Tesla Streamlines Paint Options to Simplify Production

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Tesla’s Elon Musk announced Tuesday that the automaker will limit its paint options to simplify production and, hopefully, improve volume. “Moving [two] of [seven] Tesla colors off menu on Wednesday to simplify manufacturing,” said the CEO via social media. “Obsidian Black and Metallic Silver will still be available as special request, but at higher price.”

The announcement comes after a busy press week for Tesla. Musk lost his chief accounting officer after a comically brief tenure and was lambasted for smoking marijuana on Joe Rogan’s podcast. However, the real crime was how much of it Elon wasted by puffing on the monster wrap in an attempt to appease the host, without ever inhaling any smoke. That’s no way to get high.

Spliffs aside, the company’s decision to increase the point of entry for two of the most popular paint shades in history does seem a little drug induced. In truth, Solid Black is actually the only Tesla color that comes without an additional cost. The rest are technically on special order. Obsidian and Metallic Silver will just have their own extra special category now. The automaker probably thinks it’s a good way to speed up production a bit while making some extra cash, as both would be helpful.

In a blog post earlier this month, Musk said Tesla was on pace to deliver more than twice as many cars as it did last quarter. Meanwhile, the firm has put a gun to its own head to do everything in its power to increase revenue and avoid a potential cash crunch as shares took a sizable dive in August.

While the CEO did not say how much those colors would cost, some shades already tack on a hefty premium. Expect to shell out at least $1,500 for sparkly black or gray, while waiting longer for delivery.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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6 of 29 comments
  • MrIcky MrIcky on Sep 12, 2018

    Make paint a 'dealer installed option'? Like door panels and center consoles.

    • See 3 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Sep 13, 2018

      @akear Completely false. GM makes money. Tesla has not made one penny of profit since they first started. You don’t turn a profit if you’re not selling automobiles. GM turns out infinitely more vehicles, in a factory (not a circus tent) with correct door panels, and radar guided cruise that doesn’t crash into fire trucks. Oh and 80% of GM vehicles don’t have to be fixed after immediately coming off the production line.

  • EBFlex EBFlex on Sep 13, 2018

    And here I thought it was the incredibly arrogant pot head CEO who is in way over his head and doesn’t have the first clue as to how to manufacture a vehicle. Low and behold it’s the colors silver and black. This will fix all of the quality issues, panel gaps, bursting into flames, and the jihad against fire trucks.

  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.