Tesla has increased its production from its mass market electric model 3 to more than 2,000 units per week, according to an email from Elon Musk obtained by various media outlets. It is an impressive increase in production, but it still does not reach Musk's goal of 2,500 models 3 per week by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
The news about the production of Model 3 comes at a crucial time for the automaker, which has seen its shares fall to their lowest level in seven years amid questions about the company's financial future. Last week, Tesla collaborated again and again in the news, first with his largest vehicle recall to date, and later when he acknowledged that there had been a fatal accident with a Model X in California while his system of Semi-autonomous autopilot was activated. But in spite of everything, Musk has maintained a defiant, and at times dismissive, attitude towards the many critics of Tesla.
In the company-wide email (which was obtained by Jalopnik, Electrek and Autonocast anchor, Ed Niedermeyer), Musk plays a celebratory note on the benchmark of 2,000 vehicles per week, while ignoring the larger problem of missed deadlines.
"It has been extremely difficult to approve the 2000-car-per-week rate for Model 3, but we are finally there, if things go as we planned today, we will comfortably exceed that number over a seven-day period."
In addition, the entire Tesla production system is now on a firm footing for that production, which means that we should be able to surpass a combined production rate of S, X and 3 models of 4000 vehicles per week and climb rapidly. This is already twice the pace of 2017! By the end of this year, I believe we will produce vehicles at least four times faster than last year.
EXCLUSIVE: e-mails from a source within Tesla show that the management of Musk and Tesla gathers the troops and tries to accelerate sales, since the feeling about the company becomes negative. pic.twitter.com/u55MnJ8jsP- Problem Magnet (@Tweetermeyer) April 2, 2018
The email arrives a few days after an internal memo was issued at the company asking for volunteers to join the effort to increase production of Model 3 to demonstrate that the company's "enemies" are wrong. Tesla is expected to report its official production numbers to investors. sometime this week. A spokesman for Tesla declined to comment.
Last January, Tesla reported having manufactured 2,425 models 3 in the last quarter of 2017, and said it had achieved a "breakthrough" by addressing the bottlenecks in its production line. But the company also delayed its goal of 2,500 per week until the end of the first quarter of 2018, and its target of 5,000 per week so far this year.
"As we continue to focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time, we expect to have a slightly more gradual ramp in the first quarter, probably ending the quarter to a weekly rate of approximately 2,500 3 vehicles, "said Tesla. "We intend to reach the milestone of 5,000 per week by the end of Q2."
While Musk will surely put aside any doubt about the wrong goal during the next round of gains, it was difficult to shake off the perception that Tesla is staggering. Last week, the company announced that it was voluntarily recalling 123,000 Model S vehicles for a faulty hydraulic steering problem. A day later, Tesla made the unusual move to publicly declare that Autopilot was involved during a recent Model X fatal crash in Mountain View, California. The National Traffic Safety Board, which is investigating the accident, said in a statement it was not "happy" with Tesla's decision to release the information.
Tension was high among Tesla's many fans and customers, but the company sought to project an air of indifference, Dana Hull of Bloomberg reports:
The Tesla delivery center in Fremont, California, was packed with people on Saturday night, when the final hours of the quarter were coming to an end. Red sofas and tall white tables were installed outside, a DJ played music and a truck selling Vietnamese food was at hand. Behind the scenes, a company that has struggled to find a way to make cars en masse has implored workers to put production on track and refute those who doubt.
On Sunday afternoon, Musk joked with "important news," just to tweet an April Fool's Day joke about Tesla's bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Tesla shares fell 4.65 percent to $ 253.75 from 12:53 p.m. ET in New York. Shares fell 22 percent in March, the sharpest monthly decline since December 2010, the year the company went public.
But some analysts stayed bullish with Tesla. "When it rains, it spills," wrote Romit Shah of Instinet. "The Model X accident is a complicated and unfortunate situation, but in our opinion a very low probability event that should not diminish the important work that Tesla and other companies that develop autonomous systems are doing to improve road safety."