The company delivered less than 1,500 units in Q4 as it continued to deal with production headaches.Tesla is apparently continuing to overcome obstacles in ramping up Model 3 production, delivering just 1,542 units in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The company continues to target an output rate of 2,500 units per week by the end of Q1 and 5,000 by the end of Q2, however a letter to investors warned that it is difficult to accurately forecast specific production rates at specific points in time.
Speaking to analysts during a follow-up conference call, CEO Elon Musk said battery module production continues to be a limiting factor. Of four production zones, the two that had been subcontracted to other companies, including battery module production, "flat out didn't work."
"We've tackled that on multiple levels; we have a design that is nearing completion for a new automated system for Zone 1 and 2 that is being led by our Tesla Grohmann team," he added. "All the other work that they've done has performed to spec, and we expect a single Tesla Grohmann line to be equivalent to three, if not four, of the current lines that we have and be smaller, which is kind of amazing."
The executive opined that "if we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we could probably solve Model 3 production" and the current issues are likely going to prove "really quite small in the grand scheme of things."