Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared a short video of Model 3’s production body line in action, dispelling recent reports that the company’s factory workers were building Model 3 vehicles by hand and that the production body line was still being developed. The video was posted to Instagram on Sunday, before the upcoming trading week likely to quell investor concerns that the California-based electric carmaker won’t be able to dig itself out of deep production hell and reach Model 3 production levels of up to 5,000 units per week at the end of the year.
The speed of the Kuka robots seen welding sections of Model 3’s body has been slowed down to one-tenth the normal speed. “It is slowed down right now to confirm build consistency and so that a person can stop the robots in time if something goes wrong” notes Musk in his tweet.
Though we’ve already seen early signs of Model 3 production line planning as far back as April after a Field Service Engineer for Kuka Robotics revealed an ‘alien army’ of 467 new robots that was reportedly to be used for Model 3 production, Musk’s latest video is the first time we’re catching an official glimpse of the Model 3 body line in action. A black and white photo of a Model 3 on the factory production line was also recently posted by a Tesla factory employee.
Source: Tesla Model 3 production line spied ahead of “SN1” build
As Tesla works through the beginning of its production ramp for Model 3 and continues along the path of its production “S Curve”, the company notes in a statement that there are no fundamental issues with Model 3 production or its supply chain. “We are simply working through the S-curve of production that we drew out for the world to see at our launch event in July. There’s a reason it’s called production hell.”
Here’s the full statement by Tesla that addresses the misreporting by the Wall Street Journal.
“This reporting is fundamentally wrong and misleading. We are still in the beginning of our production ramp, but every Model 3 is being built on the Model 3 production line, which is fully installed, powered on, producing vehicles, and increasing in automation every day. However, every vehicle manufacturing line in the world has both manual and automated processes, including the Model S and Model X line today. Contrary to the Journal’s reporting, this is not some revelation. As we’ve always acknowledged, it will take time to fine-tune the line for higher volumes, but as we have also said, there are no fundamental issues with Model 3 production or its supply chain, and we are confident in addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term. We are simply working through the S-curve of production that we drew out for the world to see at our launch event in July. There’s a reason it’s called production hell.”