Profile: Elon Musk, Crazed Bull Running ‘Production Hell’
A new profile on Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk gives an unusual example of how the stress of ramping up M3 production has affected him.
According to the WS-J, Mr. Musk started head-butting a car at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory this spring after he learned the assembly line would stop when people came too close to it.
The WS-J reports that Mr. Musk was touring the factory and noticed that the assembly line had stopped. When he asked why, managers reportedly told him it was due to sensors that were triggered as a safety precaution when people interfered with the line.
Their answer reportedly made Mr. Musk angry, and he started to head-butt the front end of a car.
“I don’t see how this could hurt me,” he reportedly said. “I want the cars to just keep moving.”
A Tesla spokesperson told the automotive press that Mr. Musk tapped the car with his head while wearing a safety helmet to demonstrate that it did not pose a safety risk. The spokesperson said that the equipment Musk asked about was redundant and was modified after being tested by safety equipment specialists.
For much of the year after the M3 was launched in July 2017, Tesla struggled to ramp up production in Hell. The M3 is the company’s 1st attempt mass-market car and the EV that M.r Musk says the company was betting its existence on.
At the end of June, Tesla achieved its goal of making 5,000 M3s in a week.
Mr. Musk previously said the company would hit that number by the end of Y 2017, he missed, and that sustaining such a production rate was critical for Tesla to become profitable.
The story is not the 1st describing Musk’s alleged displeasure with some safety measures at the Fremont factory.
It was reported in April that Tesla did not mark some hazard areas in Yellow because the eccentric Mr. Musk does not like the color and avoided other safety signs and markings for aesthetic reasons.
Tesla called the report “a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here,” and claimed it was “an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla.”
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