It’s another logistical issue from a company that has a long list of delays

It’s the classic case of Tesla being Tesla. The electric car maker says that production of the Model 3 is on track to meet its first-quarter targets. The only problem is that the tools it needs to actually build the Model 3 are still not in its Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada. They’re still 5,429 miles away in Dausfeld, Germany. It might seem like an easy problem to solve because Tesla could just have them shipped from Germany, it’s still a long distance to ship a lot of hardware that needs to be disassembled, shipped, and assembled once it hits its destination.

Tesla Can't Ramp Up Model 3 Production Until Elon Musk Gets All the Tooling From Germany Exterior High Resolution
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For Tesla to actually use the line, the whole thing has to be shipped to the U.S.

This is a classic case of Tesla being Tesla. As incredible as it is for the automaker to achieve everything that it has in such a short span, the company still can’t seem to get out of its own way. This episode perfectly encapsulates that.

The new automated system for module production for its facility in Nevada is the kind of technological breakthrough the company has built its fortune on. The line itself is even working perfectly, according to the company. It’s just that it’s still in its German Grohmann unit. For Tesla to actually use the line, the whole thing has to be shipped to the U.S. There’s also the issue of fixing material handling constraints at its Fremont, California, assembly plant. All that has to happen before the company can reach its target of building 2,500 cars a week by the end of March, and 5,000 cars a week by the end of June.

Fortunately, it’s not a problem that can’t be fixed. Tesla can have the whole line shipped from its German facility to its Gigafactory. Tesla CEO Elon Musk alluded to that in a recent conference call, saying that “It’s not a question of whether it works or not. It’s just a question of disassembly, transport, and reassembly.”

Tesla Can't Ramp Up Model 3 Production Until Elon Musk Gets All the Tooling From Germany Exterior High Resolution
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Tesla can have the whole line shipped from its German facility to its Gigafactory

The more pressing issue is the timing of the relocation and how it’s going to affect the automaker’s first-quarter output goals. George Galliers, an analyst at Evercore ISI, told Auto News that Tesla’s repeated boasts of meeting its targets and then failing to deliver could raise serious concerns among its investors. "Should Tesla miss its 2.5k unit weekly production target, for the end of Q1, investors will be left disappointed, and concerns will increase," Galliers said.

Leave it to Musk, though, to always have the final word, and attach a bit of levity to the situation. "If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production," he said.

References

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Can't Ramp Up Model 3 Production Until Elon Musk Gets All the Tooling From Germany Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

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Source: Automotive News

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