Investor's Corner

Elon Musk explains why Tesla built a tent for its new Model 3 assembly line

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to discuss why the company decided to set up its newest assembly line for the Model 3 inside a massive tent on the grounds of the Fremont factory. According to Musk, the tent was the result of time constraints, as the company is attempting to hit a pace equivalent to 5,000 Model 3 per week by the end of Q2 2018.

What’s even more remarkable was that some of the materials used by the Tesla team in constructing the giant tent were scraps the company had in its warehouses. In a later tweet, Musk noted that the tent-housed new line is actually “way better” than Tesla’s other general assembly line, which cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.

Overall, Musk appears to be optimistic about Fremont’s giant tent. When asked by one of his Twitter followers if the structure is just a temporary solution to achieve the company’s goal of building 5,000 Model 3 per week, Musk stated that he was not sure if Tesla actually needs a building, considering that the tent was already “pretty sweet.” Musk also mentioned that the Tesla Grohmann line is now in place and operating at Gigafactory 1.

As for worries that Tesla’s workers at the giant tent in Fremont will be uncomfortable, Musk noted that the massive outdoor structure had a view of the surrounding Bay Area mountains and is actually more comfortable than the buildings of the factory. The Tesla CEO further stated that a media tour would probably be held next week, in order to give recognition to the Tesla team, which has pulled off something “miraculous.”

Tesla’s massive tent in Fremont was first spotted by Tesla enthusiasts earlier this month through online services such as Building Tesla. As could be seen in satellite photos of the site, Tesla’s new Model 3 assembly line was around 900 feet in length as of mid-June. Speculations were abounding then among Tesla enthusiasts about what the structure would be used for.

These speculations were addressed this past weekend, when Elon Musk shared a picture featuring the first Model 3 Performance Dual Motor being rolled off the company’s newest assembly line. As noticed by Tesla supporters and critics alike, the vehicle seemed to have been assembled inside a massive tent.

Tesla’s new assembly line bodes well for the company’s chances of hitting its production goals for the Model 3 this quarter. Since the company began manufacturing the compact electric car, it has so far missed its production targets. During Q1 2018, however, Tesla ended the quarter just short of a few hundred Model 3. Since then, the company has doubled down on its efforts to scale the production of the vehicle. New assembly lines were installed, robots and equipment were flown in from Europe, bottlenecks were addressed, record numbers of new Model 3 VINs were registered, and orders for the Model 3’s next two variants — the Performance and Dual Motor AWD — were opened for reservation holders. As the month ends, Tesla is closer than it has ever gone in attaining its ever-elusive goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 per week.

Elon Musk explains why Tesla built a tent for its new Model 3 assembly line
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