Everyone has probably heard some variation on the Henry Ford quote from the early 1900s that customers could "have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black." Having color options, he said, slowed the efficiency of his Model T production line.
Consider this a 21st century version of that take: Buyers of Tesla Inc.'s Model Y in Europe can have any color car they want, as long as it's black or white — unless they're willing to wait until March 2023 at the earliest.
Our German-language sister paper Automobilwoche reports that Tesla's new plant in Gruenheide, Germany, is producing the car only in "solid black" or "pearl white multicoat." If buyers are willing to pick one of those colors, they can expect their car by October. If they want blue, red or silver, they'll have to wait for a car made at Tesla's plant in Shanghai.
Tesla isn't alone in Europe in limiting color choices, Automobilwoche writes. Renault is offering "fast track" delivery for its Arkana crossover to customers who choose black, pearl-white or gray.
At issue is the continuing computer chip shortage. Limiting the variety of options, automakers claim, adds efficiency to the production line, allowing auto plants to boost their output.