Did Tesla over-automate?

April 20, 2018


Research analysts from financial institution Bernstein analysts stated the following from which we can ponder if the robots are killing Tesla:


“Tesla has tried to hyper-automate final assembly. We believe Tesla has been too ambitious with automation on the Model 3 line. Few have seen it (the plant is off-limits at present), but we know this: Tesla has spent c.2x what a traditional OEM spends per unit on capacity.”


“It has ordered huge numbers of Kuka robots. It has not only automated stamping, paint and welding (as most other OEMs do) — it has also tried to automate final assembly (putting parts into the car). It talks of two-level final lines with robots automating parts sequencing. This is where Tesla seems to be facing problems (as well as in welding & battery pack assembly).”


Finally, in a surprising turnaround, Tesla founder Elon Musk stated that yes, perhaps they had over automated:


“Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”


twitter musk statement


From a manufacturing perspective, this is a fascinating turn of events. As manufacturing companies look to ramp up their productivity, the Model 3 production line gives a precautionary tale to beware of over-automation.

It’s time to unleash your potential

Reach out to the team at Applied CAx to learn how our aerospace solutions can make your company’s goals achievable.