A CNBC report published this week indicated Tesla is set to experience further setbacks in ramping up production of the Model 3, but the automaker has now denied such claims.
The CNBC report indicated the American electric vehicle maker was experiencing battery production problems at its Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. Allegedly, Tesla is being forced to make some battery packs by hand, and is also recruiting employees from battery supplier Panasonic to help. Additionally, the report indicated Tesla is “still not close to mass producing batteries,” for the lower range $35,000 version of the sedan, having only built large battery pack versions to date.
Tesla has now responded to the report, with a spokesperson telling Reuters the company is on track to meet its revised Model 3 production targets. The statement did seem to acknowledge that at least some battery packs are currently being built by hand, however.
“To be absolutely clear, we are on track with the previous projections for achieving increased Model 3 production rates that we provided earlier this month,” the company said in an emailed statement.
“As has been well documented, until we reach full production, by definition some elements of the production process will be more manual.”
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Tesla hopes to be making around 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of the first quarter of 2018. In July of last year, Musk tweeted that he expected Tesla to be building 20,000 Model 3s a month by September 2017. It missed that goal by a wide margin, delivering just 260 vehicles in September. It still hopes to make around 5,000 Model 3s per week, but now predicts it won’t reach that milestone until the end of the second quarter.