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Tesla upsells Model 3 Performance as Musk ponders ‘mental scar tissue’ from production ramp

Fleet of red Dual Motor Tesla Model 3 Performance captured on July 10, 2018 at the Fremont factory [Credit: RS Metrics via Twitter]

Tesla is starting to upsell the Model 3 Performance to reservation holders, with CEO Elon Musk announcing more exciting aspects of the vehicle on Twitter. Musk’s recent announcements describe the vehicle’s suspension and brakes, as well as the company’s ongoing test drive program for the compact electric car.

According to Musk, the Model 3 Performance will feature a lower ride height helped by the performance suspension system and stronger brakes than non-Performance variants, which would enhance the vehicles’ track capabilities. The upgrade would further bolster claims that Model 3 Performance will outperform all vehicles in its class on the race track, including the BMW M3.

Equipping larger brakes on the Model 3 Performance is definitely the right decision from Tesla. The car’s stock brakes, after all, are unable to handle hard track driving, as evidenced in a Laguna Seca run by a mostly stock Model 3 earlier this year. With upgraded brakes, the Model 3, even the single motor, non-Performance Long Range RWD version, becomes a formidable vehicle on the racecourse, recently beating Porsche to win a Time Attack challenge in a Canadian racing event.

Overall, Musk’s recent Twitter statements for the Model 3 Performance comes amidst the company’s latest attempt to upsell the vehicle. Tesla, after all, has been putting some extra attention on the Model 3 Performance, with the electric car maker recently showcasing the car’s drifting capabilities in a skidpad testing video. Elon Musk also noted that the company had produced approximately 100 units of the Model 3 Performance to date, which would be used for test drive units in the company’s showrooms. In a recent Twitter announcement, Musk further encouraged reservation holders to test drive the Model 3 Performance regardless of whether they plan to buy the top trim variant or not.

Tesla’s upselling of the Model 3 Performance comes amidst the company’s push to sustain mass production of its electric car. Since the company achieved its ever-elusive goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 per week during the end of Q2 2018, Tesla has been ramping the deliveries of the vehicle. Recent signs from Tesla also appear to be teasing that the company would be able to sustain a 5,000/week pace this Q3 2018. Among these are frequent mass VIN registrations, a new 5-minute Sign & Drive delivery program, and recent statements related by  Senior Director of Investor Relations Aaron Chew, who reportedly stated in meeting with investors and analysts that the company is targeting a sustained 5,000-6,000/week production pace for the current quarter.

While Tesla appears to have broken through a massive roadblock with the Model 3, Elon Musk’s recent statements to Bloomberg reveal that the manufacturing feat came at a high price. As noted by Musk in a recent interview with the publication, the Model 3 ramp has been incredibly difficult for him and Tesla, to the point where he feels he developed permanent mental scars from the experience.

“It’s been super-hard. Like there is for sure some permanent mental scar tissue here. But I do feel good about the months to come. I think the results will speak for themselves,” Musk said.

Musk, however, noted that the risks Tesla took with the Model 3 ramp, such as betting the entire company on the vehicle’s success, will likely not be replicated in the future. According to Musk, he does not foresee any bet-the-company situations arising, regardless of Tesla’s upcoming projects and vehicles.

“To the best of my judgment, I do not think we have any future bet-the-company situations. We will still need to work hard and be vigilant and not be complacent because it is very difficult just to survive as a car company. But it will not be the same level of strain as getting to volume production of Model 3,” he said.

Tesla upsells Model 3 Performance as Musk ponders ‘mental scar tissue’ from production ramp
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