The magic number happened the morning of Canada Day at Tesla’s Fremont, California Gigafactory, where a digital counter flipped from 4,999 to 5,000 and the milestone Model 3 rolled off the line with a large “5,000” sign in its windshield.
But reaching that goal didn’t come easy. In order to do it, Tesla erected an auxiliary assembly line outside the factory to boost production, and the company pulled employees from the Model S and Model X lines to build Model 3s instead.
A Reuters report quoting a number of employees suggests Tesla has been forcing its employees to work 12-hour shifts, six days a week.
It’s a been a long road to reach Elon Musk’s ambitious target of building 5,000 cars per week. In April, Tesla shut down Model 3 production to fix quality glitches, like the one that left some drivers stranded with cars that refused to drive or turn on at all.
But there are reports Tesla might be pushing quality to the side in order to meet its arbitrary production targets. The company apparently stopped performing a supposedly “critical” test on the cars as they rolled off the assembly line, one that determines whether the car’s wheels are properly aligned.
Meanwhile, Tesla is aiming to build 6,000 examples of the Model 3 per week starting in August.