Tesla Inc has temporarily suspended its Model 3 assembly line in what the company stated on Monday was a planned production pause, as the automaker is still facing challenges ramping up its new sedan.
It was the second time since February that the automaker has temporarily shut down its production line for the Model 3 at its Fremont, California plant.
“These periods are used to enhance automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to ramp up production rates,” a Tesla representative stated on Monday.
BuzzFeed, which first reported the news, stated employees were expected to use vacation days or stay home without pay during the four- to five-day production break.
After frequent delays in production of its Model 3 sedan, Tesla is now trying to catch up to a target of constructing 2,500 vehicles on weekly basis by the end of the second quarter. Concerns within its heavily roboticized assembly line have complicated those attempts.
On Friday, Musk acknowledged for the first time that he had relied too much on automation in the Model 3 assembly line, a stunning concession from Tesla’s CEO who has earlier scoffed at competitors’ manufacturing prowess and boasted about creating an “Alien Dreadnought” within the Fremont factory by this year.
“Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” Musk wrote on Twitter last week. “To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
Musk also tweeted on Friday that the company would be profitable and cash flow positive in the third and fourth quarters, with no requirement to raise money.