A week after reaching a production rate of 2,000 Model 3 vehicles per week, Tesla has now registered a record 4,793 new Model 3 VINs with NHTSA – indicating that the ramp could very well be sustainable.
Due to the fact that Tesla only achieved its record production rate during the last week of the quarter, several Tesla naysayers, like the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Rapoport, suggested that Tesla is inflating the production rate at the end of each quarter and then fails to sustain the rate into the new quarter.
The argument is not without credibility since it’s evident that the Model 3 production rate fell after Tesla achieved a Model 3 production capacity of ~1,000 units per week at the end of the fourth.
Several analysts feared that the same thing would happen this quarter, but Tesla said that they expect to maintain their new record production rate of 2,000 units per week into the second quarter and now a new record number of Model 3 VINs registered with NHTSA is a good indicator that they are following through:
It’s the biggest single batch of Model 3 registrations and it comes a week after Tesla registered just over 2,000 VINS.
During the first quarter production results, Tesla said that they are still confident that they will achieve a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of the second quarter.
I think Model 3 reservation holders can now breathe a little and start putting more confidence into their official delivery windows.
If over the last few weeks Tesla was able to roughly double production of the Model 3 and now it is able to sustain it or even increase it based on this new batch (though we will have to wait for the next batch to know for sure), I think it makes their end of the second quarter goal much more credible.
As for investors, that goal is also extremely important since the company linked it to starting to achieve a positive gross margin on the Model 3 and having the program start contributing positively to Tesla’s cash flow.
Of course, we will keep an eye on production program, but I think things are starting to become easier and maybe Elon Musk will not have to sleep on the factory floor for too long.