During a Tesla 2017 fourth quarter earnings call, Elon Musk criticized a hallmark of the automobile industry, assembly line production for not advancing with technology. Henry Ford pioneered the method of building vehicles back in 1913, which completely revolutionized how quickly a car could be put together.
Musk believes that by today’s standards, this procedure is just too slow, slower than your nan taking a leisurely stroll in the park actually.
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“Some of the fastest car factories produce a car maybe every 25 seconds,” said the CEO of Tesla. “That sounds fast. But if you think of a five-meter long car, including gap, and a 4.5 meter car with a half meter gap or something, that’s only 0.2 meters per second.
“Like, grandma with a walker can exceed the speed of the fastest production line we’re in, so really no that fast.”
This comes after the company reported its biggest quarterly losses of all time and that it was experiencing some trouble keeping up with the demand for its Tesla Model 3.
Musk offered some potential solutions regarding how Tesla could increase its production numbers. But he made it a point to note that speed of manufacturing needs to improve across the automobile industry.
“Why shouldn’t it at least be jogging speed?” He asked rhetorically, “Companies should start caring about the aero drag in the factory, which that’s maybe around 20 miles or 30 miles an hour, or call it 30 kilometers an hour, 40 kilometers an hour…Stuff should be moving at that speed.”
The Tesla CEO has already began a revolution in the sector with his electric cars. But only time will tell if this call to action will push other companies to step up their assembly line process.
To get a sense of how fast production moves, here are two videos of a Model 3 on the assembly line, released in November 2017: