Elon Musk was interviewed by CBS This Morning this week and gave a rare tour of the Model 3 assembly line at Tesla’s Fremont Factory in California. He also took a Model 3 out for a spin and talked about the Auto Pilot capabilities and limitations.
During the interview he talked about “production hell” as he has been upfront about in the past and that it is actually worse than he had expected. He expressed being under stress.
“I am definitely under stress, If I seem I am not under stress, I want to make it clear, I am definitely under stress”
He said the problem was the Model 3 assembly line was over automated and they had to eliminate a crazy coveyer belt system they had implemented.
“We had this crazy, complex network of conveyor belts, and it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing.”
He went on to say that the Model 3 launched with too much new technology and it should’ve been rolled out in stages.
“We put too much new technology into the Model 3 all at once, this should’ve been staged”
He is pleased with current production levels with 2,071 units for the week at the time of the interview. He expects those numbers to increase by three or four fold by the second quarter of this year.
During the interview he took a Model 3 out for a spin, showed off Auto Pilot capabilities, and talked about the limitations. He said the system will never be perfect and requires driver attention. He demonstrated this during the interview and showed how the system alerts the driver to place their hands back on the wheel.
How I see it
I am a fan of Tesla, but not a die hard defender of Tesla like some. I have called them out over their quality control, fit and finish, and Auto Pilot problems, however, I think Elon Musk is a visionary, a smart CEO, and is taking the reins and doing what it takes to make Tesla and the Model 3 a success story.
So many analysis and others cast doubt about Tesla being able to succeed. They are quick to point out all the problems with Tesla, and paint a picture of impending doom. Yet, you have a CEO who has had tremendous success launching and running companies like PayPal, Space X, and the Boring company. He has put his own sweat, blood, tears, and money into these companies and has a sense of determination that many others don’t have.
I for one won’t be suprised at future headlines of how Elon Musk pulled off this impossible dream of creating a successful car company.
You can watch the full interview here