Want a new Tesla? You’re gonna have to wait a while


Estimated delivery times on Tesla’s website have been pushed back until late this year — and in come cases next year — for all but the upper-end versions of the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV.

For the two most expensive cars, the Model S and Model X, buyers will have to wait until March or April 2022 for anything but the upper-end “Plaid” version of the Model S. For those most pricey Tesla models, the estimated delivery time is January or February.

The upper-end “performance” version of the Model 3 can be delivered within four to six weeks, and that version of the Model X can be had in five to six weeks. But for less expensive models you’ll have to wait until between November to January.

“The chip shortage issue isn’t moderating to the extent that the Tesla bulls had hoped,” said Dan Ives, tech analyst with Wedbush Securities and one of the analysts with a bullish forecast on Tesla shares. He said the delivery estimates have all been pushed back during the course of the last week.

Tesla did not respond to questions about the longer delivery estimates. In late July, CEO Elon Musk warned investors about problems with the supply of computer chips and other parts, telling them, “The chip supply is fundamentally the governing factor on our output. It is difficult for us to see how long this will last because … this is out of our control essentially. It does seem like it’s getting better, but it’s hard to predict.”

As for other parts, he cautioned, “For the rest of this year, our growth rates will be determined by the slowest part in our supply chain.”

Tesla shares have been struggling for much of 2021 after a 743% rise in value during 2020. Ives said he thinks that these new delivery estimates can only continue to weigh on the stock as investors worry the company will be able to hit market expectations of 900,000 vehicles delivered during the course of this year. Tesla has said it expects to have only more than a 50% increase on its 2020 deliveries of 500,000 cars.

“It’s one thing to talk about futuristic projects,” Ives said. “But the investors are focused on deliveries and rising competition in the EV space. That’s the overhang on the stock right now.”

These delivery estimates are for US sales, not sales in Europe or Asia, which are being sourced out of its plant in Shanghai.

Earlier this year Tesla halted production of the Model S and Model X altogether in the first quarter, as it tried to keep production going on the better selling, less expensive models. It may be doing so again. But these delivery estimates show that Tesla is probably building only the more profitable versions of those less expensive models in the near term.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment about the longer delivery times.

The problems with parts slowing production is by no means unique to Telsa. Toyota (TM), the world’s largest automaker by number of vehicles sold, announced Thursday that it was cutting production as much as 60% in the North America and about 40% at plants in Japan in September.
Volkswagen (VLKAF) is also weighing production cuts, and General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Stellantis have all announced temporary plant shutdowns due to part shortages caused by rising covid cases globally, especially in Southeast Asia, where many suppliers have been forced to cut or halt production.



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