The Tesla Model 3 production rate still remains a mystery just a few weeks away from the automaker’s goal of reaching a production of 2,500 units per week.
Now the company confirms that it recently had a 4-day stoppage at both Fremont factory and Gigafactory 1 to update the production lines for the new electric car.
A Tesla spokesperson told Bloomberg about the downtime yesterday:
“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1. These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.”
The automaker has previously discussed one of those bottlenecks – saying that the most important one is battery module production at Gigafactory 1.
They are currently operating automated lines that are reportedly not functioning properly and therefore, they have to rely on “semi-automated lines” that require more manual labor.
‘Tesla Grohman’ built a new automated battery module line in Germany, which is supposed to arrive in Nevada this month, said Tesla CTO JB Straubel during a call with analysts last month.
It’s not clear if that was one of the bottlenecks addressed during that downtime since it reportedly happened between Feb. 20 to Feb. 24 and Musk claimed that the new line wasn’t required for Tesla to reach its 2,500-unit per week goal.
Production appears to have picked up since with Tesla registering over 1,000 new Model 3 VINs with NHTSA per week in March so far.
It doesn’t mean that the production is necessarily at over 1,000 units per week, but it is certainly picking up after not registering many new VINs in February.
In my opinion, it doesn’t exactly look good for Tesla achieving its goal of 2,500 units per week by the end of March.
The automaker could always pull the same thing that they did at the end of the fourth quarter and extrapolate from a production rate for the last few days of the month to claim a higher production rate, but otherwise it could be difficult to get to 2,500 units per week in just a few weeks after seemingly being stuck at ~1,000 units per week for a while now.
With this said, Tesla does claim that it tested several other parts of its Model 3 production line for over 1,000 units per week and therefore if it did manage to address the bottlenecks during the production stoppage, they could theoretically make a relatively big jump in the short-term.
It remains to be seen, but it’s at least encouraging that they are registering new VINs in higher numbers again.