Tesla temporarily paused production of its mass market Model 3 in February to facilitate a new upgrade that would improve automation. According to the company, the planned pause was perfectly normal and was common when a manufacturer is ramping up its output.
"Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1," a spokesperson for the company said. "These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates."
The Fermont facility is currently where the vehicles are built and is located near San Jose, California. On the other hand, Gigafactory 1 is located in Sparks, near Reno, Nevada and manufacturers the batteries packs used in Tesla vehicles among others.
The company did not provide specifics regarding the production upgrade. However, they did inform everyone that there could be more periods of downtime in coming months.
In a shareholder note last month, Tesla said it was aiming for a weekly production rate of 2,500 Model 3s per week. This means that any pause will delay hundreds of deliveries, thousands of which have been pending for over a year. Nevertheless, the company is confident that it will be able to meet that goal.
"We are taking many actions to systematically address bottlenecks and add capacity in places like the battery module line where we have experienced constraints, and these actions should result in our production rate significantly increasing during the rest of (the first quarter) and through (the second quarter)," the company said in a statement.
CEO Elon Musk recently admitted that the electric automaker is just surviving "by the skin of their teeth." In fact, if only a small thing went wrong, the company would have been dead a long time ago.
For now, Tesla is surviving and is planning to survive. However, its survival now lies in the hands of the Model 3 as well as Musk's ability to deliver on its big promises.