Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Tesla halts Model 3 production as firm scrambles to improve automation

Tesla halts Model 3 production as firm scrambles to improve automation

Tesla's Model 3 production ramp appears to be nearing 3,000 vehicles per week, with recent updates from Bloomberg's online tracker and CBS's interview with CEO Elon Musk seemingly suggesting that the company is on its way to achieving another milestone in the manufacturing of its mass-market compact electric auto. Model 3, the most affordable sedan from Tesla, is seen as crucial to the company's future profitability, but has so far missed several production goals. Last week, "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King toured Tesla's Silicon Valley factory with Musk, asking him: "You started saying, 'We'll do 5,000 a week.' Then, okay, that didn't work out, 'We'll do 2,500 a week.' And now it's a little over 2,000 a week". Musk told viewers of USA network CBS: 'You'll definitely get your auto.

The CBS video offers a glimpse of the heavily automated nature of Tesla's manufacturing processes. But automation is also one of the reasons Tesla has struggled to produce its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3, at the scale it predicted when it unveiled the vehicle last summer.

Sullins wrote on the campaign page that he hopes to get Musk's attention on Twitter.

In a Tesla shareholders' meeting in 2016, Musk spoke of his focus on the importance of building "the machine that builds the machine". What's more, Tesla says its workers too have complained about being harassed for more information.

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On top of the Model 3 foul-up, Tesla has had to answer for a slew of maladies since the first of the year.

"We'll probably have, I don't know, a three or four-fold increase in Model 3 output in the second quarter", he added.

Despite the battery-related delays for the Model 3, there is good news about existing batteries' lifespans. Humans are underrated, he said. Tesla did not respond to questions about the June schedule or mandatory overtime.

Though reported injuries at Tesla have dropped significantly over the past few months, Reveal argues that Tesla is simply opting not to report some of the significant injuries that occur on the factory floor. Tesla says almost a half million pre-orders have been made for the Model 3.

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The company has also had its credit status lowered on Wall Street due to the fallout.

"What they portray as investigative journalism is in fact an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla", the company said Monday.

Tesla now doesn't have a battery degradation warranty on its Model S and X luxury EVs, but it does guarantee the Model 3 will retain 70 percent battery capacity after 120,000 miles for the long-range battery and 100,000 miles for the shorter-range version.

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