Tesla Inc. reportedly stopped production of its Model 3 electric car in February for a planned upgrade of its automation equipment as to ensure higher production rates for its mass-market vehicle.
According to Tesla Inc., the February 20-24 halt was a planned pause which is common for increases in output when a company is generating a new product.
“These periods are used to improve automations and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates,” a Tesla spokesperson said.
The Model 3 is currently being manufactured at the company’s Fremont, California factory. Their batteries are manufactured at the Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada.
While Tesla Inc. did not detail the planned production upgrades, it did say that there could be more periods of downtime in the next months.
The company’s temporary halt of their upcoming electric car seems to be the carmaker’s way of preparing for a more consistent manufacturing output.
The project has suffered a series of setbacks as the company struggles to find a balance between mass production and ensuring a quality low-cost vehicle.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, estimated that the company would be able to produce 5 thousand Model 3 cars per week, however, this goal was later pushed three months all the way into the second quarter of this year.
During the company’s Q4 delivery report last year, Tesla adjusted its production targets for the Model 3’s Q1 2018 as well. Tesla estimated that they would be able to manufacture 2,500 a week.
The company aims to achieve the established goals claiming that their prior experience on the Model 3 ramp “has demonstrated the difficulty of accurately forecasting specific production rates at specific points in time”.
Tesla managed to deliver over 28 thousand Model S and Model X cars in last year’s fourth quarter as well as 1,542 Model 3 vehicles, bringing the tally to 29,967 deliveries.
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