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Elon Musk on missing Model 3 production deadlines: ‘I’ve never made a mass-produced car. How am I supposed to know with precision when it’s going to get done?’


  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a “60 Minutes” interview on
    Sunday evening that missed Model 3 production timelines
    were because he is “dumb at predicting dates.”
  • “I’ve never made a mass-produced car. How am I supposed to
    know with precision when it’s going to get done?” Musk said.
  • Musk also said that critics were right that Tesla was running
    out of money as it struggled to ramp up the Model 3 during the
    first half of 2018. However, he said that by setting up a giant
    tent in the parking lot of Tesla’s Fremont factory, the company
    was able to considerably ramp up production.
  • “So those betting against the company were right by all
    conventional standards that we would fail, but they just did not
    count on this unconventional situation of creating an assembly
    line in a parking lot in a tent,” Musk said.

Tesla missing its deadlines for Model 3 production targets was
not done on purpose, rather it was done out of stupidity, CEO
Elon Musk said during an interview with ’60 Minutes’ on Sunday.

“Well, I mean, punctuality is not my strong suit…. Why would
people think that if I’ve been late on all the other models that
I’d suddenly be on time with this one,” Musk said.

When it was pointed out to him that his critics would call this
lying he countered by explaining it was actually stupidity.

“People should not ascribe to malice that which can easily be
explained by stupidity. So it’s like, just because I’m like dumb
at predicting dates does not mean I am untruthful. I don’t know.
I’ve never made a mass-produced car. How am I supposed to know
with precision when it’s going to get done?”

Tesla did make 5,000 Model 3 vehicles in the last week of June.
However, it did not regularly produce that many vehicles per week
during the third quarter. Rather, the company averaged 4,300 model 3 cars per week during
the quarter.
Tesla has still not begun production of the
$35,000 Model 3, but Musk said that it should be ready in five to
six months.

Ramping up to the target of 5,000 Model 3s per week almost broke
the company, Musk said during the interview.

“It was life or death,” Musk said. “We were losing $50 million,
sometimes $100 million a week, and we were running out of money.”

It wasn’t until the company created a third assembly line in a
tent outside the Fremont factory that the company was able to
ramp up production enough to meet its target.

“So those betting against the company were right by all
conventional standards that we would fail, but they just did not
count on this unconventional situation of creating an assembly
line in a parking lot in a tent,” Musk said.

Musk said this last-minute push with the tent increased the
company’s output by 50%.

Do you work at Tesla and have a story to share? Contact this
editor at CThompson@BusinessInsider.com.





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