It’s crunch time at Tesla, and there’s no time to waste — not even for showers, CEO Elon Musk shared in a recent interview.
The Silicon Valley exec said he’s starting to feel the pressure when it comes to hitting delivery goals on the Model 3, the company’s more affordable electric car. In an upcoming interview with CBS This Morning, Musk told Gayle King he’s so worried about churning out deliveries, he’s started sleeping on the floor of Tesla’s Bay Area manufacturing plant.
“Sleeping on the factory floor, doing – why are you doing that?” asked King.
“Because I don’t have time to go home and shower,” said Musk.
“It’s that simple?” replied King.
“Yes,” said Musk. “I don’t believe, like, people should be experiencing hardship while the CEO is, like, off on vacation.”
Musk has been skewered for missing production goals in the past. Tesla delivered 1,550 Model 3s during the fourth quarter of 2017 — falling well short of the 2,900 investors had anticipated.
Tesla’s stock has fluctuated in the aftermath, with investors betting on, and against, the company pushing out more Model 3s. Since late February, Tesla shares have dropped from roughly $350 a share down to $250, and have since ran back to about $301 a share as of Wednesday afternoon.
Doug Field, Tesla’s head of engineering, urged the company’s manufacturing team to get the last laugh on skeptics. “Let’s make them regret ever betting against us,” said Field in an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg last month. “You will prove a bunch of haters wrong.” Tesla is aiming to manufacture 5,000 Model 3s each week by the end of June.
Of course, Musk appeared to temper optimism, telling CBS’ King that getting out the new Teslas is “production hell,” adding: “It’s worse than I thought.”
Musk’s interview with CBS offers the first glimpse at Model 3 production at the company’s Fremont, California facility. The full interview airs on Friday morning, but here’s a preview: