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Tesla halts Model 3 production after Musk says 'excessive automation a mistake'


The Tesla Model 3 (Credit: Tesla)
The Tesla Model 3 (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla has halted production of its Model 3 cars after chief executive Elon Musk said “excessive automation” was a mistake.

The four- or five-day pause at the US electric car company’s factory in Fremont, California, follows an earlier break in production in February.

“These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates,” said a spokesperson. “This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.”

The company has struggled to meet demand for the Model 3, a vehicle aimed at the mass market with a reported range of between 354 and 499km. It hopes to build 2,500 a week but reportedly had an output of 2,000 in the first quarter, and is aiming for 5,000 a week halfway through 2018.

Musk has introduced widespread automation to help meet production targets. However, writing on Twitter on Friday, he told Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins: “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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