FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) - A giant tent is helping Tesla CEO Elon Musk to make good on his production pledge to crank out 5,000 Model 3's by the end of the week.
Tucked away in the northeast end of Tesla’s headquarters in Fremont is this mysterious massive tent where you can see a flurry of activity. Employees are seen assembling the affordable Model 3 electric sedans.
Skyfox was able to capture the enormity of it. It’s the size of two football fields. The temporary tent was built earlier this month. It’s a solution from CEO Elon Musk to meet demand.
“It is not unusual because he understands the problems that he's facing,” said Dr. Fred Barez, director of San Jose State’s Electric Vehicle Technology. “He comes up with outside the box solutions.”
While some manufacturing experts call it "insanity,” Dr. Fred Barez doesn't. He’s the director of Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technology at San Jose State. He said the big military camp style structure is used throughout the world mainly to manufacture aircraft.
He said the tent will be likely be used in the back end of the manufacturing process where employees will install seats, windows and tires.
“It is definitely in the right direction because this tent facility is going to double the capacity,” said Dr. Barez. “It's going to at least improve that capacity.”
Musk has been under pressure to crank out 5,000 Model 3's a week after initially having difficulty with robots. Dr. Barez said this is an example of going back to the roots of an assembly line.
“It is a quick solution to robots versus humans,” said Dr. Barez. “You can test both systems. Will the robots manufacture more? Will people manufacture more?”
Tesla’s factory is the former home of GM and then Nummi, a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. Dr. Barez said, the companies were able to produce thousands of cars a week.
“I like the idea of an electric car and the tax benefits were beneficial,” said Telsa Customer David Raczek.
Raczek said he has been waiting months for his Model 3. He wonders if the tent will affect the car's quality. Experts say it won't since all cars will be tested for quality control.
“If it helps them meet their goals, achieve their production requirements, more power to them,” said Raczek.
Experts said the tent could be there for years, as long as it takes to boost production. It’s cheaper and faster than getting a permit to build a permanent structure.