Tesla is expecting a 10-day shutdown in production sometime in the second quarter, as the company continues to address line bottlenecks and focus on reaching its 5,000-vehicle-per-week production rate goal for the Model 3.
The upcoming shutdown follows another halt at its Fremont, California factory that took place in April, and will be another incremental step toward the mass production of the all-electric compact sedan. The company stated that the planned 10-day halt for the second quarter includes the shutdown of the Model 3 line in April.
“During Q2, we expect to shut down production for about 10 days, which includes the shutdown we took in April, to address bottlenecks across the lines and increase production to new levels. Our goal is to produce approximately 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week in about two months,” Tesla stated in its Q1 Update Letter.
Tesla is also implementing an initiative to change the quarterly production pattern of its two flagship vehicles — the Model S and Model X — across various worldwide regions. According to the electric car maker, this change would ensure a more linear flow of deliveries through the quarter, and would provide more breathing room to its delivery system.
Tesla’s planned shutdowns for the Model 3 line are expected to address production bottlenecks and prepare the company’s facilities for a boost in manufacturing. According to a leaked email from Musk to his employees, the shutdown of the Model 3 line in April involved the installation of a “comprehensive set of upgrades” that would enable Tesla to hit a production rate of 3,000 Model 3 per week.
The leaked Elon Musk email also teased a second shutdown before the end of the second quarter. In his message to Tesla employees, Musk stated that another set of upgrades would be installed on the Model 3 line sometime in late May, which would “unlock” the company’s capability to produce as many as 6,000 vehicles in a single week.
“We will be stopping for three to five days to do a comprehensive set of upgrades. This should set us up for Model 3 production of 3000 to 4000 per week next month. Another set of upgrades starting in late May should be enough to unlock production capacity of 6000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of June,” Musk wrote in the email.
Tesla had also initiated a temporary shutdown of the Model 3 line back in February. During the weeks preceding the shutdown, estimates from Bloomberg‘s Model 3 production tracker showed that Tesla was only producing vehicles in the ~1,000 range. After the halt, however, Tesla exhibited a boost in production, ultimately hitting a pace of 2,020 Model 3 per week during the final week of the first quarter.