Tesla misses weekly Model 3 production target, flags tariff costs

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) missed its weekly Model 3 production target on Tuesday and said it was facing a 40 percent import tariff in China due to the ongoing U.S-China trade war.

FILE PHOTO: A row of new Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles is seen at a parking lot in Richmond, California, U.S., June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

The electric car maker said it was speeding up construction of its Shanghai factory as it seeks to combat hefty tariffs.

A 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is shown in this photo illustration taken in Cardiff, California, U.S., June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Tesla produced over 5,300 Model 3 cars in the last week of September, falling short of its target of 6,000.

Overall in the third quarter the company produced 53,239 of the cars in the third quarter, in line with its target of 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s, and delivered 55,840 of the vehicles to customers.

The company’s shares were up nearly 2 percent $316.79 in trading before the bell.

The Model 3 sedan is key to the money-losing company’s growth and profit plans and underpins its goal of eventually becoming a mass-production automaker.

“With production stabilized, delivery and outbound vehicle logistics were our main challenges during Q3,” the company said in a statement.

Tesla first met a long-held target of 5,000 vehicles per week at the end of June after a series of production bottlenecks and delays. Since then the company has been striving to sustain and increase that level.

Including its flagship Model S and X vehicles, Tesla produced a total of 80,142 vehicles in the quarter and delivered 83,500.

Tesla has said it will deliver about 100,000 Model S and X vehicles in 2018.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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