Tesla Now Building Cars in Tents Outside the Factory Walls

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As has been reported to death by every media outlet in history, including this one, Tesla needs to build more Model 3s to hit its production goals. Apparently, to reach its targets, the brand has resorted to assembling the vehicle in a series of tents that extend from the factory doors.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk tweeted a photo of the company’s very first Model 3 Dual Motor Performance being finished at the location Saturday afternoon. “Amazing work by Tesla team,” he said. “Built entire new general assembly line in 3 weeks [with] minimal resources. Love u guys so much! Pic of 1st Model 3 dual motor performance coming off the line…”

Since everyone beneath it is gainfully employed, this is probably the best tent city we’ve seen crop up in California in quite a while. But the outdoor line is a little confusing, considering the scope the company’s Fremont facility — and Tesla still hasn’t come close to matching the production volumes witnessed when the factory was known as the NUMMI joint between Toyota and General Motors.

Until now, nobody has assumed space was a major issue. But the automaker has expanded the site quite a bit over the years (despite only needing a fraction of the total space after purchasing it in 2010) and it intends to keep doing so. Tesla has said that it eventually intends to double the plant’s 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space — which doesn’t include the similarly large Gigafactory in Nevada.

Whether or not this is a complete production line is unknown. Eagle-eyed dreamboat Bozi Tatarevic noted that the line didn’t appear to be automated and speculated that the automaker could simply finish all-wheel drive Model 3’s outside after the majority of the work had been completed inside. He also commented upon its shoddy construction.

However Musk referred to it as an “entirely new general assembly line,” meaning we should see Model 3 production come up quite a bit over the summer. If we don’t, then that will encourage future aspersions upon anything else the CEO has to say on the matter. For what it’s worth, aerial shots of the line do show it looking rather massive. Let’s just hope it’s well constructed.