Tesla Temporarily Stops Model 3 Production

Just days after Elon Musk gave a softball interview to "CBS This Morning" explaining Tesla's efforts to boost Model 3 production to Musk's target of 2,000 a week (down from the 5,000 a week he had initially promised), Buzzfeed News is reporting that the company is temporarily shutting down production of its Model 3 sedan to "improve automation."

Of course, this comes after Musk famously claimed Tesla was relying too heavily on robots to run its assembly line (a sentiment he echoed in his CBS interview) - and that this was at the root of the company's "production hell".

 

 

Workers at the factory told Buzzfeed that the announcement of the temporary closure - expected to be only four or five days - came without warning, and that most workers are expected to use vacation time or stay at home pay during the break.

Just a few days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he’s feeling optimistic about his ability to speed up production on the company’s vehicles, the assembly line for the Model 3 in the company’s Fremont, California plant has been temporarily shut down — again.

The announcement of the four- to five-day production pause for Model 3 came without warning, according to Tesla employees who spoke with BuzzFeed News. During the pause, workers are expected to use vacation day or stay home without pay; a small number of workers may be offered paid work elsewhere in the factory.

A Tesla spokesperson said that the assembly line is on pause in order to “improve automation.”

The news hit Tesla shares like a brick...

Tesla

Tesla

The company previously shut down production in late February. Also, last fall, the Wall Street Journal famously reported that Tesla had been assembling Model 3's by hand.

As Buzzfeed reminds us, Tesla's inability to meet production goals has been the primary factor behind the deluge of criticism it has faced in recent months, ever since the company botched the Model 3 rollout.

Over the last six months, Tesla’s inability to meet its production goals has become a mounting problem for the company. The most recent miss came at the end of the first quarter of 2018; Musk had said the company would be manufacturing 2,500 cars a week by that date, but it was making only 2,000 per week by April 1. Now, just two weeks later, production is once again on hold.

Tesla's current goal is to manufacture 5,000 cars per week by the end of the second quarter; 5,000 per week had initially been its year-end goal for 2017.

These production problems — as well as a lackluster reviews of the new Tesla model and alleged problems with its Autopilot technology — could put Tesla on the path to bankruptcy, CNN (and others) have reported. Musk’s only comment on this possibility to date has been an April Fool’s joke in which he pretended the business, which employs more than 30,000 people, had in fact gone out of business, and that he was wandering Palo Alto drinking a fake product called Teslaquilla.

Tesla’s struggle to hit ambitious production goals has been a priority for years, at times above issues like worker safety. Tesla has denied these claims, and says its factory is getting safer, though a recent investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting suggests the company’s evidence of improvement may be inaccurate. Musk himself has referred to the factory during high-stress periods as “production hell” and told CBS’s Gayle King that the last few months have been “incredibly difficult and painful.”

To be sure, Tesla says the temporary shutdown is part of the "Model 3 rampup" that Musk has been touting in the media.

But regardless of the reasons behind the shutdown, it should go without saying that this won't help Tesla turn cash-flow positive in Q3...

But, on some level, Elon Musk must be relieved about the shutdown.

After all, it's probably a lot easier to catch some midday ZZZs on the floor of your factory without all of those machines running at full capacity.

Comments

fiddler_on_the_roof ???ö? Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:34 Permalink

I am  BCH fan, bought more during recent dip to $630.

 

- TSLA is going to rip the face of all the shorts

- TSLA has the biggest short interest.

- Driving here in NorCal, u can see a Model 3 every 1 hr of driving, this frequency is increasing day after day.

- I forsee a TSLA price over $500 after May 2nd results announcement

 

Shorts, Get out of this incoming TSLA train. Fremont Blvd is jammed with delivery trucks.

In reply to by ???ö?

RAT005 SethPoor Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:52 Permalink

Don't be too confident about 1 small market.  Instead ask the whole country how many Nissan Leaf + Model 3 do they see everyday.  Pretty small market and Tesla loses more with each car sold into it.  There is basically almost no legitimate market for an all elec. car.  The battery costs more than gasoline when trying to have a normal range, and the weather is a bit of a problem in over half the country.  If Tesla had been a small maker of go-kart size model 1 and corvette style model 2 maybe there was a chance.  All elec. in those two markets is plausible. Not too many miles, low cost at one end, fancy elec. performance at the other end.  Trying to be mainstream is a dead end.

