During the delivery event of the Tesla Model 3 back in July, CEO Elon Musk predicted that the next few months would be “manufacturing hell” for the upstart carmaker. With the production of the mass-market compact EV experiencing delays due to “bottlenecks” in the manufacturing process, it seems like the CEO’s predictions are indeed coming true. In fact, Tesla’s difficulties with the Model 3 ramp-up have been so prominent; it ended up claiming its first victim — the Tesla Semi, which is scheduled to be unveiled later this month.
The Tesla Semi has already been delayed twice this year, with Musk initially stating that the massive EV would be unveiled in September, according to a Reuters report. Eventually, however, this date was moved to late October. With the upstart manufacturer’s Friday’s announcement, however, the Tesla Semi’s unveiling was delayed yet again, this time getting moved to November 16, 2017.
Musk announced the delay of the Tesla Semi’s launch on Twitter, stating that the unforeseen bottlenecks in the Model 3’s production line and Puerto Rico’s ongoing power crisis would be the company’s priorities for now.
“Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16. Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.”
Considering that advance orders of the Model 3 have now reached about 500,000 units, Tesla’s decision to focus on the mass-market sedan makes perfect sense. The Model 3, after all, is a pivotal aspect of Elon Musk’s master plan, being an emissions-free vehicle that is attainable to the middle class.
Musk’s followers on Twitter do not seem to mind the delay to the Tesla Semi’s launch, stating that the company’s current issues with the Model 3 production and the power crisis in Puerto Rico are far more important. Others went a step further, urging Musk to dedicate a lot of Tesla’s resources to providing aid for Puerto Rico, even at the expense of the Model 3.
“As someone on the waitlist for a Model 3, you take all the time you need. The humanitarian efforts you have going are far more important,” wrote one of Musk’s followers on Twitter.
“Totally understand. Those are MUCH higher priorities. Hope you can work out a deal with Puerto Rico!” wrote another.
By delaying the Tesla Semi’s launch, the upstart carmaker has given itself a good amount of time to iron out the production issues of the Model 3. Currently, the Model 3’s production is still working on the S-curve of manufacturing that it shared with customers during the EV’s handover event back in July. If everything goes well, the production of the Model 3 would be a lot faster and smoother in the months to come.
If any, Tesla’s decision to dedicate its resources to aid Puerto Rico has also made the company the darling of the green technology industry once more. After all, very few firms have what it takes to prioritize a humanitarian crisis over the launch of its latest product.
[Featured Image by Tesla]