A shouting Elon Musk, changing rules: Inside Tesla's Model 3 sprint
July 3, 2018 @ 6:54 am
SAN FRANCISCO -- A tense and short-tempered CEO Elon Musk barked at engineers on the Fremont, Calif.,
assembly line. Tesla Inc. pulled workers from other departments to keep pumping out the Model 3 electric sedans,
disrupting production of the Model S and X lines. And weekend shifts were mandatory.
Tesla pulled out all the stops in the final week of June to meet its goal of making 5,000 Model 3s in a week, according
to employees who spoke to Reuters.
Whether Tesla can do it week in and week out -- and without relying on overtime and extra hands -- is another question,
and one that weighed on investors Monday, as shares slumped 2.3 percent.
Leading up to Sunday morning's production milestone, Musk paced the Model 3 line, snapping at his engineers when
the around-the-clock production slowed or stopped due to problems with robots, one worker said. Tesla built a new line
in just two weeks in a huge tent outside the main factory, an unprecedented move in an industry that takes years to plan
out its assembly lines, and said the tented production area accounted for 20 percent of the Model 3s produced last week.
"They were borrowing people from our line all day to cover their [Model 3] breaks so the line would continue to move,"
said a Model S worker on Sunday.
Because of the focus on the Model 3, the S line is about 800 cars behind, the worker said.
"They've been throwing Model 3s ahead of the S to get painted to try to assure that they make their goal of 5,000,"
the worker said. "The paint department can't handle the volume."
Edited by jpd80, 03 July 2018 - 07:31 AM.