Tesla pauses Model 3 production for several days

Pause at factory to ‘improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks’ comes following a tweet by CEO Elon Musk that ‘excessive automation’ at Tesla was a mistake

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 April, 2018, 12:56pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 April, 2018, 12:56pm

By Jillian D’Onfro

Tesla is temporarily shutting down production for the Model 3 at its factory in Fremont, California.

Buzzfeed reports that the pause will last four to five days, according to Tesla employees.

This shutdown follows a prior one in late February, and a company spokesperson referred CNBC to the same statement it offered then.

“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” they wrote. “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.”

The Model 3 is critical to Tesla’s future as a mass-market auto maker. More than 400,000 people have pre-ordered one, paying US$1,000 refundable fees to do so.

The news comes several days after CEO Elon Musk tweeted that “ excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. “

Tesla missed its target for Model 3 production last quarter amid reports of production struggles that Musk called “production hell.” In the last six months, the company has struggled getting its battery production up to speed , and with a relatively high proportion of parts that needed fixes , as it has worked to speed production of the vehicle that’s critical to its figure as a mass-market auto maker.

In the past week, the company has faced reports that it has under-counted factory worker injuries and is struggling to manage a significant amount of damaged auto parts .

Read the original article at CNBC