Tesla’s Elon Musk talks Model Y production quality in leaked email

Tesla Model Y Production (Credit: Tesla)

A recently leaked e-mail from Tesla CEO Elon Musk has indicated the Model Y production ramp is now of utmost priority at the Fremont production plant. Musk personally offered his assistance to employees at the Fremont facility and thanked members of General Assembly 4 (GA4), the production line where the Model Y is built.

Musk has indicated that the Fremont production facility’s main priority for the foreseeable future is the ramp of the Model Y. In the e-mail obtained by Business Insider, Musk suggests that the production of the Model S, X, and 3 are going “reasonably well,” but the Y is experiencing supply chain ramp challenges, which are expected with new products.

However, the CEO indicated that the successful production process of the Model Y comes down to eliminating errors and increasing efficiency. “I want you to know that it really makes a difference to Tesla right now,” Musk writes to employees.

Tesla will now make the Model Y a top priority for both production and manufacturing engineering, the e-mail says.

The current production line where the Model Y is built is GA4, which is an outdoor tent that sits next to the Fremont facility. Previously, the Model 3 was constructed on this line and was eventually built 5,000 sedans a week. Much like the Model Y’s current roadblocks, the Model 3 also encountered problems at the beginning of its eventually-successful ramp up stage.

Musk once referred to the rough patch in the Model 3 ramp as “production hell.” Tesla encountered issues in building a large number of Model 3’s during Q2 2018, where the company struggled with building efficiencies and suitable production methods. To combat this issue, Tesla built a third line for the Model 3, which eventually became GA4.

Eventually, the production issues subsided, and Tesla reached a build rate of 5,000 Model 3s a week. It is only a matter of time before the company replicates this with the Model Y and begins a sizeable production effort in Fremont.

Tesla was performing the initial deliveries of the Model Y when the Fremont facility was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the production plant was reopened in May, workers had to readjust to the manufacturing process, which is understandable after a month and a half layoff. Delays could simply be due to human adjustment or because the production of a new car comes with an expected ramping period.

Eventually, Tesla will figure out the issues and delays and become more efficient with the Model Y. Luckily, support from Musk is evident. “Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help,” he concluded in the e-mail.

The full message to Fremont employees is available below.

Subject: Model Y production

It is extremely important for us to ramp up Model Y production and minimize rectification needs. I want you to know that it really makes a difference to Tesla right now.

Model Y, especially GA (stands for General Assembly), is the top priority for both production and manufacturing engineering. GA4 (stands for General Assembly Line 4) is also top priority for facility improvements. For those working in GA4, thank you for bearing with tough conditions. Will get better fast. I will be walking the line personally every week.

We are doing reasonably well with S, X, and 3, but there are production and supply chain ramp challenges with Model Y, as is always the case with new products.

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

Thanks,

Elon

Joey Klender: Transportation Writer | Penn State Alum | Future World Series of Poker Bracelet Holder 🚀 🛰 ☀️ 🚘 🧠 🕳
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