Tesla temporarily halts Model 3 production

Elon Musk founder CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington

Elon Musk founder CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington

At one time, the company's chief executive, Elon Musk, thought Tesla would be able to make several hundred thousand Model 3s in 2018. Well now Tesla has stopped production of the Model 3 for four to five days as it seeks to "improve automation" on the production line.

In the past month, Tesla has issued a voluntary recall of 123,000 of its older Model S vehicles, dealt with a fatal crash of a vehicle equipped with its semi-autonomous driving system and suffered a downgrade of its credit status on Wall Street.

While Tesla is saying that the reason for the shutdown is to improve the production line for the Model 3, it hasn't actually revealed what it's improving at its Fremont plant.

The pause in production of the auto will last four to five days, and came "without warning", employees reportedly told Buzzfeed.

Tesla will temporarily suspend Model 3 production as part of planned downtime for the assembly line, according to the company. If the latest shutdown is lengthy and doesn't succeed at speeding up the Model 3 assembly line, then Musk's April 1 joke on Twitter about bankruptcy may turn out to be prophetic. "This-this should have been staged", he said. The tech startup uses a highly automated production process which is still to be perfectly streamlined.

The electric vehicle maker's Chief Executive, Elon Musk, recently admitted to CBS that "excessive automation" at the plant has caused "manufacturing hell" and that Tesla "had this insane, complex network of conveyor belts... and it was not working".

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In a tweet over the weekend, Musk acknowledged that "excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake". To be precise, my mistake.' He told CBS in his interview with the channel that the company had been forced to scrap an elaborate setup involving robots and conveyor belts in the Fremont factory, hiring in human staff instead. It warned of possibly more periods of downtime in coming months.

"The problem that people have, a lot of the analysts, is they kinda look in the rearview mirror instead of looking at the front windscreen", Musk said.

Recently, production volumes of the Model 3 have increased significantly.

Tesla has struggled to meet ambitious growth targets for Model 3 production.

In responding to a report by The Economist which stated that Tesla would need to raise $2.5 to $3 billion worth of additional capital this year, Musk promised that Tesla would become profitable in the second half of the year. But the company is still burning through cash. We will have to wait and see if he's right.

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