Elon Musk's latest Tesla Model 3 delivery promise: 6,000... a week

When we miss a target we make it even harder to reach next time! Wait, what?


Electric car maker Tesla is to boost production to 6,000 cars per week in June, company chief Elon Musk has announced – four months after his last production boost deadline sailed past unfulfilled.

"As part of the drive towards 6K, all Model 3 production at Fremont will move to 24/7 operations. This means that we will be adding another shift to general assembly, body and paint," Musk said in an email to his underlings.

automated assembly line

Tesla hits Model 3 production speed bumps, slides to loss

READ MORE

Electric car PR news website Electrek burbled that the plan was “very bold in a Musk sort of way”, while quietly mentioning that by the end of last year, Tesla was supposed to have built 2,500 Model 3 vehicles.

Tesla failed to meet that target, falling short by 20 per cent – an improvement over the prior quarter where it knocked up just 220 out of a projected 1,500 Model 3s. Shortly after the flop at the end of last year, Tesla posted yet another record quarterly loss, albeit scoring record revenues as it did so. Broadly, the company’s revenues are on a steadily increasing trend.

tesla_profits_q4_fy2017

Tesla’s reported profits, Q1 FY2015 – Q4 FY2017

Addressing this in his email, Musk confessed: “A fair criticism levelled at Tesla by outside critics is that you’re not a real company unless you generate a profit, meaning simply that revenue exceeds costs. It didn’t make sense to do that until reaching economies of scale, but now we are there,” adding that any company expenditures greater than $1m would need personal sign-off from him.

He also described some of Tesla’s subcontractors as “worse than a drunken sloth”.

Car analyst Max Warburton of American outfit Bernstein wrote, in a recently-issued research note about Tesla's heavily automated Fremont factory: "I have seen what works & what doesn't. Automation in final assembly doesn't work. Many have tried it in the past (Fiat, VW, GM) – and failed."

Warburton added: "The narrative around Tesla has been that it is having difficulty ramping 'because producing cars is difficult'. But we think a more accurate portrayal is that Tesla is having difficultly ramping because it has attempted to reinvent totally the production line. This is too ambitious and risky in our view."

The electric car firm has had a rocky time with public perception lately, including getting into a public spat with US regulators after a fatal crash in a vehicle that used its Autopilot software, although it is not known if there was a connection. The software is designed to be used by a human driver who keeps their eyes on the road, although this is not how the public appears to be perceiving the product. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds

    Please Mr Hitchcock, no more. The UPS can't take it

    Who, Me? "Expect the unexpected" is a cliché regularly trotted out during disaster planning. But how far should those plans go? Welcome to an episode of Who, Me? where a reader finds an entirely new failure mode.

    Today's tale comes from "Brian" (not his name) and is set during a period when the US state of California was facing rolling blackouts.

    Our reader was working for a struggling hardware vendor in the state, a once mighty power now reduced to a mere 1,400 employees thanks to that old favourite of the HR axe-wielder: "restructuring."

    Continue reading
  • North Korea pulled in $400m in cryptocurrency heists last year – report

    Plus: FIFA 22 players lose their identity and Texas gets phony QR codes

    In brief Thieves operating for the North Korean government made off with almost $400m in digicash last year in a concerted attack to steal and launder as much currency as they could.

    A report from blockchain biz Chainalysis found that attackers were going after investment houses and currency exchanges in a bid to purloin funds and send them back to the Glorious Leader's coffers. They then use mixing software to make masses of micropayments to new wallets, before consolidating them all again into a new account and moving the funds.

    Bitcoin used to be a top target but Ether is now the most stolen currency, say the researchers, accounting for 58 per cent of the funds filched. Bitcoin accounted for just 20 per cent, a fall of more than 50 per cent since 2019 - although part of the reason might be that they are now so valuable people are taking more care with them.

    Continue reading
  • Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents

    Plus: AI systems can identify different chess players by their moves and more

    In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

    “Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

    Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022