In reply to by SethPoor

biker_trash RAT005 Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:04 Permalink

I work 2 miles from the Tesla plant. I see them every day as well, but also realized my personal sample size was misleading. Silicon Valley is a bubble of early adopters and virtue signalers. Only people who can afford multiple cars can buy an all electric car and batteries don't like the cold. Hybrid is the only way to go if you want value and flexibility.

In reply to by RAT005

Automatic Choke biker_trash Tue, 04/17/2018 - 02:09 Permalink

"Hybrid is the only way to go if you want value and flexibility. "

Or better yet, there is this amazing technology, where they can put the motive energy far surpassing a battery charge into a LIQUID, believe it or not, and you can completely refuel in about 3 minutes!!!!!!    Amazing stuff....     Gasoline, I think they call it.

 

I had a Prius for awhile, cause I'm a tech geek and it was cool.   I got quickly disenchanted when the master cylinder went out thrice.   Excuse me....on a regular car it is a $50 master cylinder.   On a Prius, it is a "computer controlled brake actuator" and costs $2500.   

Also, although it was cool around town, driving it across the country showed all its warts in flaming detail:    on the interstate with a fair load and a headwind for hours, the hybrid doesn't do squat -- you are just an underpowered little lawn mower engine whining and complaining trying to hold the speed limit.

In reply to by biker_trash

kbohip Automatic Choke Tue, 04/17/2018 - 02:26 Permalink

The speed limit?  If you're able to hold that you're doing MUCH better than the shmuck who shelled out $100k for a Model S.  The last time I drove across Kansas I saw Model 3's putt putting along at what must have been around 50-60mph tops.  All I know is that at 80mph I was going by them so fast I thought I was time traveling.  I'm sure the dorks had a great circle jerk around the Supercharger station regarding how great their range was that day.  Never mind the fact it probably takes them 3 days to get from Saint Louis to Denver.

In reply to by Automatic Choke

RafterManFMJ fiddler_on_the_roof Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:07 Permalink

came without warning, and that most workers are expected to use vacation time or stay at home pay during the break.

always a sign of a QUALITY operation - management - that makes 50 times what you EVER WILL fucked up so YOU stay home and make NO MONEY MOTHERFUCKERS while we fix shit, maybe, and still get paid and GUESSS WHAT LABOR NIGGERS we have VUCKING BILLIONS floating but not the chicken feed to pay you dumb goy niggers so you can meet your bills...

TRUTH HERE: Granted I have more balls than most goy but I’d start looking for new job and when I got back to TESLA I’d OOPSIE a few things on every car I touched.

And laugh and laugh as I did it. Since only a retard buys a Tesla, it truly is a victimless crime

In reply to by fiddler_on_the_roof

2big2save fiddler_on_the_roof Mon, 04/16/2018 - 21:02 Permalink

TSLA shares are hard to borrow for the following reason: Moody's closed the debt issuance window with the recent rating cut (the company can't possibly service substantial new debt at 8%+). In order to fund the ever increasing cash burn, Tesla will need to issue equity. Those currently shorting the stock are waiting to participate in the offering, which will likely be over ten million shares. The newly issued shares will then be delivered against their short position.

In reply to by fiddler_on_the_roof

helloimjohnnycat Automatic Choke Tue, 04/17/2018 - 04:45 Permalink

Dilbert comic featured the Elbonians up to their mud holes in mud.

Real life tragi-comedy features Elon-ians up to their necks in Musk.

 

There is no reason handed body parts requiring symmetry should have mismatching & tolerance errors.

The tooling is generated using one set of numbers. Left side stamping dies are mirror images of the same right-handed tools.

The computer program simply flips the data in the corresponding axes and CNC machinery cuts & finishes the tooling dies accordingly. Depending on the item and machine equipment used, similar left and right side components can be produced together on one set-up.

If Model 3 parts are requiring rework by hand to achieve proper fits, production will never improve until new, matching dies are created and brought on line.

If the additional jigs & fixtures required in creating handed assemblies are not matching, the " production Hell " is intensified. Same deal, all new tooling must be produced and quantified for symmetry.

The process for quality assurance can be achieved by various coordinate measuring devices and no modern production line fires up until are systems are proven to be exact.

