Prepare To Keep Waiting For Your Model 3: Tesla Is Way Behind On Production

Image courtesy of Elon Musk

If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the long-awaited, cheaper Tesla Model 3, well, you may have to cool your heels even longer than you thought. The company says a lot fewer vehicles have rolled off the line that it originally planned, due to “manufacturing bottlenecks.”

In a note to investors this week, Tesla says it’s fallen short of its goal of producing 1,500 vehicles between late July and the end of September, only producing 260 Model 3 cars and delivering 220 of them. The Model 3 has been positioned as the company’s most affordable car yet with a starting price of $36,000.

Tesla says this shortfall is totally not its fault.

“It is important to emphasize that there are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production or supply chain,” the company said Monday. “We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.”

RELATED: Elon Musk Compares Model 3 To Hamburgers

Tesla notes on the Model 3 site that production will “slowly, grow exponentially,” because “we can only go as fast as our slowest supplier or production process.”

This means that if you reserve a Model 3 today, it likely won’t be delivered until mid 2018.

Here’s how the company envisions the production schedule:

This may not be a surprise as CEO Elon Musk warned back in July that the company was bracing for “production hell” as it tried to get enough Model 3s built in time to meet demand.

Shortly after announcing the Model 3 in the spring of 2016, Tesla boasted that it had received hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for the car. The company also began phasing out free, public use of its Supercharger charging stations, and planned to double the number of Superchargers, all in anticipation of a world where Model 3s are a common sight.

That world may still come, just not as quickly as Musk had hoped it would.