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Tesla Model 3 drive unit production reportedly hits 10k/week amid end-of-Q3 push

Despite facing a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission about his “funding secured” tweet last August, Elon Musk appeared to be in light spirits on Friday, expressing his gratitude to the Tesla community for their help, at one point even posting a “Don’t Panic” reminder on his Twitter page. Musk reportedly rallied Tesla’s workers as well, stating that the company has achieved a notable milestone in its ongoing Model 3 ramp — the production of over 10,000 drive units in one week.

In a series of letters to employees following the release of the SEC’s lawsuit, Elon Musk reportedly urged Tesla’s workers to pay no attention to distractions. One of the letters, a copy of which was reportedly obtained by Bloomberg, stated that Tesla’s Model 3 drive team had produced “more than 10,000” units in a seven-day period. Musk reportedly praised the Tesla team as well, urging them to push through “one more hardcore weekend” as Q3 nears its close.

“You’re doing an incredible job. Ignore all distractions. One more hardcore weekend and we will be victorious,” Musk wrote.

The Model 3’s drive units are manufactured in Gigafactory 1, Tesla’s expansive facility in Nevada, which is also tasked with the production of the electric sedan’s batteries. The update on Gigafactory 1’s 10,000/week Model 3 drive unit production comes amidst news that Tesla’s battery partner Panasonic is aiming to complete three new battery cell assembly lines in the facility earlier than expected. This was related by Yoshio Ito, head of Panasonic’s automotive business, who also noted that the bottlenecks in Gigafactory were primarily due to the Japanese company’s incapability to produce enough batteries to meet Tesla’s demand.

Panasonic’s new battery assembly lines are not the only upgrades set to be installed in Gigafactory 1. After a tour of the facility, analysts from Worm Capital stated that Tesla is also expecting the arrival of new machines from Grohmann Automation, all of which are designed to boost the facility’s production capabilities. During the Gigafactory 1 tour, Tesla head of investor relations Martin Viecha reportedly noted that the new Grohmann machines would help battery module production become “three times faster, and three times cheaper.” The new Grohmann machines are expected to be sent to Gigafactory 1 by the end of Q3 or the beginning of Q4.

Tesla might be on track to produce and deliver a record number of Model 3 to reservation holders this quarter, but the ramp of the vehicle remains only partly complete. Ultimately, Tesla aims to produce as many as 10,000 units of the electric sedan per week, including the highly-anticipated $35,000 Standard Range RWD Model 3, which is expected to start production sometime in 2019. If the emails obtained by Bloomberg are accurate, then it would mean that Tesla’s Model 3 drive unit production has taken a definitive step forward.

Considering Tesla’s 10,000/week milestone with its Model 3 drive unit production, as well as the upcoming upgrades to Gigafactory 1 in the form of Panasonic’s new battery cell assembly lines and Grohmann’s new machines, Q4 2018 is shaping up to be a historic quarter for the electric car maker.

Tesla Model 3 drive unit production reportedly hits 10k/week amid end-of-Q3 push
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