Tesla recently met their production goal for their highly-anticipated Model 3. But at what cost?
In November 2017, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made some hefty promises about Model 3 production numbers. He told investors that, by March 2018, Tesla will be building 5,000 Model 3s a week. These were quite lofty goals for a burgeoning company.
While a bit late, the relatively untested American automaker has succeeded. In fact, they did not just meet expectations, they exceeded them, building 7,000 Model 3s in just one week. While Tesla’s rivals found the milestone more amusing than anything, it is still an impressive feat.
This production goal is a great success for a company that is truly looking to find their footing. Especially considering, as we reported earlier this year, Tesla’s future seemed somewhat grim.
While Ford may be able to smash their weekly goal in a matter of hours, Tesla still has a lot to prove.
Is Tesla cutting corners or just using common sense?
When I was learning about oil barons in the Industrial Revolution as a kid, I was taught an anecdote about John D. Rockefeller. The mogul is touring his factory when he makes note of the solder workers use to attach lids of oil drums.
He notices workers use a bit more than necessary each time they attach a drum lid. He requests they use less solder to weld the lids to the drums, saving the company time and money in the long run. As his business grows exponentially bigger, so does his savings.
Elon Musk must be taking a page from Rockefeller’s book, as Model 3s are now produced with “300 fewer unnecessary welds.” Quick fixes aren’t just being found during assembly, either.
According to Business Insider, Tesla no longer performs an industry-standard “brake and roll test.” Their sources make clear that every other auto manufacturer performs this test to ensure the suspension is properly aligned. Ensuring a vehicle’s alignment is correct guarantees maximum efficiency, handling, and safety.
While the test is standard procedure across the board, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is vital. On the other hand, performing redundant tests is important for safety. Perhaps other automakers will take note and forego the test as well. Or perhaps the tests should be compulsory. Only time will tell.
There are over 500,000 pre-orders for the Tesla Model 3 waiting to be fulfilled. According to Bloomberg, less than 10% of that have been built by the beginning of July 2018. Hopefully, Elon Musk has more Rockefeller tricks up his sleeve.