Car video reviews:

Tesla Model 3 Fit and Finish Quality Is "Relatively Poor"

The Tesla Model 3 is the company's make or break moment, something that even Elon Musk has to agree with since it's a pivotal point in the Masterplan whose second part he presented almost a year ago.
Tesla Model 3 interior 1 photo
It is Tesla's first foray into the mass market segment, which is the only one that can provide the needed magnitude for a company to grow on a global scale. Small boutique manufacturers can survive just fine, but they are restricted to one small factory in their homeland and will never break sales of a few thousands of units a year.

Tesla is already beyond that, but Musk is dreaming bigger. He's planning on opening a new Gigafactory in China, the world's current biggest EV market, while the one in Nevada is still operating at a fraction of its capacity. Tesla wants to become a big-league player in the automotive industry, and the Model 3 is its ticket.

However, things haven't been going as planned so far with the electric sedan's production taking a slower start than anyone involved with Tesla would have liked - not to mention the 400,000 reservation holders most of whom have placed their orders over 18 months ago.

But Musk seems to think the worst is in the past and the only way to go for the Model 3 production is up. He says they've been to Level 9 of production hell and have now ascended to Level 8, with the next one just in sight. He claims the plant will reach an output of 5,000 units per week by the end of March next year and the promised 10,000 units per week by the end of 2018.

And yet meeting demand is not the company's only worry. Consumer Reports has recently emitted an "average" reliability prediction for the Model 3, something Tesla did not agree with. Now, though, a much more worrying report comes from Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi via CNBC.

After a hands-on experience with the EV, Sacconaghi came out saying "fit and finish on the two demo cars we saw – perhaps not surprisingly – was relatively poor." He goes on to notice that most buyers won't probably care, but he does make a valid note about the company's already strained service system not being able to deal with the increased volume.

The analyst says Tesla officials acknowledged some of the fit problems, but defended by saying the Model 3 is in a much better position than the Model S and X were during this stage of their development. Well, we guess replicating the Model X disaster would be hard even for Tesla.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories