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Tesla will start working 24/7 to crank out Model 3s

Tesla CEO Elon Musk vowed to manufacture Model 3 cars around the clock to finally meet the company's...

Posted: Apr 18, 2018 1:38 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2018 1:38 PM

Tesla CEO Elon Musk vowed to manufacture Model 3 cars around the clock to finally meet the company's production target.

The 24/7 production pledge, which Musk emailed to employees Tuesday, came a day after Tesla temporarily suspended production of the mass-market sedan to work out kinks in its assembly line.

Musk set an ambitious production target of 6,000 Model 3s by the end of June. That's 20% more vehicles per month than he promised investors earlier this year.

Tesla has been under pressure to prove to critics and investors that it can increase production of the electric mass market car with a $35,000 starting price. It's also on the hook with about 500,000 customers who put down $1,000 deposits to buy the car. Some have been waiting a year to get their Model 3s.

But so far the automaker has fallen short of just about all of its production targets. It said when it started production of the Model 3 last summer that it would build 5,000 of the cars a week by the end 2017. But it ended the year building only 800 a week.

Tesla reset its production target again but it fell short of that goal as well. Through the end of March it has only built 12,500 Model 3s.

The automotive blog Jalopnik first published Musk's email on Tuesday and CNNMoney confirmed its authenticity.

The email says the company is shutting the assembly line for three to five days as it prepares to go to three shifts, seven days a week.

Related: Elon Musk's brash promise - Tesla will soon make money

Most US auto plants at established automakers only operate with two eight-hour shifts despite the large cost of robots and other equipment at auto assembly lines.

Supplying a plant with parts and keeping the equipment in peak operation is difficult when running the plant around the clock.

"There's diminishing returns when running 24/7," said Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst with Cox Automotive. "Best practice is two eight-hour shifts."

To add the extra shifts, Tesla is looking to hire about 400 workers a week for several weeks. The company had about 37,500 employees as of the end of last year.

Related: Analysis - Tesla should be held to a higher standard

Musk also vowed to rein in spending and give more scrutiny to supplier contracts. Outside experts, such as credit rating agency Moody's and Wall Street firm Jefferies, have said the company could face a cash crunch later this year if Tesla continues to miss its Model 3 production target. But Musk has insisted that the increased production of Model 3s will provide it with the cash it needs. He has denied the company will need to raise more cash, and promised profitability in the latter half of this year. His email said the company is on the verge of turning a profit.

"A fair criticism leveled at Tesla by outside critics is that you're not a real company unless you generate a profit, meaning simply that revenue exceeds costs," Musk wrote. "It didn't make sense to do that until reaching economies of scale, but now we are there."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 560450

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1167211690
Ramsey48313858
Dakota42928423
Anoka38965419
Washington25195274
Stearns21198219
St. Louis16926298
Scott16187118
Wright14964128
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Carver993045
Clay787390
Rice7701102
Blue Earth704240
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Crow Wing624286
Chisago554750
Otter Tail547673
Benton536697
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Goodhue448572
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Winona439549
Nobles401948
Morrison397559
McLeod397255
Isanti382559
Itasca379053
Beltrami375457
Polk367967
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Becker359448
Lyon349748
Carlton331152
Freeborn329629
Pine313821
Nicollet310343
Brown295639
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Le Sueur273822
Todd270030
Cass252526
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Waseca231921
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Mahnomen5178
Unassigned48678
Kittson46822
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Lake of the Woods3073
Cook1480

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359450

Reported Deaths: 5839
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56274608
Linn20392330
Scott19245236
Black Hawk15611306
Woodbury14960221
Johnson1415481
Dubuque13196203
Dallas1094596
Pottawattamie10804162
Story1035747
Warren559186
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Cerro Gordo524987
Webster508792
Sioux507873
Marshall477575
Muscatine463297
Des Moines443165
Wapello4255121
Buena Vista422140
Jasper408470
Plymouth398779
Lee369255
Marion355775
Jones293455
Henry286837
Carroll280152
Bremer279860
Crawford262840
Boone259633
Benton251155
Washington249850
Dickinson243743
Mahaska225750
Jackson218942
Kossuth213763
Clay212325
Tama206971
Delaware204539
Winneshiek194933
Page190721
Buchanan189031
Cedar185023
Fayette183541
Hardin181942
Wright180635
Hamilton178449
Harrison176673
Clayton167355
Butler162734
Mills159020
Cherokee157738
Floyd156242
Lyon155341
Madison154819
Poweshiek153233
Allamakee149351
Iowa146224
Hancock144234
Winnebago136931
Grundy135532
Cass135154
Calhoun133411
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Sac128419
Louisa127349
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Union123332
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Guthrie118529
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Monroe94528
Ida90133
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Lucas75723
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