Wait times for new Teslas are as long as 10 months – unless you’re willing to splurge for expensive add-ons

Tesla Model 3.
The Model 3. Tesla
  • Order a Tesla today, and it may take nearly a year to reach your driveway.
  • The base Model 3 currently ships in August, while the Model X SUV ships in September.
  • Tack on expensive options or choose a pricier model and the wait time shrinks considerably.

Want to buy a Tesla? Get ready to pay up if you want it sooner rather than later.

The wait time for the most inexpensive Model 3 sedan – the $US41,990 ($AU55,867) Standard Range Plus version – has ballooned to 10 months as parts shortages and supply-chain woes roil auto manufacturing. But once you start adding on options and choosing more expensive models, the wait shrinks.

Opt for a $US1,000 ($AU1,330)-$US2,000 ($AU2,661) paint job, a set of 19-inch (48cm) wheels for $US1,500 ($AU1,996), or a $US1,000 ($AU1,330) white interior package, and the delivery estimate jumps from August to May. Spring for the $US49,990 ($AU66,511) Long Range model and you can get your Model 3 by December. The $US57,990 ($AU77,155) Model 3 Performance ships in November.

The delays likely stem from a shortage of semiconductor chips and other components. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the lack of chips is constraining production. Despite the headwinds, Tesla has managed to ramp up deliveries each quarter in 2021 and will post its best year of sales by far.

The electric-car maker may be prioritizing deliveries of more expensive models to boost profits, especially as 2021 draws to a close.

Tesla Model S.
Model S. Tesla

It’s a similar story with the Model Y SUV. Order the $US54,990 ($AU73,164) base model today and you won’t get it until July. Add on an option like a seven-seat configuration and you can get it by April. Order the $US61,990 ($AU82,477) Performance model and the wait drops to just two months.

Wait times are stretching longer and longer for Tesla’s top-end Model S sedan and Model X SUV as well. Tesla says buyers who order a base Model S today will get their car in June. For the Model X, it’s September – nearly a year.

Tesla Model Y crossover
Model Y/ Tesla

The months-long wait times underscore the need for Tesla to get its new factories in Berlin, Germany, and Austin, Texas, churning out vehicles sooner rather than later. The two plants are nearing completion and will join facilities in Fremont, California, and Shanghai to just about double Tesla’s output.

If the automaker wants to keep up with demand and go toe-to-toe with the world’s auto-manufacturing titans (Volkswagen, General Motors, and Ford are all aggressively shifting toward electric-vehicle production) it needs to continue scaling up production – and fast.

Investors will be listening closely to Tesla’s earnings call Wednesday for updates on those plants’ progress.