- Mad dashes to deliver cars by the end of a quarter aren’t new at Tesla, and an internal email seen by Business Insider shows this period is no exception.
- Sanjay Shah, a senior vice president at Tesla, asked employees to help deliver 30,000 cars over the last 15 days of the quarter.
- CEO Elon Musk has acknowledged Tesla’s delivery problem, and the company purchased a vehicle-hauling logistics company earlier this year.
According to an internal email sent on Friday from senior vice president Sanjay Shah to department heads at the company, a copy of which was seen by Business Insider, Tesla again sought employee volunteers from across the company to pitch in and deliver cars before the quarter ends this month.
“We need your help to make more progress in volunteer sign ups,” Shah said in the email. “We have to deliver 30,000 more cars in next 15 days.”
In its fourth-quarter financial filing, Tesla said it expects vehicle production in first quarter to “increase sequentially,” but that deliveries in North America may be lower than the previous quarter as the company begins delivering cars in Europe and China. For reference, the company delivered 90,966 total vehicles in the fourth quarter.
A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment for this story but reiterated that employee participation was optional.
Delivering cars after it produces them has become a recurring pain point for Tesla. In September, CEO Elon Musk said the company was transitioning from “production hell” to “logistics hell.” Employees have recounted an all-hands-on-deck approach to deliveries, with one worker saying he drove a car three hours to deliver it to a waiting customer before taking an Uber back on the company’s dime.
“We all pitched in because we want to see the company succeed,” the employee said anonymously because they were not authorised to speak publicly. “We did it for our own job security and for the company.”
That effort by employees from various departments all across the company continued in the fourth quarter, too, the employee said.
Tesla, for its part, has acknowledged its struggles to deliver cars. In January, the company announced the purchase of an auto-hauling trucking company to aid in that effort.
“This gives us far more control while lowering costs and improving customer satisfaction,” Musk told investors of the acquisition. But based on Shah’s email asking for more employees to help deliver, the added capacity doesn’t appear to be enough to meet delivery goals.
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