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Tesla won't be able to deliver all the reserved Model 3 in 2018
10 may 2016

I'd like to start from the following tweet from Elon Musk:

He basically told a few days ago that all the Model 3 cars will be delivered in 2018 and you still have a chance to get this delivery in 2018 if you reserve your car right now. Tesla's official website says that the production of Model 3 will start late 2017:

Model 3 production is scheduled to begin in late 2017. When production begins, we will begin deliveries in North America starting on the West Coast, moving east.

According to the Tesla's 10-K report, they have a plan to deliver 80,000 - 90,000 cars in 2016. According to their shareholders letter, the company plans to reach 180,000 cumulative car deliveries by the end of this year. The most recent information about the number of reservations is 400,000. I'll make an assumption, that there are even more reservations as of today. 

And now once again, Tesla has delivered around 120,000 cars since 2012 (more than 3 years). They plan to deliver more 400,000 cars in 2018. Let's see, perhaps their production capacity is huge enough to deliver that amount of cars. 

Again, according to the Tesla's official website, their new Gigafactory will be able to produce as many as 500,000 cars, but "By 2020, the Gigafactory will reach full capacity and produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013". So basically I assume that they will reach 500,000 cars capacity in 2020, less in 2019 (my assumption is 400,000) and therefore, around 300,000 cars in 2018. 

Remember, they have more than 400,000 reservations? So if the Gigafactory will be able to produce 300,000 cars in 2018, where will they take other 100,000 cars? Here is another significant assumption - the number of reservations isn't growing. Of course it's impossible. Most likely, cumulative number of reservations by the end of 2017 will be over than 500k-600k. It means that Gigafactory in the best case can deliver around 75% of total reservations in 2018 (if the number of reservation won't grow). 

As I've already mentioned, Tesla wants to deliver around 80k-90k cars this year and I assume that this is really close to their 100% capacity right now from other factories. But don't forget that they still have Model S and Model X. And if they plan to deliver 80k-90k Model S and Model X a year, assuming that they can expand their current production capacity by as much as 30% (pure assumption, not sure that this could be achieved) - they will add around 24k-30k cars to the Model 3 deliveries in 2018. It's less than 10% of total reservations.

Based on such rough estimates and their official information, Tesla will be able to deliver around 85% of total reservations. Where they will produce another 15% (or 35k-40k cars), I don't know. Perhaps their Gigafactory will start producing more than 300k cars a year right from 2018. 

And therefore I have another question: will the quality of their Model 3 suffer from such rush?

Answered:
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Tesla won't be able to deliver all the reserved Model 3 in 2018

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