It’s getting a bit hard to decipher what’s going on over at Tesla these days. Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that “production hell” is in full effect as it attempts to ramp Model 3production numbers. Musk blamed the slow buildup of production on “excess automation”. He went on to add that the miscalculation on a proliferation of robots on the assembly line was his mistake and that “humans are underrated”.
Now we’re learning that Model 3 production is once again going to come to complete stop (the last production halt occurred in late February). According to BuzzFeed News, the production freeze will last between four to five days, and workers are expected to either take vacation time or simply not be paid.
Interestingly, a representative for Model 3 confirmed the production shutdown, but would only add that this move was done in an effort to “improve automation”. Given that Musk has already said that excessive automation has been the thorn in the Model 3’s side, we can only assume that Tesla is further optimizing its robotics routines that remain in place to mesh with the increasing number of human workers that are taking over assembly tasks.
As we previously reported, Model 3 production (before the current production freeze) was hovering at just over 2,000 units per week, which is below Tesla’s revised estimates of 2,500 per month by the end of March. Musk recently said that he hopes that Model 3 production will rise to 5,000 units per week in July, which is still below the 30,000 units per month that Tesla proclaimed it would hit by December 2017.
The Model 3 is Tesla’s attempt to bring its EV prowess to the masses after dazzling drivers with the pricey Model S and Model X. The Model 3 is available in two basic configurations:
- 220-mile driving range
- 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds
- Top speed of 130 mph
- 310-mile driving range
- 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds
- Top speed of 140 mph
Standalone options include larger 19-inch wheels, upgraded interior materials, paint color (only black comes standard) and driver assistance technologies like Autopilot. A dual-motor, all-wheel drive option will be added no earlier than July according to Musk.