Elon Musk is currently stressed but promises that Tesla, his electric car company, is still set to deliver all the Model 3 vehicles that people have ordered. It may be up to nine months behind schedule, but it can happen.
He is also taking responsibility for any delays and all the missed targets.
Gayle King, CBS This Morning host, said that Musk started out by saying he’d make 5,000 a week and when that didn’t work out, he’d d 2,500 a week. Now, it’s at a little more than 2,000 a week. The interview aired on Friday and was held at Musk’s Tesla TSLA factory near Fremont, California. Then, she asked if that troubled Elon.
Musk claimed that what King said was true and that he needs to determine how to do better and meet the company’s goals. He also says that some of the problem focuses on the fact that Tesla tries to do too much all at once.
They have gotten complacent about what they feel is core technology. They’ve added much more newer technology than they should have, especially all at once into their Model 3 vehicles. He believes it would have been better if they staged all the technology rollouts.
He also realizes that building these Model 3 electric cars requires more sophisticated factories.
King, during the interview, asked if the robots slowed down their production and Musk responded that they did. Their network of conveyor belts was complex and crazy. It didn’t work, so they ended up scrapping the entire thing.
Musk referred to the situation as production hell and worse than he imagined. However, he also relayed to King that they’re back on track, or at least getting there. Currently, he feels optimistic about Tesla and where they are right now. They have a better understanding of the path and how to get out of their current rut. Until recently, Musk had no clear path and didn’t know how to change or what to do.
He added in the interview that they (Tesla) is likely to have a four-fold increase for Model 3 vehicles during the second quarter.
While the botched Model 3 production targets are a challenge, they aren’t the only one that Tesla faces right now. Ove 123,000 older Model 3’s were recalled, so Musk is still dealing with that fallout. They also have to content with the crashes that happened when autopilot systems were engaged, as well as a downgrade of Tesla’s credit by Moody’s a ratings agency. One Goldman Sachs analyst also put a 12-month price target on their stock, as well.
However, Musk is defiant and faces the skepticism of Tesla head-on. He claims that the problem that analysts have is that they focus on the past rather than the present or future. People always underestimate Tesla because they look at what Tesla has done previously and claim that is what they do in the future.
All this has taken a toll on Elon, who took over Model 3 production oversight in April. He’s stressed and has been working night and day at the factory to stay on top of things. He even sleeps on the couch.