Tesla is cutting down the number of paint choices it offers on its family of electric cars.
That's according to CEO Elon Musk, who tweeted early Tuesday morning, "Moving 2 of 7 Tesla colors off menu on Wednesday to simplify manufacturing. Obsidian Black & Metallic silver will still be available at special request, but at a higher price." The two paint choices are being removed from the online configurators for its, , and .
An email to Tesla reservation holders obtained by marque fan site Electrek says that in the future, the two paints will become "limited edition colors via special request at a cost of $2,000, only until Friday, Sept. 21, 2018."
Those with existing reservations will still have the ability to order those paint shades at current prices for a limited time.
Although the situation has been improving,have continued to bedevil Tesla's new Model 3 sedan, with paint shop capacity and quality issues chief among them.
In addition to being a pinch point slowing production, Tesla owners have taken to online forums to cite an unusual number of paint-quality and rust issues with their new Model 3s. In late August, Musk acknowledged that paint has been a challenge. In a reply to one such customer on Twitter, Musk admitted, "If need be, we're repainting/replacing entire sections of car or building whole new cars. Got to be done."
According to a June CNBC report, Tesla's paint shop has also had at least four fires, a very rare occurrence in modern auto factories.
Tesla's strategy to curb paint options is a time-tested technique to improve efficiency. Simplifying paint and vehicle option choices is a common strategy among all automakers to speed production, limit build complexity, lower costs, maximize quality and minimize inventory.
Amid, , and around Elon Musk's , the Silicon Valley automaker recently diverged from its build-to-order strategy and started to batch-assemble Model 3 units and , prioritizing existing reservation holders.