Last month, Tesla reported it delivered 26,150 vehicles in the third quarter, a 4.5 per cent rise on the same period of 2016. That's not to say the company will run out of cash soon: Tesla was able to grow its cash haul by issuing debt.
Tesla's Model 3 website originally envisioned a Model 3 production capacity of 5,000 vehicles per week by the end of 2017, but the company has pushed that projection back to the first quarter of 2018 while it deals with bottlenecks.
Tesla went into a bit more detail about the production challenges it faces with the Model 3 in its letter to investors on the heels of its earnings report for Q3 today. Since the launch of the Model 3, the $35,000 vehicle in Tesla's battery-electric lineup, that's held true.
The silver lining, though, is that Tesla over the past three months received orders for and delivered a record number of Model S and Model X vehicles.
Musk said Tesla would not spend significant capital in the region until 2019, and won't produce cars in China for another three years.
"You have two boxes of equal ability, and one's much smaller, the big guy's going to crush the little guy, obviously", Musk elaborated.
"At every company in the world, there's annual performance reviews", Musk said, adding that Tesla has an extremely high standard, and one that's far higher than other car companies. Once Tesla fixes many of the mechanical and electrical issues that it's currently facing, production ramp up will scale exponentially.
The silver lining is that Tesla understands the process better now, Musk said.
Led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk, Tesla is struggling to overcome production bottlenecks as it builds the Model 3, seen as key to the company's long-term profitability. "As we fine tune and standardize the production and installation process, we expect to ramp solar roof production considerably in 2018".
Mr Musk and the chief financial officer Deepak Ahuja wrote to shareholders that it was difficult to predict how long it will take to resolve all bottlenecks, or when new ones will emerge. That's where battery cells are packaged into modules, and four modules are packaged into a battery pack with an aluminum case.
The company once again stressed that the car itself is not hard to build, but rather, it's the system of building the cars that's providing the issues. Asked by an analyst how hot it was at the moment, he channelled Dante, saying the company was nine levels deep - the worst place it could be - and moving up to level eight. "Elon Musk needs to stop over promising and under delivering and the board should rein in a CEO who publicly shares his aspirational goals that have rarely been hit".
Tesla's stock, which briefly had a greater market value this summer than either Ford Motor Co. or General Motors, peaked at $385 on Sept. 18, but has tumbled by about 16 percent since then, including a 3 percent decline on Wednesday to $321.
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