Tesla CEO Elon Musk Sleeps In Sleeping Bag Near End Of Model X Production Line

1 year ago by Steven Loveday 57

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

This week, during Tesla’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk assured analysts that higher level production rates with increased quality and communication are underway. He added that the Model X has many “bells and whistles”, but that they do not impact quality. Musk is personally overseeing quality control and spending a majority of his time aside the Model X assembly line. He said:

Tesla Model X Interior With Seating For Seven

Tesla Model X Interior With Seating For Seven

“I’m personally spending an enormous amount of time on the production line. I have a sleeping bag and desk at the end of the production line which I use quite frequently. The whole team is focused on achieving a high (run) rate and quality.”

Partly due to Musk’s personal presence related to the Model X, Tesla has increased production by five times from Q4 to Q1. In Q4 the company made a mere 507 units and this quarter 2,659. The company announced that its previous goal of 500,000 vehicles per year by 2020 will now be achieved by 2018.

Musk also went on to explain that the production line has tightened up its “feedback loop” such that design, manufacturing and production are more “streamlined” and highly efficient. This is all in preparation for the production of the upcoming Model 3.

Early quality control issues and defective parts from suppliers have been reportedly fixed. Tesla has told owners that the problems were limited to early VIN numbers and only Signature and Founder Series Model X vehicles. Musk is confidently boasting that the Model X is the “best car ever”.

Source: Teslarati

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57 responses to "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Sleeps In Sleeping Bag Near End Of Model X Production Line"

  1. no comment says:

    this stuff about putting a sleeping bag and desk at the end of the production line that musk says is all symbolic, for PR purposes. he may literally do these things at some point in time, but musk is not a technical person, so while he may be physically present, there are other people there who are doing the actual work.

    1. John says:

      Cite your source?

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “no comment” said:

      “…but musk is not a technical person…”

      It’s hard to be more wrong than that! Here’s what Musk himself said:

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      My father was an engineer so I grew up in a technical household, and physics was always what I was good at in school. I was also inspired by Richard Feynman’s lectures and books. When I was 17, I moved from South Africa to Canada, and then to the University of Pennsylvania to study a dual degree in business and physics. It was an unusual combination, and I enjoyed the physics more. I’m not sure I would study business again if I could replay things.

      I was offered a place at Stanford University to do postgraduate research into high-energy-density capacitors.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      source: https://www.iop.org/careers/working-life/profiles/page_57723.html

      1. no comment says:

        look, here’s the thing: when you rely on a person’s bio AS THE SUBJECT RENDERS IT, there is always the possibility for getting a self-serving story. you generally want to read the person’s bio from at least one different source:

        https://www.technologyreview.com/s/539861/techs-enduring-great-man-myth/

        1. Will Davis says:

          Look, here’s the thing. I’m a good judge of character, and a highly, highly doubt Musk is fabricating his bio. If he claims he’s done it, that’s good enough for me. We’re not all highly cynical and untrusting.

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          Apart from the drawing which is quiet funny and artistic, the article itself is the perfect demonstration that many people keep not understanding the importance of individuals.

          It was the very specific Christopher Columbus that did the Atlantic crossing, not just someone that happen to collect the fruit of an evanescent ambiance of the time, it was Wernher von Braun that brought Neil Armstrong on the Moon, not a lucky convergence of technological capabilities that would have been there at the time, it was Thomas Edison that did the light bulb that worked and lasted, not the many that tried but didn’t find the real way to make it, it is Elon Musk that brought the actual mass production of desirable electric cars, not the fact that ion batteries improved and that it would just happen to be a good thing to have electrics again, it was Elon Musk again that pushed the realization of Space X, not the fact that DC-X tried before and that Nasa did a lot of research or that space launch to Mars is hanging in the air.

          Time and time again, it is exactly very specific individuals that are indeed making the difference between something that could be and something that gets done for real. Individuals with a target that hold to it until completed make the difference not an epoch ambiance or the result of spontaneous invention. Specific people matter and convergences are only giving fruit if and only someone with the correct set of skills means and work exist to make it come true. Elon Musk is clearly and undeniably exactly such a person.

    3. Mel4EV says:

      He was technical enough to figure out you could build the superfast Roadster with battery chemistry technology a decade ago, and find out about rocket science to start SpaceX by ‘reading a lot’.

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        A common misconception about Elon. He was not there on the creation of the roadster. He was an early investor, but not a founder of Tesla.

      2. zll says:

        Sorry to break it to you, but there are other true geniuses behind the creation of the Roadster and SpaceX, JB Straubel and Tom Mueller and countless other unsung heroes….

    4. MrEnergyCzar says:

      Musk used to sleep and live in the office trying to make his online yellow pages company work (pre-Paypal days)….

      1. Mister G says:

        Elon Musk is sacrificing his health and family time to save Planet Earth from oil addicts…Thank you Elon

        1. evcarnut says:

          In Life , There is a Price attached to everything , in some way shape or form …

  2. mhpr262 says:

    Sometimes I worry about Musk – how healthy can such a stressful life be? Does he get medical check-ups regularly?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I hear this. Not speaking at all to the advantage that Tesla seemingly has to has such a present CEO…but he has a lot going on, and he has a pretty large brood of kids too.

