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Hazy report claims Tesla Model 3 release may be delayed

February 27th, 2017 at 3:17 PM
Tesla Model 3 Release

With seemingly no evidence to back up his claim, Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino issued a new research note claiming that Tesla’s highly anticipated Model 3 will be delayed. While Tamberrino doesn’t provide a window as to when Model 3 deliveries might begin, the implication is that reservation holders won’t see the Model 3 until 2018.

Not only that, Tamberrino believes that Tesla later this year may face a serious cash crunch and will need to borrow additional capital to help hasten Model 3 production.

The research note, obtained by Seeking Alpha, reads in part:

Ultimately we see a delayed launch (pushing volume growth out and to the right) and FCF burn rate (necessitating a capital raise before 4Q17) to weigh on TSLA’s shares.

Tamberrino’s take on Model 3 production is interesting because it goes against a number of public facing statements Tesla has made over the past few months. Indeed, Tesla remains adamant that Model 3 production remains on track and that deliveries will begin in earnest by late 2017. As it stands now, Tesla in 2017 is aiming to deliver a minimum of 100,000 Model 3 vehicles to employees and early reservation holders.

Just last week, Tesla relayed the following about its Model 3 timeline in its quarterly letter to shareholders:

Model 3 vehicle development, supply chain and manufacturing are on track to support volume deliveries in the second half of 2017. In early February, we began building Model 3 prototypes as part of our ongoing testing of the vehicle design and manufacturing processes. Initial crash test results have been positive, and all Model 3-related sourcing is on plan to support the start of production in July. Installation of Model 3 manufacturing equipment is underway in Fremont and at Gigafactory 1…

On the flip side, there’s no getting around the fact that Tesla has an extremely poor track record when it comes to meeting ambitious target ship dates. It’s no secret that both the Model S and the Model X, for example, shipped far later than anticipated.

The upside, though, is that the Model 3 manufacturing process is a lot simpler than, say, the Model X. Furthermore, reports suggest that Tesla is now taking advantage of far more sophisticated production equipment that will not only help speed up the manufacturing process but improve overall build quality as well.

Speaking to this point, former Tesla Supply Chain chief Peter Carlsson recently expressed optimism that the Model 3 will be the first Tesla vehicle to actually ship on time.

“Things will get a bit easier,” Carlsson said. “Tesla has resolved some issues through vertical integration — doing things internally. And with the launch of the Model 3, the volumes of the business will be more attractive, and I think we will see more suppliers relocate.”

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.

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