains to be seen.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.