There are many challenges ahead for automaker and entrepreneur Elon Musk in 2018, and USA Today has an article on its website about what Musk plans to do with his company Tesla in the new year. 2017 was a difficult year for Tesla, which produces electric vehicles for the mass market.
Currently, Tesla is producing its Model 3 vehicle, but not at the rate of 5,000 cars per week Musk had promised. Critics say that Musk put the vehicle on the marketplace before it was ready, and this is why there are production problems going in to 2018. Supporters of Musk argue that this was something that needed to be done in order for Tesla to maintain its leadership in the electric vehicle field, and they argue that financiers are still behind the automaker because they realize that electric vehicles are the future.
The Model 3 is different from its the first two Tesla models because it isn’t a luxury car intended for a limited marked. It turned out that production was much more difficult than expected for the Model 3, and there were even rumors that some parts had to be made the old-fashioned way, by hand, at Tesla’s Fremont, California manufacturing facility.
Part of the problem, according to Musk, is that one supplier failed to come through with what was needed to produce the lithium batteries for the car. Musk basically said that he picked the wrong company to work with and that the problem had been corrected. Model 3 Tesla vehicles also have more automation than their predecessors, and Musk admitted that this caused more difficulties during manufacturing than expected.
Despite his woes with the Model 3, Musk is looking ahead to the future. He tweeted recently that he plans to put an electric pickup truck on the market as soon as possible. In the past, he’s also mentioned plans for a Tesla SUV.
Tesla has been covered extensively in the media because of its non-traditional vehicles and because it sells its products directly to customers rather than through dealerships. Many analysts see Tesla as a possible prototype of what successful automakers will look like in the next fifty years or so.