An employee closes the front hood of a Tesla Inc. Model 3 electric vehicle at the company’s showroom in Newport Beach, California, U.S.. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Musk Narrows Car Paint Options to Simplify Tesla Production

(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk’s efforts to streamline production at Tesla Inc. have gotten down to the paintwork.

The electric-car maker will ditch two of seven colors offered to buyers on Wednesday to simplify manufacturing, Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, said in a tweet. Obsidian Black and Metallic Silver will only be available as a special request and will cost more, he said.

The announcement follows a chaotic week for Tesla in which Musk lost his chief accounting officer after less than a month on the job, then smoked marijuana during a late-night podcast hosted by a California comedian. Musk’s recent “erratic behavior,” including the online appearance and comments to the press and analysts, prompted analysts at Nomura Instinet on Tuesday to lower their recommendation to neutral from buy until they see what happens with management.

In a blog post dated Sept. 7, Musk said Tesla is about to build and deliver more than twice as many cars as it did last quarter, without being specific about whether the company would accomplish this feat in the third or fourth quarter. During the three months that ended in June, Tesla produced 53,339 vehicles and delivered 40,740.

The only forecast Tesla had given previously for the third quarter was that it would produce 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.