Hurry up and wait
Tesla seems to be defying the odds by retaining its spot as the world's most valuable automaker. For the first three months of the year, the California-based EV manufacturer posted record-breaking deliveries despite challenges posed by the coronavirus and the ongoing microchip shortage affecting numerous manufacturers across the globe. However, this run looks to be at an end as Tesla is being forced to delay deliveries of its Model S and Model X vehicles.
When the refreshed models were unveiled at the start of 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told the media that deliveries would commence in a few weeks' time, but that has clearly not happened, and now that promise is being pushed further back.
According to Electrek, an email sent to Tesla employees by Musk said that that the tools required to build the refreshed Model S and X were almost ready and that production would start in the second quarter of 2021: "Model S/X production lines are almost done with the retooling and will be aiming for max production next quarter. There is high demand, so we are soon going to need to go back to two shifts. Please recommend friends for recruiting."
That email was sent over a month and a half ago, but customers are still waiting with bated breath for their cars to be delivered. Delivery dates for March and April have been pushed back as far as July, clearly indicating some issues with the production process. Tesla has a 10 to 14 week lead time for orders on new Model S Long Range and Plaid models and estimates that orders placed for new Model X cars will be fulfilled by June.
Considering the numerous changes made to both the Model S and Model X, it's not surprising that there have been some teething problems, but can Tesla remain in the top spot if it keeps under-delivering?