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Tesla customers in China rejoice over shortened wait times for deliveries — here's why the US is lagging behind

A large part of reducing delivery timelines is accurately forecasting both supply and demand.

A large part of reducing delivery timelines is accurately forecasting both supply and demand.

Photo Credit: iStock

Tesla is notorious for long wait times when it comes to order fulfillment. As of December 2023, however, Tesla customers in China are enjoying a reduction in wait times for some models of up to nearly 80%.

An article from China's CnEVPost, reported that delivery dates in China had been significantly reduced for two models, the Model 3 and the Model Y. While the Model 3 Long Range previously had an expected delivery date of six to nine weeks, it's now down to two to six weeks. The Model Y is also down to a two- to six-week wait from the previous six to eight weeks. The delivery dates for other models remained the same.

The Shanghai factory producing these cars can manufacture over 950,000 vehicles annually, making it Tesla's largest factory in the world, as CnEVPost reported. But production capacity isn't the only factor that goes into wait time — which is why customers in the United States still have to regularly wait up to several months for their new ride.

A large part of reducing delivery timelines is accurately forecasting both supply and demand, which is a notoriously complex task. The auto market is famously volatile, and it hasn't exactly been an easy year to be an automaker. 

Between the global semiconductor chip shortage, sky-high inflation rates, and Tesla's tax credit fluctuating for different models, the company has faced an increasingly complex task when it comes to anticipating demand — which in turn affects forecasting for production.

Other parts of the company are affected, too. "We're going to build it," CEO Elon Musk said recently, in a response to a Wells Fargo analyst asking about an upcoming factory project in Mexico, as quoted by the platform FreightWaves. "[But] I'm worried about the high interest rate environment that we're in … and I'm going to be a broken record on the financial front, it's just that the interest rates have to come down." 

The company has also suffered delays in the long-awaited release of its hyper-futuristic-looking Cybertruck.

That said, things are still trending in the right direction. Tesla reported in its 2023 Q3 quarterly update that its days of supply for new inventory — a way to track how much inventory is on hand at any given time — has doubled since Q3 2022. 

And, with more and more brands releasing their own electric vehicle models, choosing to drive an EV — and getting one within a reasonable timeline — has never been easier.

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