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Tesla cuts number of stock colors to streamline production

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla is dropping two of the seven colors it had offered to customers as it tries to streamline production.

In a tweet early today, CEO Elon Musk said obsidian black and metallic silver will still be available, but at a higher cost.

Tesla fans can still choose solid black and "midnight silver metallic," as well as 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 automaker. It missed several deadlines to produce 5,000 of its mass-market Model 3 cars per week but reached that milestone earlier this summer. 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.

Customers should check for current pricing and packaging options on Tesla's website, the statement said.

There is a waiting list of more than 400,000 people who want to buy a Model 3, and some have been waiting since March 2016, when the company first started taking orders.

Shares of Tesla fell about 4 percent to $275.20 today after Nomura analyst Romit Shah downgraded the company from "Buy" to "Neutral" on worries about Musk's erratic behavior. The stock price has dropped nearly 12 percent since the first of the year.