Tesla misses production goals for all-electric Model 3 sedan

Tesla misses its Model 3 deliveries by a mile (TSLA)

The hype around the Model 3 exists not because it's the best vehicle in Tesla's fleet, but because it represents the automaker's shift from high-tech concept auto creator to a fully-fledged automotive manufacturer.

The electric-car maker said it delivered 1,550 Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter, a bit more than half of the 2,917 that Wall Street analysts were expecting. Specifically, Tesla is now aiming to manufacture 5,000 Model 3 units per week by the end of June. But the company said Wednesday it was going to have a slower-than-planned production ramp up for the Model 3 in the first quarter of 2018, with a goal of producing 2,500 per week in that period, and the ultimate goal of 5,000 per week being pushed to the second quarter. Tesla thinks you just might be, so now it's launching a web-based version of its trip planning tool, which was previously only available to Tesla owners via the in-car navigation system.

"The Model 3 must be right in terms of quality".

"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".

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The company said Model 3 deliveries to non-employee customers, "are now accelerating rapidly".

It's a simplified version of what Tesla auto owners get in-vehicle, but it's plenty useful for either giving a broad tea of what taking a road trip in one of Tesla's electric vehicles would look like in practical terms, and it's also a good way to get an understanding of what Tesla's expansion of its Destination Charger and Supercharger network means for potential vehicle ownership.

Tesla shares are sliding ahead of Thursday's opening bell, down 5.44% at $300, after the company reported fourth-quarter Model 3 deliveries that missed estimates by a mile. Tesla delivered 103,082 cars in 2017, a 36% increase over 2016.

Days before the trading update hit investors, Musk reached out to Model 3 customers on Twitter to thank them for standing by the company while they sorted out efficiency issues. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5%.

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