How Close Is the Model 3 Actually to the Start of Production?

The Tesla Model 3 is on the cusp of starting production, and while we have all heard “July” as the start date, just how close is the Model 3 to actual beginning the production phase? An article from Seeking Alpha seems to think that Tesla is nowhere near ready to begun production of the Model 3.

One of the first clues is that a typical car manufacturer will test a release candidate for at least six to nine months, and usually only after including a number of configurations that may be offered to future customers. The Model 3 release candidates were produced only in March, which would give the Model 3 roughly four months of testing before the rumored start of production. Granted, Tesla is not exactly the type of company that follows the rest of the herd, so this particular clue doesn’t really stick.

Regarding the release candidates, however, comes the fact that none of them were able to be viewed at last week’s VIP referrer event. Not only were none of them available for close-up inspection by the attendees, but none were there for people to sit in or to take for a test drive. If these test cars ready to be viewed by the public yet, could they really be considered a “release candidate?” Perhaps the final specs aren’t even finalized yet and these are pre-release candidate test cars.

Perhaps the most telling clue is with the Model 3 configurator, which Elon Musk himself said would only initially include color and wheel options. In his blurb about the configurator, Musk also hinted at some issues with using a dual motor:

“So initially, the Model 3 configurators, it’s kind of going to be like what color do you want and what size of wheels do you want. That’s basically going to be the configurator…we were going to start off with dual motor…it’s too much complexity right off the bat…will just be single motor to begin with and then we will have the dual motor config, if we are lucky, toward the end of this year or more likely early next.”

If these comments are to be taken at face value, then it can be assumed that the dual motor configuration, which Musk himself described at having the best performance, will not be available until potentially 2018, if not longer. Does that mean the initial batch of Model 3s that customers drive home are essentially a stripped down, bare bones version? I don’t want one of those, do you?

The article also mentions a number of other points which point to Tesla not being ready to start production, some of which include:

  • Starting completely new production processes (new assembly processes and equipment)
  • Recruiting drives in Mexico just last month
  • robots for Model 3 production arriving months late
  • Tesla Grohmann issues

  • A final point is from a comment made by Musk just a few days ago regarding the Fremont factory: “But there is just no room at Fremont. We are bursting at the seams.” Holy moly. If the Fremont factory is already “bursting at the seams,” what’s going to happen once Model 3 production actually commences? It’s going to be chaos.

    I want to disclose that the points raised are simply speculation; maybe Elon Musk has a trick up his sleeve and is simply steering us in another direction. Maybe Tesla is 100% ready to go and are simply marching to the beat of their own drum. Perhaps Seeking Alpha is merely being too picky about these points and there is nothing to worry about come July.

    ALl I know is one thing: I am ready to take delivery of my Model 3.

    SOURCE | Seeking Alpha

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