Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) released the Model X SUV in October 2015 after three years of delays. Elon Musk, admitted then that the design of the car was way too complex, and the company probably should not have built the vehicle. Auto-industry experts and Tesla watchers are assuming that the automaker will not make the same mistake again with the Model 3, but is their assumption right?
Will the solar roof delay the Model 3?
The Model X has had a lot of early production problems, which are resolved now, as per Musk and his team. However, those problems were serious enough that on some occasion, Musk said that the first of 2016 was a living hell for him. The Model 3 is to be priced around $35,000, and is arriving in late 2017.
The Model 3 has a simple design, using the same base materials like everyone else in the auto industry -especially steel instead of aluminum – to make the affordable electric car much easier to build at scale. The electric car making giant needs that scale if it is going to go from manufacturing 80,000 cars this year to 500,000 by 2018.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and its CEO appear to be acting really coolly when it comes to the Model 3, notes Business Insider’s Danielle Muoio recently. After Musk held a conference call to talk about the impending Tesla-SolarCity merger, Muoio wrote that the CEO said they now have a special glass technology group and the new division is concentrating on developing the technology “for the solar roof Tesla unveiled with SolarCity last Friday.”
Musk said the Model 3 will incorporate that same glass technology that is being used in the solar roof, but he did not talk more that particular subject, noted Muoio.
Tesla needs to focus on manufacturing
There are very few automakers in the industry who have even thought about putting-a-solar-panel-on-a-car because it is unpredictably pointless, notes a separate report from BI. Now, the electric carmaker, which is quite masterful at designing expensive and appealing electric cars but inadequate at building them effectively, is going to add this feature to a car that really does not require it.
If Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is hoping to fulfill the 375,000 per-orders for the Model 3 by 2018, then it has to build more than 4 times as many electric cars as it will this year, and needs manufacturing process talent instead of more research and development, notes BI.
We do not know much about the upcoming affordable electric car in its production version, but if the automaker is planning to release it by late 2017, then it needs to increase its pace. It would not make any difference if the Model 3 has a flux capacitor or an amazing TeslaGlass roof or windshield, the automaker just needs to roll it off the assembly lines in about 12 months. If the glass solar roof undermines Tesla’s goal, “then Musk could be failing to learn from past mistakes,” says BI.