Tesla temporarily stops Model 3 production at Reno, Fremont plants

Tesla has temporarily shut down Model 3 production at its plants outside Reno and in Fremont, California.

The shutdown, expected to last a few days, was planned, a statement said. The Reno-area plant, which is called Gigafactory 1, makes battery products for the company.

“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” the statement said. “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.”

Tesla closed both factories from Feb. 20 to Feb. 24.

Hiccups at the factory at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center in Northern Nevada caused Tesla to miss its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 cars a week in 2017.

Philippe Houchois, an analyst with New York-based investment bank Jefferies, said production stops aren’t unusual and are usually planned weeks ahead with warnings to suppliers.

“However, such events usually happen in the first few months, not nine months into production,” Houchois said.

Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst with Detroit-based Navigant Research, said the stop could have a ripple effect, delaying vendors’ schedules.

“This unannounced shutdown looks like just another one of Tesla’s half-baked attempts at execution and is a prime example of why Elon Musk is a great visionary but a terrible manager,” Abuelsamid said.

Contact Wade Tyler Millward at wmillward@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4602. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

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