Tesla Model 3 assembly line shut down for the second time this year

Production of Tesla's Model 3 has been a hot topic lately. From missing production goals to Elon Musk taking control of the process himself, whether or not Tesla can eventually scale to meet its own production goals has been given a lot of focus. Today, however, we're learning that Model 3 production has suddenly been halted, albeit temporarily.

BuzzFeed News broke the news late last night, stating that the Model 3 assembly line has been shut down for the next four to five days. Tesla employees who spoke to BuzzFeed said that they weren't warned of this shut down ahead of time and that most were given the choice of using vacation days or taking time off without pay while production is stopped.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Tesla spokesperson said that this pause in production is necessary in order to "improve automation." Automation has definitely been a thorn in Tesla's side when it comes to the Model 3. Late last year, reports claimed that automation was at least partially to blame for low Model 3 production numbers, and just a few days ago, Elon Musk admitted that "excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake," noting that "humans are underrated."

This isn't the first time the Model 3 assembly line has been shut down this year, either. Production was also paused back in February, with Tesla attempting to improve automation then as well. Tesla, for its part, says that pauses like this are common when trying to ramp up production, as they allow bottlenecks to be addressed.

If Tesla is able to solve problems with bottlenecks and improve its automation as a result of this pause, then that's definitely a good thing. The Model 3 is already behind on production, with Tesla saying that it now expects to be producing 5,000 cars per week by the end of 2018's second quarter – a goal it originally wanted to meet by the end of last year. As we're closing in on the end of April, it won't be much longer before we discover if these assembly line shut downs actually helped in the long run.