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Tesla Model 3 Production Was On Hold To Revamp Automation

Tesla placed Model 3 production on hold last month as they revamped their factory’s automation and robotic systems.

Tesla has been having all sorts of problems with the Model 3. From poor build quality to delay after delay, their bread-and-butter 4-door sedan just doesn’t seem to want to roll off the factory floor.

To try and get things running anywhere near the efficiency needed to produce Elon Musk’s target of 5000 cars per month, Tesla stopped production of the Model 3 entirely in late February to reportedly upgrade its manufacturing technology.

The stoppage was from Feb. 20, 2018, to Feb. 24, 2018, at their Fremont California factory, where the Model S luxury sedan, Model X sport utility vehicle, and Model 3 are all created. Batteries for all three cars are made separately at the Tesla Gigafactory east of Reno, Nevada.

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“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” a Tesla spokesman said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “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.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk initially had a target of 5000 Model 3s produced per month heading into 2018, but problems with manufacturing have continually required he adjust that target. Currently, Musk plans to produce 2500 cars by the end of March, and be up to 5000 cars by June.

Last month, patient Model 3 customers received a rude awakening when Tesla emailed them yet another delay to their expected delivery dates. Those awaiting delivery by the summer saw their date pushed back to later in the year, while new Model 3 orders are now starting delivery in early 2019 according to Tesla’s website.

Meanwhile, rival electric car manufacturers are using Tesla’s downtime to catch up. Many car manufacturers are releasing new all-electric models, such as Hyundai’s Kona EV, which will become available just as Model 3s are entering the market.

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