A surfeit of automation introduced too quickly in Tesla's Model 3 production line may be partially to blame for delays.
Since launching last summer, the Model 3, which costs $35,000 for the base model and is touted as the first affordable electric car, has been the subject of much analyst handwringing.
A Bloomberg tool that estimates Model 3 production based on VIN registrations puts the current pace at about 3,000 units per week, far below the company's stated target of 5,000 units sustainably produced per week by the end of Q4 last year.
The Model 3 line, located in the company's Fremont, California, factory, is one of the most automation-heavy auto production lines ever built.
Though often overshadowed by Musk's very public concerns about robots and artificial intelligence, the CEO and entrepreneur has long been a staunch supporter of industrial automation at Tesla. In November of last year Telsa acquired Perbix, a company that makes automated manufacturing equipment.
But in the King interview he struck a different note, suggesting the company may have automated too many processes too quickly. He made specific reference to a huge network of conveyer belts that had to be ripped out because it wasn't working properly.