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Tesla delays volume production of Model 3 by three months, reports massive loss

Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Automotive News

For months, Tesla's forecast a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 electric sedans a week by the end of December.

Never mind.

The company said Wednesday that milestone is being kicked ahead another three months, to the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Tesla buried the news in an investor letter it posted online after the New York stock markets closed. Also buried: a massive loss of $671.1 million in the third quarter, bringing its loss through the first nine months of 2017 to $1.66 billion.

The production problems run deep, the investor letter makes clear. As widely reported, the auto assembly plant in Fremont, Calif., is way behind schedule. But the company clarified Wednesday that its Gigafactory plant in Nevada, which assembles battery packs for the Model 3, is "the primary production constraint" for the cars.

Tesla blamed unnamed suppliers for providing manufacturing systems that are being "significantly redesigned" by Tesla.

Thousands of Model 3s were supposed to have been sold by now. So far, the company has reported that only 260 have been produced. Reports that many of those car were returned to fix battery problems were not disputed by Tesla.

Tesla stock closed at $321.08 Wednesday, down 3.15 percent, and was falling further in after-hours trading.

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