THAT NEW CAR SMELLS: Tesla idling Model 3 shows Musk unable to make fixes.
The hiatus is another setback for the first model Musk has tried to mass-manufacture. In addition to trying to bring electric vehicles to the mainstream, the chief executive officer had sought to build a competitive advantage over established automakers by installing more robots to quickly produce vehicles. Last week, he acknowledged “excessive” automation at Tesla was a mistake.
“Traditional automakers adjust bottlenecks on the fly during a launch,” Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific Inc., said in an email. “This is totally out of the ordinary.”
“Shutting down for days on end during ramp is far from normal,” Kristin Dziczek, director of the industry, labor and economics group at the Center for Automotive Research, wrote in an email.
Eventually, the 400,000-plus people who put $1,000 deposits down on the Model 3 are going to want to take delivery of their cars — or of refund checks.