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Tesla hits Model 3 production goals for Q3

But that doesn't mean the company's woes are over.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

Today, Tesla reported that it met its ambitious Model 3 production goal for the third quarter of 2018. It produced 80,142 vehicles during Q3 of 2018, which is 50 percent more than the company's all-time record set during Q2 of this year. This included 53,239 Model 3 vehicles. The company delivered 83,500 vehicles to customers during the same quarter; 55,840 were Model 3s. Clearly, the company is moving past its Model 3 production woes, as Tesla delivered roughly twice as many Model 3s in Q3 as it had in all previous quarters combined.

The press release notes that Tesla has switched from producing mainly rear wheel drive Model 3s to dual motor drives over the course of Q3. It appears that, while it's easier to produce rear-wheel drive cars due to lower technological complexity, consumer demand is much higher for all-wheel drive versions. It will remain to be seen if Tesla can keep up the production pace when the focus is on these more complicated vehicles, especially considering the company missed its weekly production goal numbers. Tesla announced that it was planning on producing 6,000 Model 3s per week by the end of August, but this report makes it clear that they were at 5,300 per week.

While this is good news for Tesla, the company is still plagued by issues with its vehicle production, delivery and maintenance. The New York Times reports there are unexplained parking lots full of new Teslas at random locations across the US; while the company claims that these are a staging ground for consumer delivery, further investigation reveals they are likely unsold vehicles, some of which are the afore mentioned, low-demand rear-wheel drive Model 3s.

Many are also reportedly damaged vehicles that need to be repaired before they can be sold or delivered. Tesla has run into trouble with repairs because there are few spare parts on hand. This also signals there may be quality control issues for cars in production. Additionally, the actual physical delivery had been another logistical issue the company has seemed ill-prepared for. And let's not even get into the recent settlement with the SEC over Elon Musk's privatization tweet. The good news is that production seems to be on track; let's hope the company gets the rest of these issues ironed out soon.

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