Tesla’s flagship factory in Fremont, California has temporarily halted Model 3 production in order to “improve automation” and further streamline vehicle manufacturing. News of this hiccup almost immediately took a toll on the company’s stock, which was down 2.51 percent trading at $283.91 Tuesday morning.
CEO Elon Musk took to social media and was interviewed saying that the root of the issue was over-dependence on robots and too much new technology. The tech mogul stated that attempting to automate everything resulted in “production hell” and that “humans are underrated.”
This comes shortly after Tesla has been facing scrutiny regarding its Model 3 production capabilities and it’s cash flow. The electric car company missed its production target for the first business quarter of 2018 and analysts have said the firm won’t turn a profit for quite some time. This break in production will only add to the mounting pressure Tesla is facing to start cranking out 20,000 of their $35,000-cars per month, a goal set by Musk in July 2017.
Automation is especially pivotal in the making of Model 3 cars, which make use of the most robots out of all of Tesla’s other vehicles Musk told investment analysts in November during a conference call.
“There’s vastly more automation with Model 3,” he said. “Now the tricky thing is that when one automation doesn’t work, it’s really harder to make up for it with men and labor. So with [Tesla Model] S or X, because a lot less that was automated, we could scale up labor hours and achieve a high level of production.”
It’s unclear if these ongoing production issues will affect the process of how Model 3 vehicles are made or if it will delay when customers receive their pre-ordered cars.