Tesla Model 3 production shuts down for 4-5 days

17 April 2018 - Autoblog

Tesla Model 3 production shuts down for 4-5 days

Pause to improve automation days after Elon Musk's robot admission

Tesla has temporarily suspended its Model 3 assembly line in what the company said on Monday was a planned production pause, as the automaker continues to face challenges ramping up its new sedan.

It was the second time since February that Tesla has temporarily shut down its production line for the Model 3 at its Fremont, California, plant.

"These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates," a Tesla spokesperson said.

BuzzFeed, which first reported the news, said workers were expected to use vacation days or stay home without pay during the four- to five-day production pause.

After delaying production of its Model 3 sedan, Tesla is now trying to catch up to a target of building 2,500 vehicles per week by the end of the second quarter. Problems within its heavily roboticized assembly line have complicated those efforts.

On Friday, Musk acknowledged for the first time that he had overrelied on automation in the Model 3 assembly line, a stunning concession from Tesla's leader, who has previously scoffed at competitors' manufacturing prowess and bragged about creating an "Alien Dreadnought" within the Fremont factory by 2018. His new message: "Humans are underrated."

Shares of Tesla were down 3 percent on Monday, pressured by Musk's acknowledgement, a report alleging that Tesla undercounted worker injuries — which the company denies — and an amended lawsuit originally filed last year that alleges Musk misled investors about Model 3 production.

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