The Palo Alto, Calif.-based group also said it would push back earlier estimates of Model 3 production rates further into 2018, with a target of 5,000 units a week by the end of June owing to "production bottlenecks". For the three months ended in December, Tesla said it produced 2,425 Model 3 cars and delivered 1,550 to customers at a list price of $35,000, well shy of the FactSet compiled consensus of 4,100.
"As we continue to focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time, we expect to have a slightly more gradual ramp through Q1, likely ending the quarter at a weekly rate of about 2,500 Model 3 vehicles," Tesla said. "We intend to achieve the 5,000 per week milestone by the end of Q2."
"We're very grateful to everyone at Tesla who has poured their heart and soul into helping with the Model 3 ramp and creating the progress we are seeing,", the company added. "We're also very appreciative of our Model 3 customers, who continue to stick by us while patiently waiting for their cars."
Tesla shares fell 2.7% early Thursday.
The Model 3 delays mark the latest in a series of execution issue for Tesla and its charismatic founder, Elon Musk, following what was arguably the most-anticipated new car launch in history earlier this year, when the company said it has pre-orders of over 500,000.
That was followed by expectations of a production cycle that would hit 10,000 units a week later this year, a figure that drew gasps from industry analysts and market professionals alike and lifted the young company's share price to an all-time high of $389.61 in June of last year.
However, a production rate of only 260 Model 3 cars -- which list at half the prices of its other high-end cars such as the Model S and the Model X -- over the third quarter of 2017 raised significant investor concern for both the company's ambitions and its ongoing cash burn rate of $1.1 billion per quarter.
In November, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed back his forecast that the company would be making 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a week to the end of the first quarter because of continuing bottlenecks at the company's huge battery manufacturing plant in Nevada.
The company said it had seen a sharp increase in daily production at the end of December to more than 1,000 Model 3s per week.
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