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article imageTesla faces problems with its first Model 3 deliveries in Europe

By Ken Hanly     Feb 7, 2019 in Technology
It is a year and a half after US Tesla customers began to receive their orders for the Model 3 until the first shipment of the models arrived at the beginning of this week at the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.
Delivery problems
Some who arrived at the factory were disappointed when they were turned away with no car. Tesla confirmed to the news outlet Electra that it could not deliver as many cars as it had planned. Elon Musk the Tesla CEO tweeted: "Sorry, many unexpected challenges with cars coming through Zeebrugge first time. Cars will start moving out in volume tomorrow. 3:17 PM - 6 Feb 2019" Musk did not elaborate on what was involved in the "unexpected challenges".
Another shipment of Model 3s is expected within the next few days. Perhaps this time he will wait until the cars get to the Netherlands factory before he issues invitations to pick the cars up. As of this January, around 14,000 of the Model 3s have been preordered throughout Europe.
Preorders started in 2016
Preorders began in March of 2016 at the same time as the car was revealed. By April Tesla had as many as 325,000 preorders globally. The first deliveries began in July of 2017. Tesla had problems ramping up production during 2018 but ended the year with some stock not sold. As reported in a recent Digital Journal article Tesla customers were not able to begin configuring their Model 3s until this January.
Only more expensive versions available at present in Europe
At present only the higher end more expensive Model 3s all-wheel-drive and performance versions of the vehicle will be available not the basic cheaper rear-wheel-drive version which is now available in the US. The models are described, in French, here.
Higher production needed to make cheaper models profitable to make
Musk has noted that higher production is needed of the cheaper Model 3s. No doubt the margin of returns on the cheaper models is lower than the more expensive model 3s and other models. Tesla is set to introduce a new crossover type vehicle in March this year the Model Y as reported in a recent Digital Journal article. Perhaps, this will help the company's bottom line. Tesla is also building a large factory in China which will give the company an excellent foundation in a country that is pushing EVs and has a huge market.
The European models are at present without Autopilot which offers automatic cruise control, lane keeping and changing as reported in the LA Times. Although the Model 3 has been approved the Autopilot system has not been approved as yet.
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