Tesla Model 3 Production Temporarily Halted Yet Again

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Tesla has stopped production of the Model 3 again.

That’s the second time this year.

Production problems might not normally make such news – after all, Tesla is a small automaker that’s both attempting to grow and bring a new model, its first truly mass-market model, to production.

But the Model 3 has been much hyped and hotly anticipated. Not only that, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made grand promises in the past.

Just last week, he told CBS News that the current production rate of 2,000 vehicles per week was sustainable and that he expected production to increase by threefold or fourfold in the second quarter.

Instead, the factory in Fremont, California is pausing as Tesla works to “ improve automation.

Tesla even released the same statement to news outlets that it did the first time.

Adding fuel to the public-relations fire is that Tesla has made headlines unrelated to production problems in recent weeks. Controversy over its involvement in the investigation of a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles (which had Autopilot engaged at the time of the crash) is another way Tesla is generating headlines. So, too, is the company under fire for how it handles workplace safety, unionization efforts, and the media.

Tesla is operating under an intense spotlight, one that the company itself helped generate. So it’s understandable that Tesla might face extra scrutiny as it works to bring the Model 3 to market. Add in the anticipation over the 3, and any delay is going to get attention.

Based on Musk’s interview with CBS news and one of his tweets, it appears that he feels that over-reliance on robots has slowed production. Whether it’s an issue with how the robots are programmed or the division of labor between humans and robots that’s causing the problem is unclear.

[Image: Tesla]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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6 of 26 comments
  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Apr 17, 2018

    I think Musk is coming unglued, he just said this in an email to his peeps. "Most of the design tolerances of the Model 3 are already better than any other car in the world. Soon, they will all be better. This is not enough. We will keep going until the Model 3 build precision is a factor of ten better than any other car in the world. I am not kidding."

    • See 3 previous
    • Luke42 Luke42 on Apr 18, 2018

      @jkross22 In SV, you change jobs when you start rolling your eyes at your boss. Average job tenure is around 2 years there. People don't stay out of work long -- they just play a constant game of musical chairs.

  • Turbo_awd Turbo_awd on Apr 17, 2018

    Another canceled order here.. All the QC issues, plus the fact that Model 3 was obviously designed for sleepers/texters/passengers, not drivers. Forget it.

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  • ToolGuy TG grows skeptical about his government protecting him from bad decisions.
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  • Michael S6 Very confusing if the move is permanent or temporary.
  • Jrhurren Worked in Detroit 18 years, live 20 minutes away. Ren Cen is a gem, but a very terrible design inside. I’m surprised GM stuck it out as long as they did there.