Despite a few snags, Tesla Inc. made its first deliveries of Model 3 sedans to Europe on Wednesday, with some going to buyers who had held reservations for almost three years.
The blog Electrek reported that a handful of cars were delivered Wednesday after a cargo ship from California docked at a port in Belgium. Some buyers were reportedly told to come pick up their cars, only to be told later that they’d have to wait until another day.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk acknowledged the “unexpected challenges” in a tweet Wednesday. “Cars will start moving out in volume tomorrow,” he said.
Sorry, many unexpected challenges with cars coming through Zeebrugge first time. Cars will start moving out in volume tomorrow.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2019
had nearly 14,000 Model 3 orders in Europe as of January, Electrek previously reported, with the majority bound for Norway and Germany. The blog said Tesla is expected to deliver about 3,000 Model 3 sedans a week in the coming months.
In a letter to employees last month, Musk noted that deliveries of higher-end Model 3 variants to Europe and Asia will be crucial to achieving profitability. In that letter, Musk said mid-level Model 3 cars should be delivered to all markets by mid-May.
Tesla is also planning on building a gigfactory for lithium-ion batteries in Europe, possibly in Germany.
The start of European deliveries coincided with a price cut in the U.S., as Tesla lopped another $1,100 off the price of the Model 3 in order to make up for federal tax credits that have expired.
Tesla shares have fallen about 5% over the past year, compared to a 1.3% gain for the S&P 500
in that time.
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