Tesla Model 3 Production Held up by Welding Woes?


What’s behind Tesla’s manufacturing woes? It could be something as simple as steel.

Based on details in a Wall Street Journal report and in a video of the production line posted on Twitter by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, experts say the electric vehicle maker appears to be struggling with welding together a mostly steel vehicle, as opposed to the primarily aluminum bodies of the Model S and Model X.

The company fell short of its third-quarter production target for the Model 3 — the lower-cost vehicle intended to mark Tesla’s entry into the mass market.

With an influx of competitive EVs on the horizon, Tesla must iron out its manufacturing problems in the next few months or risk losing its competitive edge before the Model 3 reaches a larger audience.

“Before, there was only Tesla. Now, there’s going to be dozens of alternatives,” said Ron Harbour, a manufacturing consultant at Oliver Wyman. “They’re going to have to get really efficient at manufacturing. They have to be cost competitive and price competitive to stay in the business.”

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