After all the controversy over production delays, Tesla released some videos to prove things are moving quickly. The only problem is those videos raised more concerns, at least among manufacturing experts. Now, we may have an answer for why production has slowed to a crawl.
Unlike the Model S and Model X, the Model 3’s structure isn’t mostly aluminum. It has a fair amount of steel in it, and that could be the sticking point. That means more weld joints are needed, instead of rivets and adhesive, and Tesla must adjust to the changes.
After viewing the videos Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted online, some manufacturing experts gave feedback to Automotive News. One noted that resistance welds showed a high amount of expulsion, instead of just some smoke. He claimed that can indicate the welds are too hot, or aren’t planned correctly. Another possibility is that the two metal parts aren’t being joined together completely. Whatever the cause, it’s evidence that Tesla is in over its head, at least for now.
Of course, Tesla is saying the problems are all about getting used to producing a lot of cars. There’s no way the company’s going to admit that maybe the weld joints aren’t done to the highest level of quality, because people would cancel their Model 3 reservations in droves.