Tesla is temporarily stopping production of its Model 3 electric car, amid a long waiting list and several missed targets. The company, however, says the shutdown is intended to resolve some of the problems that have contributed to the numerous delays in getting the cars to hundreds of thousands of reservation holders.The automaker said Monday it would halt production of the Model 3 sedan for 4-5 days at its Fremont, California assembly plant. Tesla, says this is part of a planned period of downtime that was similar to another shutdown in February, and it isn’t intended to have an affect on the company’s current production targets for the car.
“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” a Tesla spokesperson told various media outlets “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.” Tesla reached a milestone in the first quarter by hitting a production rate of 2,000 Model 3s per week, short of a 2,500 per week goal by the end of that quarter. But the company still projects to reach its target of 5,000 of the cars per week by the end of the first half of 2018. In March, Tesla said it was able to double Model 3 weekly production by stopping the production line for short periods in order to fix bottlenecks.
Model S and Model X production is unaffected by the shutdown. And the shutdown reportedly comes before Monday’s report of workplace injuries at the Fremont plant that went unreported. Tesla said those reports from former workers were part of a ploy from an “extremist organization.”