Tesla Paused Model 3 Production in February for Factory Upgrades

The pause was pre-planned, the company said.

Tesla temporarily halted production of the Model 3 from Feb. 20 through Feb. 24 for planned factory upgrades, reports Reuters. The company said the pause was normal, and that it allowed for upgrades that would improve production rates. But the stoppage occurred as Tesla works to meet ambitious production goals for the Model 3.

"Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1. These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates," a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement. Batteries for the Model 3 are made at Gigafactory 1, located near Reno, Nevada. All Tesla electric cars are assembled at a factory in Fremont, California.

Tesla did not provide details on the factory upgrades but told Reuters that there could be more periods of downtime in the coming months. Even with that planned downtime, Tesla is working to ramp up production of the Model 3 in order to meet a backlog of reservations and achieve an annual production rate of 500,000 cars by the end of this year.

Last month, Tesla said in a shareholder letter that it planned to boost production to 2,500 cars per week by the end of the first quarter, and 5,000 cars per week by the end of the second quarter. The company originally said that it would hit a weekly production rate of 5,000 cars by the end of 2017, but that goal was gradually pushed back to the end of the first quarter of 2018, and then to the second quarter.

In the shareholder letter, Tesla said that "our prior experience on the Model 3 ramp has demonstrated the difficulty of accurately forecasting specific production rates at specific points in time." But the company added that it is taking actions to address production bottlenecks, and expects production rates to increase significantly.