While Elon Musk and Tesla seem to have successfully managed to focus investor attention entirely on the Model 3’s claimed 5,000 per week production rate rather than the company’s lack of profitability and – if numerous forum posts are any indication- lack of reliability, it seems that even the veracity of the production capability claim may be in question.
Reuters yesterday published a story pointing out that one of Tesla’s major production bottlenecks may be the paint shop, and today Twitter user @eriz35 posted a potential multi-part explanation as to why.
If this research is correct, Tesla potentially does not have the physical capacity required to paint more than 5000 cars a week in total, including 2000 or so Models S and X.
The basis of this thesis is the compelling evidence that Tesla only installed half of the equipment from a 2014 permit application that was represented as required to achieve a total capacity of 520,000 units per year. If this is accurate (and we’re still awaiting a specific refutation from the company) it means Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a lot of explaining to do relative to what he has told investors and, even more importantly, what he has told the company’s creditors.
Here’s the Tweetstorm, which comes on the day the company’s Chief Information Officer became the latest executive to quit:
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