Tesla ships fewer Model 3 sedans than expected in last quarter

Elon Musk’s car-maker struggles to pull off mass-manufacturing leap he has promised

A Tesla Model 3 sedan at  its launch in Hawthorne, California,  in 2016. Photograph:  Reuters/Joe White

A Tesla Model 3 sedan at its launch in Hawthorne, California, in 2016. Photograph: Reuters/Joe White

 

Tesla shipped fewer of its critical Model 3 sedans than expected last quarter as Elon Musk’s automaker struggles to pull off the mass-manufacturing leap he has promised investors.

Tesla built 2,020 Model 3 cars in the last seven days, trailing its target for a 2,500-unit rate for the final week of March. The company delivered 8,180 of the sedans in the first three months of the year, missing analysts’ average estimate for about 8,800 units in a Bloomberg News survey.

The lower-than-expected deliveries and production will give Tesla bears more firepower to question Mr Musk’s ability to deliver on his quest to bring electric cars to the masses.

Mounting liquidity pressures and challenges with the Model 3 prompted Moody’s Investors Service last week to cut the carmaker’s credit rating further into junk status, adding fuel to a selloff of the company’s bonds to all-time lows.

“We were able to double the weekly Model 3 production rate during the quarter by rapidly addressing production and supply chain bottlenecks, including several short factory shutdowns to upgrade equipment,” Tesla said in a statement. – Bloomberg