Tesla boss Elon Musk has called the delivery wait for the Model 3 a "time shift", pledging that customers will get their cars.
In an interview with CBS, when asked if customers should be worried about delays, Musk said: "No, it's best to look at this not in an exact, numerical way, but on a calendar basis."
"There shouldn't be a question mark as to whether somebody's gonna get their car, it's just – yes, you'll definitely get your car," Musk said. "It's gonna be six to nine months longer than expected. It's a six to nine month time shift, that's literally it. And three of those months have already passed."
The car giant has been facing what Musk has previously called "production hell", with the firm tasked with scaling up manufacturing capacity to try and meet the wave of demand for the more affordable electric sedan. But it had been struggling to meet the initial production goals set, causing a knock-on to deliveries.
It did though, get a boost earlier this month with "the most productive quarter in Tesla history". It built 34,494 vehicles for the first quarter, and 9,766 of those were Model 3s.
For the last week, it produced 2,020 of the vehicles, though below the 2,500 target. Tesla said it was still targeting a production rate of around 5,000 a week in about three months.
The electric car company had said it had around 500,000 advance reservations from customers for the Model 3, and in the interview with CBS, Musk said some people had cancelled their reservations on the wait.
"It's mostly, like, people cancel because, you know, they just needed a car and we didn't have a car for them," he said.
The Tesla chief executive said he was taking a hands-on approach "sleeping on the factory floor" at present to oversee the firm's progress – "because I don't have time to go home and shower".
Earlier this month he tweeted that his job as chief executive was "to focus on what's most critical", which at present was Model 3 production.
About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineering & production. He agreed that Tesla needed eng & prod better aligned, so we dont design cars that are crazy hard to build. Right now, tho, better to divide & conquer, so Im back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2018