By the end of the day tomorrow, Tesla should release its delivery and production results for the fourth quarter and the full year 2017.
As we previously reported, we expect record deliveries for the quarter, but Model 3 production remains a wild card and it will be the most important metric for shareholders and industry analysts.
Now new VIN information gives us insight into Model 3 production.
As we discussed in our last podcast, Tesla registered over 3,500 new Model 3 VINs with NHTSA last month.
It was its biggest jump to date and a good indicator that Tesla expects to increase Model 3 production after 2 difficult quarters plagued by manufacturing and supply chain issues.
But now Tesla requested to change some of those VINs from model year 2017 to model year 2018 – leaving up to VIN number 3,027 in model year 2017.
The change was first spotted by the Model 3 VINs Twitter account earlier today:
As usual, keep in mind that VINs are not an ideal way to monitor a production ramp within a small and accurate margin, but it’s a fairly representative way to figure out the general progress.
Those VINs are interesting for two reasons. First off, it looks like VINs up to ~3,000 were registered in 2017 and considering that Tesla skips VINs for some reasons, I think we can roughly estimate it could indicate that the automaker could have produced just over 2,000 Model 3 vehicles in 2017.
Now to be clear, that’s just produced vehicles and not vehicles delivered. It would also include the 260 Model 3 vehicles that Tesla produced in Q3 2017.
Secondly, the fact that they first registered the VINs in 2017 and ended up pushing them to 2018 could mean that Tesla expected to increase its production rate by the end of the year and didn’t achieve that goal.
At the end of the day, it will be the most important number. Whether Tesla delivers 1,000, 2,000, or 3,000 Model 3 units in 2017 doesn’t matter compared to the actual production rate that Tesla achieved by the end of the year.
We previously reported that Tesla is definitely ramping up Model 3 deliveries with hundreds of vehicles spotted at delivery centers, then suppliers said that weekly production is increasing to 5,000 units, and they are accelerating the pace at which they send out invites to configure.
But ultimately, it’s hard to put a number on that anecdotal evidence.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.