Tesla Model 3 production at the company’s Fremont facility has been halted while the company gets a handle on their automation process. This is the second time this year the company has stopped production of the Tesla Model 3 putting them further behind. According to Tesla employees, the shutdown of the facility came abruptly and they were given the option to take vacation days or stay home without pay. Tesla says this shutdown should only last four to five days while they “improve automation.”
Elon Musk took to Twitter saying that “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake.” It sounds like the company is in need of the human factor to properly complete its cars.
Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2018
Tesla previously shut down the Model 3 line in late February, according to Bloomberg. At the time, Tesla said the February pause was ultimately meant to increase output, and that such pauses are “common in production ramps like this.” Tesla provided BuzzFeed News with an identical statement regarding this month’s pause.
Not long after the February pause, Bloomberg reported that Tesla factory workers received an email from Senior Vice President of Engineering Doug Field, asking some of them to work extra hours on the Model 3 line in order to increase output and make the Tesla’s detractors (“haters”) “regret ever betting against us.”
Production issues are not uncommon, especially for a niche car company like Tesla. But it does make investors and stakeholders nervous which can domino into a problem for Tesla in a financial sense. It will be interesting to see how Musk handles the Tesla Model 3 automated production problem. Perhaps, in the near future, there will be fewer robots building Teslas and more humans.
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