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article imageSome regular Tesla Model 3 reservation holders in luck for Xmas?

By Ken Hanly     Nov 23, 2017 in Technology
At long last Tesla is inviting non-employee reservation holders to design their Model 3s, perhaps a sign that the cars could be close to entering full production, a giant leap forward for the company.
Up until now only employees, their family members, or others close to the company who are special reservation holders have received Model 3s.
Design phase opened to non-employee reservations
A reservation holder must design the car they are reserving. This includes paint color and wheel choice. Some vehicle options are not yet available. The early production stages are focusing on vehicles that have long-range batteries and the Premium Package. Those who want other packages will have to just wait longer.
Tesla has confirmed that it has opened up the design phase of the ordering process to some who are non-employees for the first time.
Tesla said at first that deliveries to regular reservation holders would begin in late October. However when October came around Tesla announced that it was experiencing production difficulties. Instead of reaching a production rate of 5,000 per week by December, the company now hopes to achieve that level by the end of the first quarter of next year.
However those configuring their car designs now are being told they will be able to take delivery by the end of the year or about four weeks.
You You Xue, an early reservation holder is based in San Francisco. He has screen shots of the design process shown in this article.
Tesla's production problems with the Model 3
Elon Musk has referred repeatedly to the present state of Model 3 assembly as a "production hell".
However even the the revised date to reach the 5,000 level a week production may bring some hope to the thousands of reservation holders. It remains to be seen how many cars will roll off the production line in the next month.
Tesla continues to suffer large losses
Tesla's third quarter earnings showed an adjusted loss of $2.92 per share higher than the Thomson Reuters estimate which was bad enough at $2.29 a share. However, its revenue was $2.98 billion somewhat higher than the $2.95 billion estimate.
Tesla's quarterly loss was $671 million its largest ever and 76 percent of what it lost in all of 2016. Tesla burned through $1.4 billion dollars partly due to its attempt to ramp up production of Model 3s.
As a recent Digital Journal notes, the sinking stock is providing generous profits for short sellers.
Tesla deliveries
In the third quarter Tesla delivered 25,915 Model S hatchbacks and Model X SUVs. This is roughly a 4.5 improvement over its 2nd quarter deliveries. Used car sales were up.
However, statistics with respect to Model 3 were miserable. In Quarter 3 only 222 Model 3 designs were delivered even though Tesla had estimated that it would produce 1,500 Model 3s in the third quarter.
Tesla expects to produce about 10 percent fewer Model S and Model X cars in the fourth quarter as some personnel will be diverted to help boost Model 3 production.
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