Tesla narrows paint options to simplify production

Data sources GoodCarBadCar InsideEVs

The two colors, Obsidian Black Metallic and Silver Metallic, will disappear from Tesla's site on Wednesday, confirms Musk.

Back in June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk provided a rough estimate as to when the initial production of the $35,000 Standard trim Model 3 would begin.

The color options that will still be available are solid black, midnight silver metallic, deep blue metallic, pearl-white multi-coat, and red multi-coat.

The company, based in Palo Alto, California, has struggled to vault from a niche maker of expensive electric vehicles into a mass-market automaker. Musk has promised that as it sells more Model 3s the company will turn a sustained net profit starting this quarter.

Although the situation has been improving, production bottlenecks have continued to bedevil Tesla's new Model 3 sedan, with paint shop capacity and quality issues chief among them.

Even better, if Tesla manages to maintain production at its current rate, the company will reach an annual volume of three million by 2021.

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Much of that anticipated growth, Musk said, would come from production of the Model 3, Tesla's first affordable auto designed for mass production.

On Tuesday, longtime bullish brokerage Nomura Instinet downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy" and slashed its price target by US$100 to US$300, citing Musk's "erratic behavior". Shares rose 8.5% on Monday following that note's release. "During the second quarter, the switch seemingly flipped", analyst Romit Shah wrote. The Tesla CEO has engaged in a public war of words with short-sellers, accused a British diver involved in the cave rescue of a Thai youth soccer team of being a "pedo" and appeared to smoke marijuana during an appearance on comedian Joe Rogan's podcast.

Tesla's shares plunged 6.3 percent to a five-month low after the electric vehicle manufacturer revealed that its chief accounting officer has resigned within less than a month after he started out on the job.

"While negative headlines around management turnover and executive leadership could be an overhang, we are labelling TSLA a "Fresh Pick" as we believe strong fundamentals should drive shares higher", Ben Kallo and David Katter, analysts at Baird, said in a note on Monday.

Tesla shares have lost over 25 percent of their value since early August in the immediate wake of Musk's "funding secured" tweet.

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