It was reported today that Tesla was to begin assembling the first test units of its next car — the Model 3 — in February but The Verge has learned that there are no imminent plans to begin putting vehicles together. Tesla had originally planned to start production of its cars in July, but at this stage, the company is still preparing to order initial runs of parts for Model 3 production from its suppliers.
While it may not be ready to start manufacturing the Model 3 just yet, Tesla has put plans into motion to prepare its factory in Fremont, California, for the new vehicle. The company will pause production of the Model S and Model X at the facility to expand capacity of its paint shop and perform general maintenance on equipment, a fact first reported by Electrek and confirmed in a Tesla statement.
“Tesla will begin a brief, planned pause in production for a week in February to prepare for Model 3 production,” a company spokesperson told The Verge. The pause “will allow Tesla to begin Model 3 production later this year as planned and enable us to start the ramp towards 500,000 vehicles annually in 2018. We do not anticipate this brief pause to have a material impact on our Q1 production or delivery figures, as we have added production days to compensate.”
The Fremont factory has been retooled several times since 2012 — most recently in 2014, in preparation for Model X production.