Tesla thins out its paint palette to “simplify manufacturing” at factory
On Tuesday morning, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to let the world know that Tesla is slim-lining paint options for its electric vehicle. On Wednesday, Obsidian Black and Metallic Silver will disappear from the online configurators for the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 EVs. Both colors will remain available via special request for another 10 days turnaround time, according to an email sent to potential customers. That leaves just five shades to pick from. The reason? It will "simplify manufacturing."
Moving 2 of 7 Tesla colors off menu on Wednesday to simplify manufacturing. Obsidian Black & Metallic Silver will still be available as special request, but at higher price.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2018
Like the iconic Ford Model T more than a century ago, Tesla standardized on black paint as the default option for all its new cars. Anyone wanting a more adventurous shade—of which there were six—has to find a little more cash. That's $1,500 for Midnight Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, and until tomorrow, the aforementioned Obsidian Black and Metallic Silver. While paint stocks of those two remain, special ordering them will set you back $2,000, the same as Pearl White or Red multi-coats.
Tesla is under heavy pressure to build as many cars as it can as efficiently as possible, and taking two paint options out of the equation certainly seems like a reasonable move. And the company's struggles with its paint shop are well-documented, with at least four fires in that area of the factory since 2014.