Model 3

Tesla loses manufacturing exec. and automation engineer amid Model 3 production ramp

Two high-ranking engineers at Tesla who were reportedly involved in the development of Model 3’s automated production line have departed. Senior Director of Manufacturing Engineering, Jason Mendez, and Will McColl, Tesla’s Senior Manager of Equipment Engineering, have left their posts at Tesla after serving vital roles at the company since 2005 and 2014, respectively.

Though circumstances surrounding the departure of the two Stanford graduates remain unknown, with Mendez remaining silent about his plans beyond Tesla; McColl, on the other hand, has posted an update about his departure from the carmaker on his LinkedIn profile. Based on the reaction from the professional online community, it appears like the senior engineer parted ways with the electric carmaker on good terms. In his announcement on the social networking platform, the ex-Tesla engineer wished his former colleagues well, even praising the Model 3 for being an “amazing” car.

“The news seems to be out: last Friday I resigned from Tesla. It was an action-packed 7 years of automation equipment design and I will truly miss the team. I will treasure our countless moments of laughter as we fearlessly dismantled the edifice of “impossible!”. I’m continually inspired by my colleagues’ resolve, and I wish them strength as they ramp and refine Model 3. It’s an amazing car! As for me, I’m preparing for the next venture and challenge. I’ve got many complexities to unravel in the move back from Germany, but I’m very excited to return to the US in the coming months. Stay tuned!”

Over the days since announcing his departure, the former Tesla engineering manager received numerous messages of support from former colleagues. One of them, Tesla Director of Manufacturing Engineering Yannick Roux, shared a particularly interesting anecdote about the manufacturing process of the electric carmaker and how legacy automakers have reacted to Tesla’s progress.

“I can’t get enough of Japanese and German OEMs’ jaw drop when realizing that our last manufacturing lines are already at the level of their best production ones,” Roux wrote in the professional social media platform.

According to a recent Jalopnik article, an anonymous source familiar with the matter revealed that both Mendez and McColl were actively involved in launching Model 3’s production line. Both engineers also played a large part in the integration of German supplier Grohmann Automation, which the Silicon Valley-based electric carmaker and energy company acquired back in 2016.

The Tesla Model 3 is arguably the electric carmaker’s most important and most disruptive vehicle to date. During Tesla’s most recent Q4 2017 production and delivery report, the Elon Musk-led electric car firm announced that it is expecting to manufacture as many as 5,000 Model 3 per week by the end of Q2 2018.

Tesla loses manufacturing exec. and automation engineer amid Model 3 production ramp
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