Tesla Still Has Tooling For the Model 3 Waiting for Pickup a Continent Away

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla still has tooling for the model 3 waiting for pickup a continent away

Tesla claims it’s closing in on its goal to produce 2,500 Model 3 sedans a week, even though the original deadline for that target is a few months past. However, a problem remains. Despite having all the tooling needed to hit its mark, some of the essential components are still in Germany when they should be in the United States.

While the automaker still claims it can reach 2,500 unit per week by the end of March, the new automated system for module production needs to be shipped from Grohmann Automation in Dausfeld, Germany, to the company’s Gigafactory, located outside Reno, Nevada. That’s a long distance to ship a lot of hardware in roughly a month’s time, leaving many wondering if Tesla is about to break another promise to investors.

On Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk explained the tooling situation during a conference call with analysts. “That’s got to be disassembled, brought over to the Gigafactory, and re-assembled and then brought into operation at the Gigafactory. It’s not a question of whether it works or not. It’s just a question of disassembly, transport and reassembly,” he said.

According to Automotive News, Cowen & Co. analyst Jeffrey Osborne said the ambitious relocation of so much hardware makes Tesla’s first-quarter output goals “extremely aggressive.” Meanwhile, George Galliers, an analyst with Evercore ISI, is concerned if the timing required to pull it off is even possible. “Should Tesla miss its 2.5k unit weekly production target, for the end of Q1, investors will be left disappointed and concerns will increase,” he said in a note to clients.

Musk doesn’t want anyone to worry, however. “If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production,” he said during the conference call.

That’s a good point. If SpaceX can put a car into orbit and land rockets with pinpoint accuracy, why the hell can’t Tesla adhere to a production schedule it promised was possible while investors were raining money down on the company?

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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  • HotPotato HotPotato on Feb 13, 2018

    “People on the wait list could buy a Bolt today if they didn’t need to be seen in a Tesla.” True, and I admit to being a little judgy about people who insist on waiting through any delay to have a Model 3 when they could take home a perfectly serviceable Bolt today. I mean, how green are you really if you're fine with spewing tailpipe emissions for another one, two, three years? But at the same time, I get it---for most of us, around 40 grand is a lot to drop on a car---and it's a lot easier to justify if in return you get a Supercharger network that makes road trips practical, and truly sporting acceleration and handling, and a sexy shape that looks expensive and makes you feel special. Forty grand on your lifetime's dream car (which is what a Tesla is for a lot of people) is a lot easier to swallow than forty grand on, essentially, a Honda Fit with a Chevy badge and a big-ass battery. I don't say this to bash the Bolt---I am a huge Bolt fan. It's an incredible engineering achievement and I was one of the first on the order list. But as insufferable as Tesla fanboys can be, they're not wrong that where EVs are concerned, Tesla makes a better mousetrap than anyone else...and buyers aren't wrong to behave accordingly. That said, if GM would get off their ass and deliver the Voltec CUV they keep promising, I'd be first in line---PHEVs are the one market segment that GM indisputably does better than anyone else, and it's insane that they limit that product line to ONE CAR.

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Feb 13, 2018

    Just fly the tooling over on Elon's electric 747. Inflight charging with Aircharger.

  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.