“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” a Tesla spokesperson said back in February and again today to TechCrunch. “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.”
This comes shortly after Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted that he was over-automating the production of the cars.
“Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” Musk tweeted a couple of days ago. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
That admission came following Bernstein analysts Max Warburton and Toni Sacconaghi arguing Tesla was overusing automation in the final production of Model 3 assembly.
Last August, Tesla said it expected to produce 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of 2017. Tesla has since adjusted that number. In January, Tesla said it expects to end this quarter with a weekly rate of 2,500 Model 3 cars, with the goal to hit 5,000 per week by the end of Q2.
Earlier this month, Tesla said it was able to double the weekly Model 3 production rate over Q1 “by rapidly addressing production and supply chain bottlenecks, including several short factory shutdowns to upgrade equipment.”