Tesla Model 3 Delays Could Lead Buyers to Other Automakers

Freezing air has descended upon my city. Those leisurely mornings of heading out to the car in shorts and a T-shirt have been replaced by scraping windshields free of frost.

I love my electric Nissan Leaf, because I can start and warm it up using an app on my phone while I stay toasty warm inside the house. My Subaru Legacy actually requires me to go outside and start the motor with a key.

This week I needed the Legacy, because my errands required more range than the Leaf could provide. That meant I had to brave the cold, trek outside, and start the Subaru so it would be warm for my family.

When I got back inside, my wife, who was getting ready in the upstairs bathroom, asked why the car was so loud.

“Because it has a gas motor,” I said.

Needless to say, we have become accustomed to driving electric.

We’ve been hoping the next electric car might be a Tesla Model 3, but with production problems pushing back availability of the car, we, like thousands of other drivers, may have to look elsewhere.

Tesla and production problems go together like peanut butter and jelly, so a delay with the Model 3 doesn’t come as a huge surprise. An article at The Detroit News says,

The Model 3 has run into production problems as the Silicon Valley automaker struggles to get the first ones off the line. Tesla was supposed to build 1,500 in the quarter ending in September. Tesla managed to build only 260, the company said last week, making its goal of 20,000 cars per month by December increasingly unlikely.

“We are deep in production hell,” Musk tweeted Friday in explaining the delays.

So the odds of getting a Model 3, especially without being one of the half-million or so people who put down a deposit on one, are increasingly unlikely. The shortage will probably lead EV buyers toward available or coming-soon options from Chevy, Ford, Nissan, BMW, FCA, or just about any other mainstream automaker.

We’re confident Tesla will figure it out and deliver the Model 3 to buyers around the world, it’s just a matter of how long people will be willing to wait. My Leaf lease is up next year—maybe I’ll put a deposit on a Model 3, lease another Leaf again for 36 months, and pick up my Tesla at the end of the next term.

Will you wait for the Tesla Model 3 or buy an electric car from another automaker?

-tgriffith

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1 Comment

  1. Only a few Model 3 buyers will get the $7500 Fed tax credit, which will be reduced by half early next year. Almost all of Tesla’s future competitors will have the tax break, giving them a $75000 price advantage . Also significant is the appearance of the Toshiba batteries in 2019 which will render Tesla’s battery packs , and likely Tesla’s gigafactories, obsolete.

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