What about the much hyped Model 3?
The announcement made late Monday is another sign of the challenges the upstart electric car maker may face as it tries to build a more affordable electric car - a basic version of which priced at about $35,000.
The billionaire's love affair with space travel is marked by his desire to stockpile three new spacecraft models, adding to his current fleet of three rockets. The tricky part will be ramping up production to the sheer number of cars that Musk wants to buy. The slow start for Model 3, which was designed for easier assembly, reignites concern that the company will struggle to reach the lofty production targets set by its CEO. "Although the vast majority of manufacturing subsystems at both our California car plant and our Nevada Gigafactory are able to operate at high rate, a handful has taken longer to activate than expected", the company said in a statement. Tesla said those vehicles would be counted in the third quarter.
A successful roll-out of the Model 3 is vital for Tesla's future.
Altogether, Musk predicted that third quarter production numbers for the Model 3 would be around 1,630 vehicles, which means he's off by 84%.
"But you guys know this; you're veterans". More than 350,000 people have paid the $1,000 refundable deposits to secure one of the Model 3s.
It appears the company couldn't escape the manufacturing complexity entirely.
While deliveries of Tesla's premium vehicles, the Model X and Model S, came in at all-time highs of 25,930 over Q3, year-over-year growth was muted at just 4.5%. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially, including the risks identified in our SEC filings. In terms of Model S and X deliveries, there was 4.5% per cent jump in comparison to Q3 2016.
Tesla ultimately expects to deliver about 100,000 Model S and X vehicles in 2017.
Still, Tesla is showing that once it gets production going, it has a reliable track record of maintaining that speed. That first goal now looks unlikely.