Production of Tesla Model 3, the affordable electric sports car the manufacturer’s owner, Elon Musk, hoped would bring his vehicles into the mainstream car-buying market, has a weak battery.
Tesla has announced it won’t begin full production of the vehicle until the end of June. It will mark nearly a year since the Fremont, California-based company began manufacturing the entry-level Tesla in limited numbers.
Musk previously announced an expected production of 5,000 model 3s a week by December 2017. In November, he announced a delay of that goal to March 2018.
Now the company said it would produce 2,500 Model 3s by March and the original goal of 5,000 by June.
Tesla said it has between 400,000-500,000 refundable deposits of $1,000 for the Model 3.
Only 1,550 Model 3s were delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017, the company said. It also delivered 220 Model 3s in the third quarter.
Production problems have occurred in the company’s plant in Fremont, California, as well as its battery plant in Nevada.
Tesla also said it had delivered 15,200 Model S and 13,120 Model X luxury cars in the fourth quarter, a 9 percent increase over third-quarter deliveries. Full-year 2017 vehicle deliveries reached 101,312, 33 percent higher than 2016.
The Model S and Model X both were delayed but were eventually manufactured. Tesla said the Model 3 would sell for between $35,000-$60,000.
Tesla hasn’t detailed the production problems at its manufacturing plants. But The Wall Street Journal reported last year the cars were being built partly by hand as the company struggled with its automated body-panel assembly line.