- Elon Musk said Tesla engineers will have to sleep on the production line to build the company’s next-gen EV.
- Tesla workers have previously said they slept on factory floors during production ramp-ups.
- Tesla is working on a mass-market EV, which it expects to roll out in 2025.
Elon Musk warned Tesla workers to prepare themselves for a challenging production ramp-up as he previewed plans to build a mass-market vehicle.
The Tesla CEO said on the company’s earnings call on Wednesday that building Tesla’s next-generation EV, which is set to enter production in 2025, will require Tesla workers to live and sleep on the manufacturing line at the company’s Texas factory.
“We really need the engineers to be living on the line. This is not sort of an off-the-shelf ‘it just works’ type of thing,” Musk told investors.
“That will be a challenging production ramp … we’ll be sleeping on the line, practically. Not practically, we will be,” he added.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Tesla workers have reportedly had to sleep on manufacturing lines to meet the company’s production deadlines.
A former worker at Tesla’s Fremont factory told The Verge that employees would sleep on the factory floor after 12-hour shifts, and Musk himself has said that he slept beneath his desk while spending “three years straight” basically living in Tesla’s manufacturing facilities.
Musk said that Tesla’s next-generation vehicle, which Reuters reported is a mass market, affordable EV codenamed “Redwood,” is set to enter production in the second half of 2025 at the company’s Texas Gigafactory — though he admitted that he is often optimistic with timings, and could not yet predict how many of the vehicles Tesla would initially produce.
Tesla workers could face a heightened form of what Musk previously dubbed as “production hell” during Tesla’s 2017 Model 3 ramp-up.
“There’s a lot of new technology, a tremendous amount of new revolutionary manufacturing technology here,” Musk said.
“I am confident that once it gets going, it will be head and shoulders above any other manufacturing technology that exists anywhere in the world. It’s next level,” he added.
It comes as the company is under increasing pressure from Chinese EV manufacturers that have prioritized more affordable vehicles, with BYD recently overtaking the US automaker as the world’s largest producer of electric vehicles. BYD does not yet sell its cars in the US, however.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.