Tesla Motors falls behind 2012 delivery schedule

2012 Tesla Model STesla Motors launched its all-electric Model S on June 22, delivering the first 10 cars to customers at its California headquarters. The company said it was on track to deliver 5,000 of the electric cars by the end of the year, but that seems increasingly unlikely. Tesla has not delivered any cars since June, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Tesla says it has 12,200 people on its waiting list, meaning this year’s production run and a good portion of next year’s (Tesla says it will build 20,000 cars in 2013) have already been spoken for. So where are the customers’ cars?

“The production steps up in a geometric and exponential way,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told analysts in a conference call, “the production ramp is this sharp S curve. In 2013 we’ll produce at least 20,000 units. That’s all that matters.”

Musk said the delays are due to his attention to detail. He personally inspects as many cars as he can, and he claims the delays are the fault of suppliers who don’t meet Tesla’s quality standards. Musk has sent interior trim and chromed door handles back because they did not satisfy him.

“There are these little things that are extremely annoying,” Musk told the analysts, “they are mostly interior, soft trim issues.”

Musk said Tesla has made a total of 40 production cars this year. In a letter to shareholders, the company said it will deliver 500 more cars in the third quarter, and the balance of the 5,000 scheduled cars in the fourth quarter. Tesla currently makes 10 cars per week, and will need to make 375 cars per week by October to meet its goal.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s losses continue to pile up. Despite the beginning of Model S production and a possible joint project with Mercedes-Benz, the company posted a $106 million loss in the second quarter of 2012, compared to $89.9 million in the previous quarter.

The Model S is supposed to break new ground for electric cars by focusing on luxury, style, and performance, as well as efficiency. A base model with a Tesla-quoted 160-mile range costs $57,400, while a top-spec model with an EPA-rated 265-mile range costs $105,400. The Model S qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Tesla plans to sell the majority of its cars through retail stores in malls, instead of traditional dealerships. The first of these Apple Store-like outlets opened in White Plains, New York in June.

Everything about Tesla’s products and marketing is very clever, but it seems the company has gotten hung up on one of the fundamentals of the car business: actually making cars.

Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Computing

Leaked benchmarks suggest rumored AMD GPU could be king of midrange graphics

AMD's next GPU may not be Navi-based after all. Rumors continue to build about an RX 590 which has now shown up on 3DMark's benchmark database, delivering results that easily outstrip stock clocked GTX 1060s.
Cars

Watch this 1,000-horsepower Jeep Trackhawk scorch supercars in the quarter mile

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is pretty quick out of the box, but Texas tuner Hennessey Performance Engineering never settles for stock. Its HPE1200 Trackhawk boasts over 1,000 horsepower.
Cars

Room to roam: The supersized X7 is unlike any BMW you’ve ever seen

The first-ever BMW X7 is the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image. Its supersized body has enough room for seven adult passengers and enough tech to impress even the most cutting-edge buyers.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Heads up, George Jetson: Terrafugia starts taking orders for its flying car

The Terrafugia Transition flying car will go on sale next year, roughly a decade after the first prototype rolled out of its hangar. Terrafugia promises improvements, including a hybrid powertrain, to make up for the long wait.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Cars

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.