Holding Feet to the Fire
Tesla has announced an ambitious goal: The company will make a total of 500,000 cars by 2018, two years sooner than previously planned. The new deadline was discussed on Telsa's earnings call, where Elon Musk covered the importance of improving manufacturing to this bold number.
"Tesla is going to be hell-bent on becoming the best manufacturer on Earth," he said, imploring the best manufacturing people in the world to "join our company."
The Model 3 should be at "production capability" by July 1 of next year, according to Musk. However, "in the same breath," as the Verge notes, Musk also stated that the date will not likely be met. Despite this, Musk believes that the goal needs to be set for accountability reasons: "There needs to be penalties internally or externally for anyone who doesn't meet that timeframe."
"We need to hold people's' feet to the fire," he added.
Supply and Demand
Currently, Tesla hopes to be able to make about 2,000 cars per week by the end of the second quarter. Moving to 500,000 from the projected 100,000 to 200,000 cars to be made in the second half of 2017 just sounds insane. And it kind of is, but that's Musk for you.
If you think Musk's tone is intense, his work ethic reflects it. "I have a sleeping bag in an office in the factory," Musk said. "My desk is at the end of the production line."
Hoping to snag a Model 3 in 2018? Musk suggests making a deposit soon. If Tesla is able to scale manufacturing though, then supply might just meet demand.