Tesla failed to meet its ambitious production goals for the Model 3, delivering just 260 units in comparison to its 1,600-unit estimate back in July. As Tesla admits to bottlenecks in the Model 3 production line, CEO Elon Musk recently uploaded a video of the Model 3 in the assembly plant. As it turns out, the company’s robots are currently functioning at 1/10th their potential speed, as a means for the carmaker to ensure build consistency and to enable human intervention just in case something goes wrong.
The video, which was uploaded by Musk on his personal Instagram page, featured a series of KUKA robots welding a number of parts on a Model 3 unit. The video, which some Tesla fans believe was taken at the factory’s body line, showed the KUKA units working on the frame of the mass market EV. The Tesla CEO also shared the video on Twitter, where he explained the clip further.
“That is actual speed. It is slowed down right now to confirm build consistency and so that a person can stop the robots in time if something goes wrong.”
Musk’s latest Instagram video seemed to be a direct response to reports that recently emerged alleging that Tesla is still building several key components of the Model 3 by hand. Citing people who were familiar with the company’s production delays, the Wall Street Journal recently published a report stating that major portions of the Model 3 were still being manufactured manually. This, according to the WSJ, was one of the reasons why the Model 3 is experiencing massive delays in its production schedule.
Tesla did not take too kindly to this report, stating that the article from the publication was “fundamentally wrong and misleading.” The carmaker, however, did not explicitly deny the speculations that components of the Model 3 are still being manufactured by hand, as stated in a Jalopnik report.
While the video that Musk recently uploaded does prove that some parts of the Model 3 production line are indeed automated at this point, the clip does not in any way disprove the WSJ article’s allegations. After all, the recently uploaded video only revealed full automation in a specific part of the Model 3’s manufacturing process.
Tesla has assured its supporters that there are no huge issues with the Model 3’s production. Instead, the EV maker stated that its current issues, as well as the succeeding delays, were only part of the company’s growing pains.
Considering that Tesla is already using its robots at 1/10th of their capacity, however, there is a good chance that the pieces are already in place for the carmaker to start producing its mass market sedan at full speed. Thus, it would only be a matter of time before Tesla finally meets its lofty, challenging manufacturing goals.
[Featured Image by Tesla]