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Tesla Model 3 has 'poor overall initial quality,' analyst says

Ethan Baron, The Mercury News on

Published in Automotive News

Tesla's Model 3 problems just got worse.

The Palo Alto, Calif., electric-car maker's entry-level sedan has been the focus of much negative attention of late, after CEO Elon Musk revealed in a recent earnings report that production was at least three months behind schedule.

Now, an analyst who tested Model 3s supplied by Tesla has added another downer to Tesla's ambition to provide sleek electric vehicles to the masses with a $35,000 sedan.

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi examined two Model 3s supplied by Tesla in Brooklyn, and went for a test drive. He did not give the car five stars.

"The analyst found a misalignment in the Model 3's glass roof, body panel gaps, rubber trim issues around windows and misaligned seams in the interior ceiling of the car," CNBC reported, based on a note Sacconaghi sent to clients Nov. 10.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.


Here's how Sacconaghi described the car he was given for the test drive:

"Our inspection revealed widespread shortcomings in fit and finish," he wrote. "Fit and finish on the two demo cars we saw – perhaps not surprisingly – was relatively poor."

"Tesla representatives acknowledged some of the fit issues, but stated that they believed that Model 3 was much further ahead than where Model X and S had been at this point in production."

Musk, in the earnings report Nov. 1 that also revealed a $619 million quarterly loss, had said the company would miss its target to be producing 5,000 Model 3s a week by year-end, and that it would probably hit that mark in March.


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