Elon Musk has established a new aggressive target for the production of Model 3, and will operate its factory in Fremont, California 24 hours a day to meet the target, according to an internal email obtained by Jalopnik ]
Musk now says that Tesla needs to manufacture 6,000 models per week by the end of June, an increase of the company's previous target of 5,000 per week. The reason for the new objective, he says, is that 5000 Models 3 per week leave the company with "no margin for error" in the manufacturing process and the company's supply chain. "Actual production will move as fast as the less fortunate and less well-executed part of the entire Tesla production / supply chain system," he writes.
To achieve these production numbers, Musk says that Tesla is first stopping work at the Gigafactory today and tomorrow at Fremont, three to five days. The company will use this time to make a "complete set of updates" that will allow it to reach production rates of 3,000 to 4,000 per week in May.
Tesla will also hire "400 people per week for several weeks" at both the Fremont facility and the Gigafactory in Nevada. The extra bodies will help the company add an extra shift of work for "general assembly, body and paint", which allows it to produce the Model 3 all day. "Please refer to anyone you know who thinks they are with the Tesla bar in search of talent, unity and confidence," says Musk. A spokesman for Tesla declined to comment.
Tesla will have to fight to achieve a rate of 6,000 models per week, says Akshay Anand, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book, The Verge . "A fast pace, however, is the enemy of quality, and Telsa needs to plan quality first, second volume," he says. "For many consumers, this will be a first point of contact with Tesla, so the company needs to make sure that the point of contact is positive."
Musk draws a series of hard lines in the sand in the email for his employees, contractors and suppliers. In one section, titled "Precision," he writes that Tesla "will continue until the precision of the construction of Model 3 is a factor of ten better than any other car in the world." I'm not kidding. "If the parts suppliers resist this, he says, Tesla should stay away from them." I understand that this will be considered an irrational request by some, "he writes." Okay, there are many other car companies with very high standards. Lower. They just can not work with Tesla. "
In another section, labeled" Profit, "Musk says the company is restricting the company's expenses." I asked Tesla's finance team to analyze all expenses in all the world, no matter how small, and cut everything that does not have a strong value justification, "he writes, before comparing the contractors that Tesla uses for Russian dolls.
Open contracts create" an incentive for to turn mountains of sand into mountains, since they never want to end up with the money train, "he adds." There is a very wide range of contractor performance, from excellent to worse than a drunken lazy. "He says next week will be the contractors' last chance to "demonstrate excellence" or that their contracts will end.
Musk also counts employees to cut unnecessary meetings, omit the "chain of command" when it comes to communication And, "Choose common sense like [their] Guide" instead of following the rules of the company that seem ridiculous.
The new objectives and ultimatums distributed today by Musk come in a precarious time for Tesla. The company recently missed its own goal of producing 2,500 models 3 per week at the end of the first quarter, an objective that had already been reduced and delayed since the fall. He faces new scrutiny about the safety of the autopilot after a driver recently died using the semi-autonomous function. And this week, Reveal and The Center for Investigative Reporting published an investigation into Tesla's workplace safety practices at its Fremont factory, the third piece of research last year, following similar reports of BuzzFeed and The Guardian .
Update on April 17, 6:25 PM ET: Added a comment from Akshay Anand.