Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has admitted for the first time that his electric vehicle-making company has been too reliant on robots for production and the human workforce is underrated. “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated,” Elon Musk tweeted late on Friday while responding to a reporter’s tweet. The journalist from Wall Street Journal had tweeted: “Humans are underrated.”
This comes at a time when reports of Tesla Model 3 having missed production targets and manufacturing challenges have surfaced. Tesla reported a record loss of $675.4 million — $4.01 per share — on a revenue of $3.29 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The Palo Alto car company partly blamed the worst-ever figures on the high costs related to the production of its Model 3 electric sedan, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Tesla, which lost $121 million in the same quarter last year, said revenue was up 36 per cent over the same period in 2016 because of the deliveries it made of the luxury electric Model S sedan and Model X crossover. Tesla has been under fire amid a production slowdown for its Model 3 which is its lower-priced vehicle. Musk, however, is hopeful that the company will be profitable in the third quarter.
Tesla CEO recently sent Roadster tied to a Falcon Heavy rocket by SpaceX to reach Mars’ orbit. According to reports, the Roadster won’t actually be close to Mars until early October of 2020. The car does not have any landing equipment or thrusters to land it on the surface. “If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production. It’s just a matter of time,” said Musk.