Tesla Hits 5,000 Cars in a Week, but It is No Glorious Milestone
Tesla might be losing sight of what’s most important and Automologist MAC shares our disapproval.
There is a simple rule in the automotive world and that is shortcuts – especially when it comes to safety – have no place in the world of car production. From the Lee Ioccoca days that saw the development of such amazing lemons as the Ford Pinto, as Ford made production and not quality its “Job Number One!”, the big and established manufacturers learned that shortcuts were to be avoided like the plague.
It would appear that our fledgling friends over at Tesla has spurned the lesson learnt and this may be a major concern to the army of Tesla-ites who have shelled out their hard-earned cash to join the somewhat exclusive club of Tesla 3 owners, a car that by all the reports that are surfacing may prove to be a little bit hastily built.
Last week, Tesla announced that it has finally hit the self-imposed target of manufacturing 5,000 Model 3s in a week. The trouble is, though, that self-imposed targets quite often have more to do with emotion than reality, particularly if we are to believe the reports that detail the scrambling to reassemble moth-balled factory equipment, overworked staff, reduced number of welds in the vehicle, and stopping an industry standard brake and roll test.
Don’t get me wrong. Generally, we like the somewhat flamboyant and very maverick Elon Musk and how he has shaken up the auto-industry and challenged the norms. However, when these norms are related to the safety of the vehicle owner, we do get to raise at least one eyebrow in a concerned manner. Especially as this time, it seems to be more about pleasing a bunch of faceless and besuited investors, more than the owners of Teslas.
We have written before about the almost cult-like status Tesla has acquired amongst its legion of adoring owners, who will gladly tell you that Tesla will now and always sing its own song. But I will tell you that a simple software re-write cannot rectify basic design flaws.
This insane production target, the ever increasing of reports of cars exploding and the very misnamed auto-pilot driver-assistance feature are all starting to look like a company that is far too happy to ignore the basic standards of auto-making and, thus, perhaps of consumer safety too. Tesla may have met its production target and put a smile on some of the investors, but I for one sure hope that it hasn’t sacrificed the safety of the owners to achieve such a hollow victory.