Tesla confirmed in a statement to Electrek today that it plans to “pause” production for a week this month at the Fremont factory in order to install equipment for Model 3 production.
The company doesn’t expect that it will affect its production for the first quarter 2017 since it “added production days to compensate.”
There have been previous instances of short downtimes at Tesla’s Fremont factory in order to expand its assembly line for higher production capacity and for the introduction of the Model X.
During this new “production pause” this month, Tesla says that it will update the paint shop:
“During this time, we plan to add capacity to the existing paint shop so that it is ready for Model 3, and perform general maintenance on other factory equipment.”
We found on Buildzoom that Tesla recently acquired new construction permits for the expansion of its paint shop, including one for “Model 3 fascia assembly equipment removal”:
In the statement, Tesla added that this new equipment will allow the company to “begin Model 3 production later this year as planned” and enable them initiate their insanely ambitious ramp up “towards 500,000 vehicles annually in 2018.”
Last December, the city of Fremont approved plans for Tesla’s massive factory expansion that will almost double the size of the already giant electric vehicle factory – 5.3 million square feet to 9.9 million square feet.
Here’s a look at the plant as it currently stands (image credit goes to Lance Neveu):
Additionally, Tesla recently started working on a new production line for Model 3 drivetrains at the Gigafactory in Nevada, where the company also expects to start producing the battery cells for the vehicle during the second quarter.
In a meeting last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he was optimistic about the company hitting its deadline for Model 3 production in mid-2017 and that he sees a new Schuler stamping press as the more “at risk” equipment to delay production.
Recent building permits acquired by Tesla for the Fremont factory also include the foundations for a “2a stamping press line”.
It looks like the production program for the Model 3 is moving forward as planned, which should be good news for the more than 400,000 reservation holders.
Tesla plans to start deliveries of the $35,000 all-electric sedan during the second half of 2017. The first units will go to reservation holders on the west coast, near the factory, and the company will move east from there. Other countries will follow when Tesla completes the homologation process in each market.