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Tesla pushes back Model 3 targets again after production miss

Hannah Boland
Tesla now expects to achieve a weekly production rate of around 2,500 Model 3 vehicles by the end of the first quarter - Tesla Motors

Tesla pushed back its production targets for Model 3 electric cars once again, after delivering just 1,550 of the vehicles in the last three months of the year. 

The delivery figures came in well below the 4,100 Model 3 sedans analysts had been expecting Tesla to deliver in the three months to Dec 31, according to data compiled by FactSet. 

Tesla, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, said production bottlenecks had been to blame for the lower production rate, as the business struggles with mass-manufacturing the vehicles. These issues were previously identified as a number of its manufacturing subsystems taking "longer to activate than expected". 

However, it said it made "major progress" in addressing the issues during the period, meaning its production rate grew significantly towards the end of the three month period and it has made as many of the vehicles in the weeks since Dec 9 as it did in the four months previously.

Tesla said it was now expecting to meet its target of 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of the June, not the end of March as suggested late last year. It had initially been planning to be producing 5,000 units per week by the end of 2017. 

Tesla now expects to achieve a weekly production rate of around 2,500 Model 3 vehicles by the end of the first quarter, it said.

Whilst it did not ship as many of the mass market Model 3 vehicles in 2017 as planned, Tesla delivered 101,312 of the pricier Model S and Model X cars during the year, ahead of its forecast for 100,000 units.