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Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk elaborates on delivery timeline, production hell, and standard features

After Elon Musk announced that Tesla is pushing its electric truck unveiling to November 16 as it focuses on Model 3 production and Puerto Rico, the CEO went on a quick Tweeterstorm about the Model 3.

Here we try to summarize what we learned from it.

First off, Musk reiterated that Tesla is still in “production hell” when it comes to Model 3, which isn’t exactly surprising after Tesla’s third quarter delivery results.

Nonetheless, the CEO seemed to not want to outright announce any delay in the delivery timelines for the regular customer deliveries as Tesla continues to deliver handfuls of cars to employees and company insiders.

Musk wrote:

He followed with his prediction for when the online design studio would go public for regular customers:

That was surprising since Tesla is still guiding the first deliveries to customers in ‘late October’, which led everyone to believe that Tesla would open the online design studio to customers a few weeks ahead.

So I asked a few questions to clarify:

Basically, Musk is saying that we shouldn’t use that as an indicator for the first customer deliveries, but when in production hell, we should always “assume the worst”:

We will let Musk get back to work and, of course, we appreciate his time answering our questions.

Speaking of answering questions. The CEO also answered 3 more quick Model 3 questions:

Musk confirmed that heated seats are standards – some were concerned that it came only with the $5,000 premium interior package. He also confirmed that there’s no tow hitch and that an extended warranty “doesn’t matter” – whatever that means. We know that Tesla aimed for the vehicle to be low maintenance and for the drivetrain to last a lifetime – maybe that’s what he means?

Electrek’s Take

While Elon clearly didn’t want to confirm a delay for the Model 3 as he sticks to his difficult-to-predict S curve for the production ramp, it sounds like he is preparing us for the eventuality of a delay in Model 3 deliveries.

It wouldn’t be exactly surprising, but again, even if the actual customer deliveries are delayed by a few weeks, the most important metric is the actual production rate.

If the customer deliveries come later but Tesla still reaches its targeted production rate of 5,000 Model 3 cars per week in December, the number of affected reservation holders would be very limited relative to the total number of reservations: ~500,000.

What would be more worrying is a projected delay in the achieving that production rate, but Musk seems to still be confident that December will be the month:

We will have to keep an eye on that and again, we are working on another report on that “production hell” with some exclusive information. Stay tuned.

Update: Tesla replaces Model 3 headlights, battery, seats, and more while going through ‘production hell’

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