Tesla denies further Model 3 production issues

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2018 5:49 PM

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> is on track to achieve its production targets for the Model 3, the electric car-maker said on Thursday, squashing a report of further delays and quality issues for its latest and most-affordable sedan.

Tesla's problems with battery production at its Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, are worse than it had acknowledged, CNBC had reported earlier in the day, citing some company employees.

The problems included Tesla needing to make some batteries by hand and borrowing scores of employees from one of its suppliers to help with manual assembly, CNBC had said.

Tesla shares closed down 2.4 percent on Thursday following the report, but rose 1.6 percent in extended trading after the company said it had no further production setbacks.

"To be absolutely clear, we are on track with the previous projections for achieving increased Model 3 production rates that we provided earlier this month," a Tesla spokesman said in a e-mailed statement.

"As has been well documented, until we reach full production, by definition some elements of the production process will be more manual," the spokesman said.

Earlier this month, Tesla delayed a production target for the Model 3 for the second time, disappointing investors even as it claimed "major progress" overcoming manufacturing challenges that have hampered the vehicle's rollout.

Tesla currently plans to make about 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of the first quarter, half the number it had earlier promised. It expects to reach its goal of 5,000 vehicles per week by the end of the second quarter.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)