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Tesla Model 3: referral codes, prices, range, reviews and UK release

Elon Musk hints that the budget EV’s arrival in Europe isn’t far off

Tesla Model 3: production is delayed despite ‘major progress’

4 January

Elon Musk’s electric car firm Tesla has missed its production targets for the new Model 3 saloon for the second time.  

The company was planning to build 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of the first quarter of this year but this figure has been halved, Reuters reports, pushing back Tesla’s production goals to the end of the second quarter. 

But the firm says it made “major progress” in addressing manufacturing setbacks during the fourth quarter of last year. Model 3 production increased to 1,000 cars per week by the end of the financial period.  

Reuters says the news is nonetheless “disappointing” for investors, with the Los Angeles-based company’s stocks falling by 2% in “after-market trading.”  

It’s the second time Tesla has delayed its manufacturing goals for the Model 3 saloon. The mass-production budget EV has already amassed over 400,000 pre-orders since the first car left the factory last July.

“The Model 3 is critical to Tesla’s long-term success,” says The Independent, as it’s the most affordable car in the company’s range and could open up the niche EV market to the masses.

Meeting production goals is also “critical,” the news site says. Ongoing delays could cause pre-order customers to cancel their reservations. 

Meanwhile, Ars Technica says the firm’s range-topping Model S saloon and Model X SUV are “selling well.” The company delivered 15,200 and 13,120 cars respectively to customers in the final quarter of 2017. 

These figures represent a 27% increase over the fourth quarter in 2016 and a 9% improvement over the same period last year, the website reports. 

Production ‘hiccups’ lead to delays

2 November

Tesla will no longer meet its 2017 goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 saloons a week, The Verge reports, due to “production hiccups” at its US factory that have resulted in delays. 

From the moment the first electric car left Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada in July, the car firm, which was co-founded by the South African-born billionaire Elon Musk, has fallen behind schedule.

This has led to Tesla postponing its target of producing 5,000 Model 3s per week to “early 2018”, the site says. The original plan to make 10,000 vehicles per week has “basically been abandoned.”

The main problem is the battery module assembly line, says the Daily Telegraph. This has forced the company to redesign “some of the automated processes”.

But the carmaker’s more expensive Model S saloon and Model X SUV are “on track” to net 100,000 deliveries this year, says the paper. 

The delays to the production of the Model 3 are a major headache for the firm, however. Tesla has suffered its “biggest quarterly loss ever”, says BBC News. It made “net losses of $619m (£468m) in the three months to 30 September” – almost double that of the previous quarter. 

While these figures pale in comparison to the firm’s profits of $21.9m (£16.7m) in the same quarter last year, the news site says the losses were “bigger than usual” because Tesla has been focused on “ramping up” production of its Model 3 sedan.

Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk reveals robotised assembly line

9 October

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk has released a video of the company’s Model 3’s robotised production line in response to claims that large parts of the entry-level EV were being built by hand.

The clip, tweeted by the South African billionaire, shows four robotic arms working on the bare-metal body of a Model 3 at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California. The electric-car maker's first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 began shipping in the third quarter of this year. 

He posted the video following a report by The Wall Street Journal that said “major portions” of the mass-production electric car were being built by hand. 

The company told Business Insider that it “refuted” that claim. In an emailed statement, Tesla said: “We are still in the beginning of our production ramp, but every Model 3 is being built on the Model 3 production line, which is fully installed, powered on, producing vehicles, and increasing in automation every day.”

Last week, Electrek reported that Tesla only produced 260 units of the Model 3 between July and September - “significantly below” the firm’s production target of 1,500 units in that period. 

Tesla admitted that “Model 3 production was less than anticipated due to production bottleneck”.

However, the company said it knew “what needs to be fixed” and that “there are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production or supply chain”. 

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