Elon Musk Has Resorted to Sleeping at Tesla's Factory to Try to Get it Back on Track
The electric car company is way behind on its production goals.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Tesla had fallen behind on the company’s production goals for the $35,000 Model 3. Though CEO Elon Musk had anticipated the company would manufacture more than 1,500 of the cars by the end of September, that wasn’t the case, with only 260 of them made in the third quarter.
Musk is known for having a dogged approach to solving problems, and it seems that has translated to how he has dealt with this most recent wrinkle.
In the company’s quarterly earnings call (the company brought in a revenue of nearly $3 million for Q3) this week, Musk shared that he had come down with a cold, but that it hasn’t deterred him from spending all of his time at the Gigafactory in Nevada, taking the call at the factory and even sleeping there if the need arises.
It would also appear that Musk’s leadership style can best be described as on-the-go. “I always move my desk to wherever -- I don’t really have a desk actually -- I move myself to wherever the biggest problem is in Tesla. I really believe that one should lead from the front lines, and that’s why I’m here,” Musk noted during the earnings call.
He also shared details that in the past four weeks, he has overseen the rewriting of software and spent late night and early mornings on the floor of the factory repairing the processes for battery production. Musk is now anticipating that his goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s every week will likely occur in March.
Musk also acknowledged that his mood had also been affected by the setbacks. “I feel really pretty optimistic right now," he said. "But if you’d talked to me three weeks ago, I would have been quite pessimistic, and I was sort of quite down in the dumps.”
He also took a moment to call out reporting about the company’s recent round of layoffs. After performance reviews, 700 people were fired. Musk believed that the coverage lacked nuance and integrity, saying that those journalists should be “ashamed of themselves.”
If you had to deal with a problem, would you take the late nights, sleep-at-the-factory tack that Musk has taken? Let us know in the comments.
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Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.