FREMONT (KPIX 5) — Tesla’s latest production numbers are out and — in spite of recent legal trouble for CEO Elon Musk– the electric car company beat expectations.
In the third quarter, tesla predicted 55,000 Model 3’s would come off production lines. In fact, they beat that number by 840 cars.
However, there have been some questions whether all those cars are getting to their owners.
To get a sense of what making 5,000 cars a week looks like, KPIX 5 went down to the queuing area on Kato Road next to the factory in Fremont.
There, the sense of urgency as workers prep a steady stream of cars to load up onto the carriers is palpable.
In the space of 20 minutes, four trucks fully loaded with Teslas ready for delivery pulled out of the facility.
In the past few weeks, there have been instances of customers complaining on social media about shipment delays.
“There are 42 Teslas sitting at the Union Pacific Railroad in SLC. My car is one of these. I’ve been told I was getting delivery the 8th, then the 15th, then the 20th, then the 22nd,” read one post on Twitter.
MUSK himself responded to that post, writing “Sorry we’ve gone from production hell to delivery hell…should be solved shortly.”
“It’s a learning process. Going from 100, 200 to 5,000 is a big jump,” said San Jose State Mechanical Engineering Professor Fred Barez. “Yes, they are learning from their mistakes, and they should probably be managing that better.
Baraz has a background in assembly lines and production.
He said that in the ramp-up of the Model 3, Tesla let cars off the assembly line with minor defects to be fixed later instead of right there on the assembly line. That added to the delays.
When asked if that was a good way of running a car factory, Baraz replied, “At the moment, it isn’t the best. Because they want to make their volume, the numbers. So as long as you manufactured the vehicle, you made one car. Whether or not there was another defect or not that’s another issue. They have to go back and fix it.”
Tesla’s quarterly statement addressed the issue with deliveries.
“We made many improvements to these processes throughout the quarter, and plan to make further improvements in Q4,” the statement read. “As part of this effort, we plan to continue to expand direct deliveries to customers at their home or office.”