Elon Musk often refers to the Model 3 production ramp as “production hell”, but Tesla actually first experienced “production hell” with the Model X two years prior.
At the time, the CEO had to allocate more time to Tesla and the Model X manufacturing effort to the point of sleeping in a sleeping bag on the factory floor.
He now says that he is back sleeping on the factory floor for the Model 3 as he dispels rumors that Doug Field fell from grace over the Model 3 production issues.
A report from The Information based on anonymous sources said that Musk recently took over the oversight of Model 3 production from Vice President of Engineering Doug Field.
The report framed the situation as if Field was seen as the issue for the difficult production ramp and Musk was pushing him aside to take over.
But in a series of tweets, Musk said that he himself asked Field to take over production in order to have a close link between vehicle engineering and manufacturing, which he thought would lead to designing cars easier to manufacture – something that they have been emphasizing about the Model 3 for over a year.
Musk added that he holds Field in high regard, but that now a year later and with the vehicle entering volume production, it is better to “divide and conquer”:
As we reported yesterday, Musk confirmed in an email to employees that the Tesla Model 3 production rate is now at ‘over 2,000 units per week’.
It’s short of Tesla’s official goal of 2,500 units per week by the end of March, but it’s still a significant increase over the last month and indicates that Tesla is finally working through some important bottlenecks.
The official production and delivery numbers for the first quarter are expected to be released any day now.
Tesla could potentially achieve a record number of overall deliveries due to a significant increase on Model 3 deliveries, but the focus is likely going to be on the production rate when exiting the quarter as Tesla is slowly working through a massive backlog of reservations for the vehicle.