Elon Musk admits "humans are underrated"

Business

15 Apr 2018

Elon Musk admits "humans are underrated"

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has admitted that his company's dependency on excessive automation to manufacture the Model 3 electric car has led to a "production hell" and that the human workforce was underrated.

His remarks come at a time when the automaker has missed production targets multiple times and failed to address the manufacturing challenges of its highly-anticipated Model 3 electric car.

Here's more.

Musk says he needs more human workers and less robots

Production problems

Tesla's Model 3 production hit a roadblock last year

Tesla's Model 3 production hit a roadblock last year

Tesla's new Model 3 electric car has been plagued with production problems since 2017.

Last year in October, the California-based automaker reported it had produced just 260 Model 3 cars in Q3, 2017 and delivered 220.

The production improved in the fourth quarter but were still below estimates. Tesla produced just 2,425 of its new Model 3 cars in Q4 and delivered 1,542.

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Tesla failed to meet its production estimates in Q1, 2018

In April this year, Tesla reported that it did not meet its target to produce 2,500 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of Q1 2018. The automaker produced 2,020 Model 3 cars in a week at the end of the first quarter.

The Problem

Excessive automation has led to a "production hell", says Musk

Musk said that production was hit partly because of the company's heavy use of automation.

"We had this crazy complex network of conveyor belts and it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing," Musk said.

Musk further added that the excessive use of new technology in the Model 3 all at once, instead of stages, resulted in production slowdown.

Tesla recorded its worst-ever quarterly loss in Q4 2017

Tesla lost $4.01 per share and reported a total loss of $675.4 million on a revenue of $3.29 billion in Q4 2107. The automaker partly blamed the high production costs of its Model 3 electric car for recording the worst-ever figures.

Time will tell

Musk is hopeful of working out a solution soon

Musk is hopeful of working out a solution soon

Elon Musk asserted he would soon find a solution to come out of the "production hell" and expects "a three or four-fold increase in Model 3 output in the second quarter."

"If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production. It's just a matter of time," mused Musk.

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