Tesla Stalled Model 3 Production Last Month to Get Ducks in a Row

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla stalled model 3 production last month to get ducks in a row

Tesla temporarily stopped production of the Model 3. Considering everyone keeps wondering when the company will finally reach its first-quarter production target of 2,500 units per week, that’s big news. The Tesla faithful will, no doubt, consider the decision another incredibly shrewd move from the geniuses working within the company, while the opposition will claim it’s further proof that the firm isn’t capable of building cars at the scale it has promised.

Sticking with the facts, we knew Tesla had Gigafactory tooling waiting to be shipped from Germany at the start of February. However, the temporary shutdown occurred between February 20th and the 24th — a bit too early for the equipment to have made it stateside. The suspended production also took place at the main factory in Fremont, California, and not the Nevada-based Gigafactory. Model 3 vehicle registrations also dropped significantly in the days following the shutdown.

Officially, Tesla said it used the downtime to improve automation and address production bottlenecks that have plagued the Model 3 since its launch. “Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” a Tesla spokesman explained. “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.”

Bloomberg claimed production rebounded in early March, however, its Model 3 tracking website suggests a very modest improvement since the temporary shutdown. That doesn’t necessarily mean Tesla didn’t put things in order, though. It’s likely too soon to take away anything other than the company saw a decrease in weekly volume last month.

So far as we know, Elon Musk’s earlier assertion that production of the Model 3 would hit 2,500 weekly units by the end of March still stands. However, everyone’s best estimate seems to place Tesla’s most productive week at around 1,000 vehicles. We’re wondering if those production bottlenecks stem from a Gigafactory that’s still missing vital equipment and, if so, how much longer it will be until the parts from Germany arrive.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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  • Tsoden Tsoden on Mar 13, 2018

    As slow as the Model 3 is to get into new owner hands, at least the car is actually being built... a feat that cannot be shared with ELIO....oy...

  • St.George St.George on Mar 13, 2018

    I wish them all the best. Can't be easy building up a car company (using new technology also) from scratch. At the end of the day, they're shaking things up, employing people (never a bad thing!) and have built up a brand that actually euro-snobs find appealing. I don't get all the hate to be honest. I would be happy cruising around in a Model S, would fulfill 99% of my motoring needs.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.