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Tesla Delivers Good News for EV Buyers

Electric vehicle maker tries to meet strong demand despite supply chain issues.
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Tesla  (TSLA)  is the nerve center of the electric vehicle market. 

Even its rivals are admitting it, branding visionary CEO Elon Musk's group their "enemy number one". 

Legacy carmakers and future disruptors all compare to Tesla. While this comparison is meant to try to draw attention to their efforts and their brand, it also reflects the fact that other EV manufacturers recognize that if Tesla is doing well the EV business is doing well. If Tesla coughs, the entire industry will cough. 

This was confirmed in recent months when the Austin, Texas-based vehicle manufacturer extended its vehicle delivery times, citing supply chain disruptions exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic and chip shortage.

If Tesla, which produced nearly a million electric vehicles in 2021, needed more time to manufacture its cars, it should be the case for all, so was the common belief in the industry. 

Tesla Shortened Delivery Times

From Ford  (F)  to Volkswagen  (VLKAF)  via General Motors  (GM) , Rivian  (RIVN) , Lucid  (LCID) , delivery times have lengthened at almost all car manufacturers offering electric vehicles. The challenge for all these groups has become  satisfying a strong demand fueled by favorable environmental policies and the soaring price of a gallon of gasoline at the pump.

Tesla has just made new decisions that could reassure fans and potential EV buyers who are wondering when they will be able to get their vehicle. Indeed, Musk's group has just reduced waiting times in China, the world's largest automotive market.

The delivery times of its two best-sellers in China - Model Y SUV/crossover and the entry-level Model 3 sedan - have indeed been shortened. 

Wait times for the entry model of the Model Y SUV have been reduced to one to four weeks from four to 8 weeks in mid-August, according to Tesla's Chinese website. The wait has thus been reduced by an average of four weeks.

Similarly, the wait is now 1 to 10 weeks instead of 16 to 20 weeks for the Model Y dual-motor all-wheel drive. And Model Y Performance Edition customers will wait 1 to 10 weeks once they place their orders compared with 12 to 16 weeks previously.

Broadly speaking, Tesla has cut delivery time at least in half, meaning the Shanghai factory is running full steam again after being disrupted by lockdowns in China meant to limit the spread of covid-19.

Customers who ordered the base Model 3 will receive it in  1 to 8 weeks compared to 12 to 16 expected in mid-August. The wait time for the Model 3 High Performance is now 1 to 8 weeks as well, compared to 12 to 16 weeks previously.

Tesla About to Produce More Cars

These changes could augur improvements in the United States where waiting times are still long. But Tesla has started to reduce them slightly.

For the Model Y Long Range, a customer ordering today will, best-case scenario, wait three months for delivery. Indeed, Tesla now indicates on its website that new orders for this model will be satisfied between December 2022 and April 2023 compared to January and April 2023 in mid-August.

U.S. Customers will have better luck with the more expensive Model Y Performance model because there's almost no wait time. Delivery time is indeed between September and October 2022, which is unchanged.

Model 3 delivery times in the US are currently at least 6 weeks.

Another piece of news that will no doubt please consumers but displease rivals is that Tesla has just completed an expansion project at its Shanghai plant, Reuters reports.

This means that the EV maker will start producing 22,000 Model 3/Model Y per week at this site. Production tests are scheduled from September 19 until November 30. If all goes as planned, then Tesla will be able to meet demand much sooner than expected.

The group currently produces between 15,000 and 16,000 units per week in Shanghai. The factory has production capacity of 750,000 Model Y/Model 3 per year, but Tesla would like to produce 1 million vehicles per year there.