      Just as a personal note, I work long days to because I want to…7am to 2am at IEV (not a strong sleeper), but part of that deal is a hiatus from 3 to ~9 if any member of the family will be at home/available. I’m not sure how one makes time for yourself/family if you are so omnipresent at all your company facilities.

      /happy to benefit by being able to buy a Tesla though

      1. CDAVIS says:

        @ Jay Cole said: “…/happy to benefit by being able to buy a Tesla though.”
        ——

        Jay – Does that read you buying/bought black Tesla?

      2. Kdawg says:

        You know Elon has cloned himself right?

    2. evcarnut says:

      There is Good Stress & Bad stress ….This is Probably GOOD Stress For him because he truly Loves what he is doing ..Now., if he hated his job it would be much different., those Long Hours Would Indeed Be Detrimental to him …I Trust & Hope for his sake , that it’s all “Good Stress”…

  3. Trollnonymous says:

    Many times quality issues come from vendors. I just hope they don’t get hit with the airbag issues.

    1. Anon says:

      Too late. 😉

      As the airbags age and deteriorate, Tesla will issue staged recalls as the need arises.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        I don’t get that whole story being tough. From a manufacturer perspective, your supplier has to supply the replacement. And changing an airbag out is pretty easy. I’ve done it on a couple different makes. Takata, on the other hand, I’m surprised their doors are still open.

  4. Dutch says:

    My uncle, who owned a big “Tool and Die” company used to do stuff like this until my Aunt pointed out he was making all the employees nervous and more mistakes were being made.

    1. SparkEV says:

      I disagree. I did something like this when my team was making lots of stupid errors. I became the gatekeeper checking all their work, working practically 24/7 for few weeks (I had sleeping cot in my office). Initially, I found many “silly” errors, but by the end, quality had improved significantly. Careless errors are best fixed with some nervousness.

      But FYI, 24/7 working for few weeks isn’t unusual in startup companies, especially during crunch time. Though productivity per hour lags, errors are brute force beaten down. People don’t like working for me. 🙁

      1. Nick says:

        Working long hours is often a sign of poor management.

        Hammering away late at night often significantly reduces quality, etc.

        Mythical man month is a great book which touches on these topics.

        I guess it’s working for Tesla, but it’s a concerning development.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          I think you’re being generous, to Tesla. Rather than his health, I fear Musk’s approach may disqualify the talent he actually needs to amp production. Cultures are different, and their’s leaves no room. It’s not even the money of it being 5 9to5’rs, who replace 3 with sleeping bags. It’s putting “sleeping bag” in a “super focused” job description.

        2. SparkEV says:

          Working long hours is not a sign of poor management, it IS poor management. In my case, unrealistic deadline was set, and too many errors by underlings (to be fair, the tools were crap).

          If one has the luxury of large company to hire top notch highly experienced management team from the get-go, it’s not a startup or maybe extremely rare. As such, I can sympathize with Musk, though some of that pain was caused by him.

  5. Neil Dunn says:

    I hope this does not mean that he sleeps in the back of one of the cars. The last thing I want is finding some of Elon’s stuff like his toothbrush or a sock in the back footwell if I buy a Model X.

    1. John says:

      Bet it would sell on eBay for a fortune!

  6. Anderlan says:

    If kids don’t get your acts together, you’ll be like me, sleeping in a van, down by the river. If you study hard and work 160 hours a week to change the course of history, you can sleep in a sleeping back, at the end of the Model X assembly line.

    1. ffbj says:

      Perhaps you should become a motivational speaker:

      1. Kdawg says:

        Why a sleeping bag? If a guy can rent out sleeping in a Model S on AirBnB then the CEO should sleep in one.

  7. Carcus says:

    Sleeping at a production line? I’d hate to wake up and find one of those ‘robot thingys’ welding the zipper on my sleeping bag.

  8. Bacardi says:

    He said in a reddit AMA that he never sleeps for more than 4 hours at a time and usually never more than 5-6 hours/day…

  9. Vexar says:

    Elon hand-inspected the Founder’s and some Signature Model S vehicles, so this was something he has done before. I have no doubt that he’s doing it again, although the sleeping bag is new. Perhaps he didn’t do it at the start. You gotta think about it this way: he’s a very good QA person, he has expensive tastes and knows what to look for. My expectation is that he’s right next to his entry-level technicians and they are thrilled to have him there. Anxious? Sure, but I see it as mentoring them. There may be decisions that need to be made on the spot, too. I also connect this behavior to the recent departure of some of his manufacturing executives. It was either “you screwed up so bad that I did your job for you” or “I can’t believe he doesn’t trust me to do my job.”

  10. David Murray says:

    I hope he can find time to be in another episode of The Big Bang Theory.

