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Tesla Model 3 production suffers from 'bottlenecks'

Tesla announced today it only managed to make 260 examples of its Model 3 electric car during its first three months of production.

Tesla Model #
Tesla has a lot riding on the Model 3, which could be its most popular model if it can make its delivery schedule.
Tesla Motors

It was a good-news-bad-news day for Tesla, as the company announced its third quarter production of its electric cars. The established Model S sedan and Model X SUV came out a rate 4.5 percent higher than the same quarter last year. But Tesla only managed to make 260 example of the all new Model 3, which began production in July.

The company's quarterly production statement said that "Model 3 production was less than anticipated due to production bottlenecks." The statement goes further to say that Tesla is working to resolve production issues.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously said that Model 3 production would reach 5,000 per week by the end of 2017, and 10,000 per week by the end of 2018.

The Model 3 has become Tesla's most anticipated car, garnering hundreds of thousands of preorders due to its promise of a mid-30K base price and a range well over 200 miles, not to mention premium car features and style. The company officially began deliveries of the Model 3 on July 28. According to its statement, 220 of the cars have been delivered during the third quarter.

Musk has previously talked of Tesla production goals as being aspirational, and noting that even simple things, such as a delay in parts delivery, can have outsize consequences on production. During Tesla's second quarter shareholder call, Musk called out the arbitrary timeline of a financial quarter, saying "when you have an exponentially growing production ramp, slight changes of a few weeks here or there can appear to have dramatic changes."

Given the number of preorders, Musk must hope that customers waiting on delivery of a Model 3 don't take these appearances to heart.