Since then, it appears that production has improved dramatically, with Tesla now claiming that it should be able to manufacture 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of March 2018. We intend to achieve the 5,000 per week milestone by the end of Q2.
This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if Tesla was already a profitable market leader. The Wall Street Journal reported past year that the cars were being built partly by hand as the company struggled with its automated body-panel assembly line.
Tesla delivered a total of 29,870 cars in the fourth quarter of 2017, including Model S, Model X and the new Model 3, the company announced on Wednesday. We are adding a good measure of conservatism to allow for it not to be linear and estimate Q1 production of 18,000 Model 3 cars or an average of 1,385 per week over the 13 weeks.
In the week ended on December 31st the shares of the luxury electric vehicle manufacturer lost 4.26% of their market value compared to a week ago, which marked a second consecutive period of decrease. That marked a 33% increase over 2016. As we previously indicated, we slightly reduced Model S and X production in the fourth-quarter because of the reallocation of some of the manufacturing workforce towards Model 3 production, which also caused inventory to decline.
Tesla did note that it made as many Model 3 cars by December 9 as it had in the previous four months combined.
Short sellers, investors who bet that a stock will go down and profit when the price falls, have piled into Tesla lately. Musk is attempting to build better, cheaper batteries through advanced automation. Some investors are obviously disappointed by the Model 3 production numbers as the company continues to slog through what it calls "production hell".
In its third quarter, Tesla built just 260 Model 3s. Tesla said the delay resulted from a "focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time".
On Tuesday, Musk tweeted a come-on for job candidates at the Gigafactory: "Come work at the biggest & most advanced factory on Earth!" The new job listings no longer include a job requirement that was practically boilerplate on earlier job postings: "Desire to do the impossible with a positive and professional "never say die" attitude".
It isn't easy to bring a new auto to market, but this isn't some radical departure from either automotive norms or Tesla's own capabilities.
Tesla´s shares were down 2% in after hours trading on Wednesday and are around 15% below the peak of last summer.