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Tesla Inc. has again halted production of the Model 3 sedan, days after Chief Executive Elon Musk said the auto maker’s pace of making 2,000 of the sedans a week is sustainable.
The Silicon Valley company has fallen behind schedule in building its first mass-market car, missing several goals including a milestone of making 2,500 vehicles a week by the end of March. Further delays add more pressure for Tesla to crank up production to avoid squeezing its tight cash situation.
Tesla said Monday it is shutting down Model 3 production for about a week as part of its planned downtime. A spokesman repeated the company’s past statement that shutdowns are “used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates." BuzzFeed earlier reported on the temporary shutdown.
Shutdowns are normal during so-called preproduction when an auto maker is preparing the factory to make cars at a high rate. But they are unusual once production has officially begun, said Dennis Virag, a manufacturing consultant who has worked in the automotive industry for 40 years.
“It’s unheard of in this day and age," he said.