Last week Tesla handed over the keys to the first 30 owners of its newly launched compact car the Model 3, but getting Model 3 production in full swing won’t be easy, CEO Elon Musk has warned employees.
The 30 individuals who received their Model 3s last week weren’t true customers, but rather Tesla employees, with consumers receiving their cars this month. Production of the $35,000 EV has so far moved at a slow pace, but the California-based automaker plans on slowly ramping things up through to December when it hopes to be building 20,000 units a month. This won’t be easy, it seems, with Musk warning employees that “manufacturing hell,” may be on the horizon.
That warning is particularly ominous in light of Tesla’s already poor track record for workplace safety. California-based workplace safety watchdog Worksafe found Tesla recorded about 8.8 injuries for every 100 of its workers. That data is from 2015, the last full year Tesla’s workplace safety record was studied, but it still proved to be well above the 6.7 percent average for the automotive industry.
That’s not to say Tesla isn’t doing things to improve its safety record. In May, The Los Angeles Times ran a story highlighting Tesla’s worrying workplace safety record. In response, Tesla acknowledged its poor safety record (based on the aforementioned data from 2015) but also said that it has made improvements to its company culture and improved workplace safety since then.
“We may have had some challenges in the past as we were learning how to become a car company, but what matters is the future,” a company spokesman told the publication. “With the changes we’ve made, we now have the lowest injury rate in the industry by far.”
Due to the lack of data, it’s hard to dispute the automaker’s claims. It seems any potential dangers it may continue to expose its workers to will be exacerbated in the coming months, however, as the automaker undergoes its so-called hellish production schedule and tries to get rabid Model 3 buyers their cars.
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