Tesla Builds Its Own Car Carriers to Keep Up With Demand

Douglas A. McIntyre

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) had problems as it tried to reach its goal to manufacture 5,000 new Model 3 cars a week as recently as two months ago. It has hit and passed that target, which is among the reasons it cannot get some Model 3 vehicles to customers. Too many cars and too few car carriers.

Tesla has decided the problem is severe enough it has started to make its own carriers. Founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted:

Apologies, we’re upgrading our logistics system, but running into an extreme shortage of car carrier trailers. Started building our own car carriers this weekend to alleviate load.

It is a radical solution, but the company needs one because some customers are tired of the wait for their Model 3 cars. Dissatisfied customers may elect to cancel their orders and go somewhere else.

Car carriers are almost certainly not cheap to build since they are large trucks with special storage meant to move cars from a factory to dealers or other locations. The need for a fleet of carriers makes the solution all the more complex, and expensive.

The decision is another example of how Tesla paints itself into corners. First, it cannot make enough cars, and Musk needs to sleep on a factory floor to help speed up the assembly line. Then, someone did not make proper logistics plans to move these cars. Tesla and Musk have not disclosed how deep the problem is.

Could Tesla actually have planned in advance? It has lost a number of key executives in the past several months. Maybe one of them was in charge of the carriers.