Elon Musk acknowledges Tesla is in ‘delivery logistics hell’

Model 3 sedans sit on display outside a Tesla showroom in Colorado in July. Tesla CEO Elon Musk acknowledged Sunday that the company is now in "delivery logistics hell."
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk acknowledged Sunday that his company has been slow in getting new electric Model 3 cars to waiting customers, calling the problem “delivery logistics hell.”

In response to a tweet from a customer who complained to Musk that the delivery date for her car continued to slip, even though she saw 42 Tesla vehicles parked in a Union Pacific railroad lot in Salt Lake City, Musk tweeted: “Sorry, we’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell, but this problem is far more tractable. We’re making rapid progress. Should be solved shortly.”

Customers have been grumbling about the lack of firm delivery dates and sometimes weeks-long waits to get Model 3 cars that they have already paid for. Buyers say that delivery representatives’ voicemail boxes are often full and that calling other Tesla numbers leads to conflicting information.

As Tesla struggles to exit ‘production hell,’ buyers complain of delivery limbo »


The delivery logistics issues come as Tesla struggles to exit “production hell.” The Palo Alto firm cranked up production volume to meet Musk’s goal of churning out 5,000 cars a week, a feat it finally achieved the last week of June. The company had run into problems with its Fremont, Calif., factory’s robot-heavy production line, which didn’t work out as planned, and ended up creating an additional assembly line in a tent.

In August, Business Insider reported that Tesla had to rework more than 4,300 of the 5,000 cars it built during that late-June “burst week.” Tesla told the publication that “rework” can include minor repairs and that “our goal is to produce a perfect car for every customer.”

What percentage of currently produced Model 3s require rework is not publicly known.


Twitter: @smasunaga