It’s extremely common. Cars are driven from factory to holding lot, then onto trains, then onto ships that rock and sway their way across the ocean, then off the ships into holding lots, then onto trains, then onto trucks, then onto dealer lots, and all this driving is done by people in a hurry. Dings, scrapes, or worse often happen. But as you guessed, there are points along the way where damage is noticed and repaired.When the sa told me about the dent that morning when I was there to take delivery, they said they didn't want to change my delivery date on such short notice. That said, I think Tesla just banks on the ability to fix these things after delivery. I'm sure other manufacturers have the same problems but maybe have a better process to find issues before a customer sees the car on the lot. This is my first Tesla. They need to earn my trust on repairs first before taking delivery of something I know needs fixing
Until recently, I worked for a foreign automaker. Enough of our cars were damaged in one way or another when they came off the ships that the holding facility at the port had its own parts warehouse and body shop. But even then, some cars were so damaged they were held back from being sent to dealers; the ones that underwent extensive repairs to be considered “good enough” were offered to offices for test fleet or employee use, and the ones that couldn’t be repaired were written off and parted out.