It’s never been a secret that the Model 3 has long been the lynchpin in Tesla’s plan to fundamentally shake up the auto industry and kick the EV revolution into high gear . Sure, the company saw great success with both the Model S and the Model X, but those efforts were largely done to bankroll the Model 3, a car designed to be an affordable EV for the masses.
From the get-go, consumer interest in the Model 3 was immense, with early reservations even exceeding Tesla’s most optimistic of projections. Before long, the number of outstanding reservations for the Model 3 was bordering on 400,000, an impressive figure no matter how you look at it. Without question, the challenges presented by the Model 3 had nothing to do with boosting demand, but rather with supply.
In typical fashion, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was beyond optimistic about the company’s ability to ramp up Model 3 production. In a statement that would ultimately go on to haunt him, Musk said that Model 3 production would reach 5,000 units per week by the end of 2017. Before long, any number of production hurdles rose to the surface, ultimately prompting Tesla to push back its 5,000 units per week goal by six months.
Explaining the issue, Musk a few months ago conceded that Tesla’s strategy with the Model 3 was misguided. Specifically, Musk said that the company relied too heavily upon automation, a decision Musk himself took responsibility for.
“Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” Musk said via Twitter a few months ago. “To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
At the same time, Musk would often refer to the Model 3 ramp up as “production hell.”
“I definitely feel stressed,” Musk said during a CBS interview this past April. “It’s been incredibly difficult and painful over the past several months. Yeah, I’ve been sleeping on the factory floor, not because I think that’s a fun place to sleep. It’s terrible.”
All that said, Model 3 production hell may be coming to a close sooner rather than later. In a fascinating interview with Bloomberg, Musk said that the company still has “one foot in hell” but that Model 3 production difficulties should clear up in a month.
Looking forward, it will be interesting to see if Model 3 production sees a significant boost in the coming months. Having manufactured 5,000 Model 3 units during the last week of June, the company’s next milestone is to manufacture 6,000 Model 3 units before the end of July. While some industry experts are skeptical that Tesla can keep Model 3 production at current levels, Musk maintains that the worst of Model 3 production is in the rear view.
Incidentally, Musk about a year ago said that Model 3 production should reach 10,000 units per week before the end of 2018.