Tesla Builds Its Own Tent City

Plenty of room for tents here, I suppose. Tear out a bunch of those useless buildings and you could put up even more.Google Maps

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Because of problems with Tesla’s fully-automated assembly line, CEO Elon Musk has set up a second, completely manual assembly line in a tent pitched on a nearby parking lot. He calls it “pretty sweet,” but not everyone is impressed:

“Words fail me. It’s insanity,” said Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s Max Warburton, who benchmarked auto-assembly plants around the world before becoming a financial analyst.

….What gives manufacturing experts pause about Tesla’s tent is that it was pitched to shelter an assembly line cobbled together with scraps lying around the bricks-and-mortar plant….“The existing line isn’t functional, it can’t build cars as planned and there isn’t room to get people into work stations to replace the non-functioning robots,” Warburton said in an email. “So here we have it — build cars manually in the parking lot.”

….[Musk] described the new assembly line as “way better” than the one in the plant that cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. That tweet spoke volumes to Dave Sullivan, an analyst at research firm AutoPacific who used to supervise Ford Motor Co. factories. “To say that it’s more efficient to build this with scrap pieces laying around means that either somebody made really bad decisions with the parts in the plant inside, or there are a lot of other problems yet to be discovered with Tesla’s efficiency.”

….“It’s preposterous,” Bernstein’s Warburton said. “I don’t think anyone’s seen anything like this outside of the military trying to service vehicles in a war zone. I pity any customer taking delivery of one of these cars. The quality will be shocking.

Musk is either a genius or a charlatan. As time goes by, there’s a lot less room for any kind of middle ground. But I’ll say this: I sure wouldn’t want to buy a Tesla Model 3. I’ll let Musk’s fanboys be the guinea pigs for this bold, new experiment in building cars less efficiently than Model Ts, thank you very much.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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