Evening Express

Tesla cuts number of stock colours to streamline production

Tesla is dropping two of the seven standard colours it had offered to customers as it tries to streamline production.

Chief executive Elon Musk said obsidian black and metallic silver will still be available, but at a higher cost.

Drivers can still choose from five standard colours – solid black, midnight silver metallic, pearl white, deep blue metallic and red.

The company, based in Palo Alto, California, has struggled to vault from a niche maker of expensive electric cars into a mass-market producer.

There is a waiting list of more than 400,000 people who want to buy a Tesla, and some have been waiting since March 2016, when the company started taking orders.

The firm missed several deadlines to produce 5,000 of its mass-market Model 3 cars per week but reached that milestone earlier this summer.

Elon Musk (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Musk has promised that as it sells more Model 3s the company will turn a sustained net profit starting this quarter.

A Tesla spokesman said dropping the paint colors is not an indication of any production problems. “We occasionally adjust pricing and available options to best reflect the value of our products and to streamline our manufacturing operations,” the company said in a statement.

Shares in Tesla fell on Tuesday after Nomura analyst Romit Shah downgraded the company from “Buy” to “Neutral” on worries about Mr Musk’s erratic behaviour.

The stock price has dropped nearly 12% since the start of the year.