Elon Musk Pushing Factory Workers to Quadruple Production Numbers

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In 2015, Tesla delivered 50,000 cars to consumers. This year, it’s on track for more than 70,000.

By 2018, founder Elon Musk wants that figure at half a million.

Originally Musk expected this goal to be reached in 2020, but recently he decided to accelerate that timeline. Why? Because the forthcoming Model 3—Tesla’s most affordable car ever—begins mass production next July and Musk does not want there to be any supply and demand issues.

But even Tesla admits it may be out of its league.

“We have no experience to date in manufacturing vehicles at the high volumes that we anticipate for Model 3, and to be successful, we will need to develop efficient, automated, low-cost manufacturing capabilities, processes, and supply chains necessary to support such volumes,” the company acknowledged in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last month.

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Nearly 400,000 consumers have placed a $1,000 deposit to preorder the Model 3. It will be a tough challenge for Tesla, but the company learned from the Model X how to design a more production-friendly vehicle. By comparison, the Model 3 is Tesla’s most manufacture-ready design ever.

Regardless, Musk is playing hardball.

“I have to drive all suppliers and internal efforts … knowing that some will fall short. And those that fall short will be cut out of the picture,” he said during an August earnings call.

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