After a days-long jousting match between Tesla and county officials, the electric automaker has apparently come to terms with the fact it is not an essential service. Tesla will idle its assembly plant in Fremont, California on March 23rd, with its Buffalo, New York solar facility also going dark.
Controversy sprung up after Tesla continued operations in Fremont after the county, one of several in the Bay area to do so, issued a shelter-in-place order to aid in the battle against coronavirus.
Tesla has earned no shortage of criticism for being the only American manufacturer yet to suspend production as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than enact a full-blown shutdown, the California-based automaker opted to reduce its active workforce to just 2,500 employees — about a quarter of its total strength.
Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area have issued a “shelter-in-place order” aimed at curtailing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Tesla’s Fremont facility is located in Alameda County — one of the municipalities telling residents to stay in their homes and close all nonessential businesses. Noticing that the factory had failed to comply with the notice, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office tweeted out that Tesla was “not an essential business as defined in the Alameda County Health Order.”
But we’re not even sure what the company is legally obligated to do.
Tesla Motors is currently offering up a bevy of incentives, even a few it once discontinued, in order to maximize deliveries before the end of the quarter. The brand has also reached out to enthusiastic owners who may want to help during its time of need, creating a weird sort of volunteer army for itself.
The company is desperate to prove to investors that Model 3 volume is making meaningful headway before its next shareholders meeting. As you’ll recall, the Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation after the Securities and Exchange Commission began a civil probe into Elon Musk’s August tweet about possibly taking Tesla private. The automaker also fired more than 3,000 employes over the summer and lost several important executives. It’s been a rough year for the brand, which makes having a good quarter all the more important.
While a significant portion of that battle is being waged at the factory, helped by simplified paint options and new car carriers, Tesla thinks it can move enough extra metal at its delivery centers to make up some of the difference.
We’ve got a treat for Tesla advocates today. Despite what seems like an attempt to surpass Volkswagen as the automaker to receive the most negative publicity in a single year, there remains a light in the darkness. Tesla may have finally sorted out its production issues with the Model 3.
Logistical problems had forced the company way behind schedule for most of 2018, making its goal of 5,000 units per week an unclimbable peak. But it finally managed to mount that hill and plant its flag in the final week of June. At the time, we had no idea if this was to be an isolated incident stemming from some divine automotive mercy or proof that Tesla had righted the ship.
While it not it did not experience a trouble-free July, the firm’s Fremont factory appears to be humming along at over 5,000 units per week now. What’s better is that analysts are now saying things are only looking up, estimating even higher output numbers in the months to come.
It finally happened. Tesla Motors reached its goal of 5,000 units per week for the Model 3. After numerous production setbacks and timeline adjustments, the automaker reset its target for the end of the second quarter and appears to have pulled it off just five hours after the deadline passed.
With Tesla having extended its assembly line beyond the confines of the Fremont facility’s interior, it’s unclear if the company can maintain this level of production over the coming months. But, with steady progress having been made and the second-quarter goal hit, we at least know it’s theoretically possible — and that should please investors and consumers alike.
Fires, a Paint Plunge, and Rework Aplenty: Report on the Goings-on at Tesla's Assembly Plant Won't Have Elon Musk Smiling
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a man with a knack for envisioning new and elaborate ways of accomplishing simple tasks, but his factory in Fremont, California — home to three revolutionary electric car models — could use a dose of the Old World. By that, we mean lessons learned by legacy automakers over many decades of mass production.
That’s the takeaway from a scathing exposé published in The Daily Beast, penned by former TTAC managing editor Edward Niedermeyer. Coming on the heels of a CNBC report on fires at the automaker’s paint shop, The Daily Beast‘s piece brings together testimony from current and former employees to paint a picture of what can happen when Silicon Valley startup culture meets the realities of mass auto production.
Bring your safety goggles.
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