Obviously Tesla has " bad tooling " and somebody demanded to forge ahead or else, and make things fit / work.  Sounds like strong leadership from the manager's bully pulpit until the workers start having to fight too many components in multiple areas. The anxiety reaches a tipping point when the QA inspectors reject every car coming off the line.  Off to the " auto hospital " they go, or whatever cutesy California-fruitcake name they call it.

When it comes to working in a manufacturing environment Musk doesn't know what he's doing.

Furthermore, I'm embarrassed for the guy allowing himself to be shown with chin stubble in the snoozin' pic.

Unfortunately, I don't expect many dumb-downed Americans to know why the PR is ridiculous.  Morons they are.

In reply to by Automatic Choke

helloimjohnnycat Yukon Cornholius Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:24 Permalink

All of the above statements have truth.

Using Positive & Negative confuses people.

With all things being equal, AC energy waves are ** positively ** equal in strength.

" Positive " is one DIRECTION, say forward, while  " Negative " is in the opposite.

To show the wave form on a scope with flat screen, Up is Positive, Down is Negative. But it's simply a depiction of the energy waves' directions being produced in alternating fashion. 

In reply to by Yukon Cornholius

rf80412 FireBrander Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:03 Permalink

A sexy electric car wasn't a bad idea in itself, especially since Tesla was created not just to build electric cars, but specifically to accelerate adoption of electric cars by building something that had a selling point other than "OMG electric car!" ... i.e. something that people other than greenies would buy.

However, that's just not the way car companies grow: they start with the entry level economy car, build the brand - and build experience, "culture", and a cash reserve - and then break into a higher margin market with a luxury or high-performance model that can be priced at a premium.

In reply to by FireBrander

snblitz rf80412 Tue, 04/17/2018 - 00:35 Permalink

Sound like you are talking about the Nissan Leaf.

Electric car proponents are all insane, poisoning the environment, and killing the planet:

https://www.finitespaces.com/2018/02/14/electric-cars-use-twice-as-much-oil-as-diesel-vehicles/   (and they pollute more too)

On the other hand, if they were pro-nuke or even hydro I could have a modicum of respect for them.

 

In reply to by rf80412

NiggaPleeze snblitz Tue, 04/17/2018 - 04:26 Permalink

I've come up with similar calculations as that site, though slightly different.  Charging Lithium batteries is almost 100% efficient, lead acid batteries lose 15%.  But, oil -> electric (32.5%) * transmission (85-92%, say 90%) * AC -> DC conversion (90%) * Lithium charging (98%) * electric motor (90%) = 23% overall efficiency.

Now natural gas is 40.1% efficient converting to electric, making the total efficiency 28.6%.

But, and this is mainly important for city driving (which is where most driving happens):  electric engines can recycle the braking energy, called regenerative braking, Tesla claims in stop-and-go driving up to 64% of energy can be recycled.  This increases overall efficiency to 64.5% (23.21% * (1- 0.64)).  (If you got 100% of the energy back, you would have infinite efficiency, obviously that is not possible, that would be perpetual motion).

Others calculate this amount in real life is closer to 25%, meaning efficiency is closer to (23.21% * (1-.25)) = 31%.

However what gets me is, if this is all true, why is charging a car SO MUCH CHEAPER than purchasing fuel?  For example, 300 miles in a large diesel car requires about 10 gallons or $30 at today's pump; but charging a Model S with a 300 mile range costs about 85KwH (at 3.5 miles/KwH) or about $11 to charge (assuming national average $0.12/KwH).

Is this purely a tax thing - that electric power is not taxed like road gas, and hence, Tesla owners are not paying their share of highway maintenance (and indeed getting a tax subsidy!)?  In California, federal and state fuel tax is about $0.77 / gallons, or 1/4 the price of gas; deducting that from $30 still leaves $22.50, or over twice the cost of charging a Model S.

Something's amiss but I don't know what .... Help :).

In reply to by snblitz

snblitz FireBrander Tue, 04/17/2018 - 00:21 Permalink

Jaguar is coming for Musk from the high end with the I-PACE at $60,000.  Not to mention BMW and Mercedes.

Fiat, Renault, GM, Ford, Volkwagen, Toyota, Nissan, KIA, and many others have electric cars in the $35,000 and below price range.

Exactly what market is Musk creating?

In reply to by FireBrander