Tesla falls short on Model 3, but overall sales rise in 2017

Exterior of the new Tesla Model 3 at the 2017 LA Auto Show in Los Angeles California

The latest production and delivery numbers released by Tesla fall well short of already reduced forecasts. Will Tesla see 4,000 Model 3 deliveries in January?

During the forth quarter of the year, the company delivered 29,870 cars, with 15,200 of those being the Model S and 13,120 made up of Model Xs.

Tesla Inc. pushed back a production target for its Model 3 again after shipping fewer of the sedans than expected, setting back Elon Musk's goal to mass-manufacture electric cars. While the estimates above - if accurate - are still a far cry from Tesla's early production goals, it at the very least demonstrates that manufacturing issues are being addressed slowly but surely. However, production of the company's high-end sedan, the $68,000 Model S, and of the $79,500 Model X SUV, was up by 33 percent in 2017 over 2016, Tesla said.

Days before the trading update hit investors, Musk reached out to Model 3 customers on Twitter to thank them for standing by the company while they sorted out efficiency issues. Apart from the recognizable auto parts of the vehicle - the exterior features, the interior, wheels, brakes - the Model 3 isn't that different from the larger and much more expensive Model S, aside from the greater use of aluminum in the Model S construction. Quality control obviously matters - nobody wants his or her vehicle of the future to be a buggy mess, a "lemon" in old-world parlance - but quality control and mass production have been happy bedfellows for literally decades, since Toyota revolutionized auto manufacturing in the 1970s and '80s. Ah, yeah, I just told you in the title - 2 weeks, or precisely 14 days.

Tesla said 860 Model 3 vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of the fourth quarter.

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Wall Street appears to be exhausted of Elon Musk overpromising and underdelivering onTesla's new affordable Model 3 electric vehicle.

In total, the company exceeded our previously announced guidance by delivering 101,312 Model S and X vehicles in 2017. These will be counted as deliveries in Q1 2018.

During Q4, we made major progress addressing Model 3 production bottlenecks, with our production rate increasing significantly towards the end of the quarter. We know a number of them who continue to wait patiently for their highly anticipated cars.

The company initially planned to make 5,000 units per week milestone by the end of past year.

If that 5,000 Model 3 cars per week target for June 30th is maintained and then reached (obviously not a certainty) Q2 deliveries could more than double sequentially to 40,000-plus cars and reach 250,000-plus cars for the 2018 year.

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