  11. evcarnut says:

    ELON MUSK…THE BEST, MOST MODEST DOWN TO EARTH CEO EVER!…he’s one to be recognized and admired .

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Modest? They admitted Model X delays were due to Hubris, which seems far from modest.

      But perhaps he is at least humble enough to admit it that he was not modest in those ambitions, whereas many CEOs would not be.

      1. Anon says:

        But he admitted the hubris. Most CEO’s wouldn’t.

        Elon clearly learns from painful lessons. This is why I fully expect Model 3 to be pretty much smooth sailing, as far as a new, unvetted BEV can realistically be.

  12. Joe Lopez says:

    Musk totally cannot do an episode of “undercover boss” like ever.. 🙂

    1. evcarnut says:

      Musk can do Under cover Boss ,,Maybe if he takes acting lessons & dresses Up like a Woman…L M A O………..I can just see that…it would be a Hoot…lol

  13. Bill Howland says:

    I agree with comments DonC has made in the past. If micromanaging at the assy line is necessarily, there is something beyond wrong here.

    That would kill the Iso9001 certification for one thing.

    In comparison with Bob Lutz’s Gen 1 volt, he micromanaged at the DESIGN end to make sure features were practical and easily used by the average person, and the interior was easy to clean, with no places to snag your fingers. I’m quite sure he also insisted on the ‘built like a tank’ construction which no new car buyer ever sees, but will gladly pay extra cash for. This was all included in the price of the volt, and the end product was made easily manufacturable with few troubles.

    Every one says how even the very first Volts off the assembly line were relatively trouble free and had no growing pains. The fact that some of them are driving around at 300,000 miles and are still going with excellent batteries and engines even at those ridiculous mileages proves the concept beyond valid.

    If I were an investor, I would hope this is merely a PR stunt. Otherwise I would be very worried that there was deficient design in the vehicle, and/or poor decision making, as I have personally witnessed in former Tesla vehicles.

    1. Anon says:

      You will never be happy with Tesla. Just walk away now. 😉

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Name 3 basic problems that you’ve spotted before they became generally known.

        If you can’t, then that was just an idotic comment. How much money have you put at risk with the Tesla Motor Corporation anyway?

        At least Mr. Musk THANKED me for my contribution. That’s plenty more respect towards him than I can muster towards you.

    2. CDAVIS says:

      @Bill Howland,
      I disagree with most of your comment.

      The CEO of Tesla expressing to the Tesla production team the importance of QC by personally camping out at the end of the production assembly line gets a +1 in my book both as a Tesla car & stock owner.

      Elon himself spending time on the Tesla production line is not an act that will kill ISO-9001 certification. If anything, that act helps with ISO certification:

      ISO-9001 subclause 5.1, “Executive management shall provide evidence of its commitment to the development and implementation of the quality management system and continually improving its effectiveness… “

    3. Nix says:

      Bill, At some point you have to give up prejudices due to your prior purchase of a Tesla Roadster that is now a decade old in design and technology.

      Tesla isn’t that company anymore, who was buying gliders from Europe and basically hand-building EV conversions.

      Time to get off your decade old grudge, and go drive a 2016 Model S for yourself and see. It is nothing like your old Roadster.

      How long do you intend to continue your grudge? Another decade?

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Not a prejudice nor a grudge. Basically a recap of an earlier post by DONC, who people didn’t instantly jump upon. But then there are those who cannot carry on an adult discusion.

        One thing is for sure: I respect Mr. Musk much more than many here.

    4. evcarnut says:

      Have you been drinking your Bath water??

  14. Mister G says:

    Thank You Elon Musk for finding real treatments for humanities oil addiction. I’m addicted to oil and want to quit.

  15. tftf says:

    Did he sleep near the Model X production line as well in recent months?

    Considering the various severe quality defects that didn’t help at all until now…

  16. Brent says:

    probably too many employees are stoners, and that affects quality….great for creative problem solving not so much for attention to detail..

    1. Carcus says:

      Ha. Yeah I’ve wondered (worried) a little bit about what the west coast “new age Nummi Assembly worker” is all about these days. This ain’t 1960.

  17. georges says:

    I believe the whole story about the sleeping bag. The other earlier businesses they did the same thing.

    Elon lives work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    If you can’t commit to that life style you need not apply.

    https://www.amazon.com/Elon-Musk-SpaceX-Fantastic-Future-ebook/dp/B00KVI76ZS?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

  18. Nix says:

    I bet the sleeping bag looks like this:

    1. SparkEV says:

      Why? Because Elon Musk is SparkEV fan? 😉

  19. Tom H says:

    I hope that Musk’s attention to detail solves the quality problem that Tesla cars have right now. The relatively low quality/high warranty costs for their cars is a cancer on Tesla that needs to be fixed. They have gotten away with it so far because of the demographic of their customer base. The Model III will change that.

  20. carcus says:

    “At the center of every successful entreprenurial activity is an over controlling detail obsessed authoritarian asshole. If you don’t know who it is in your organization – you’re it. I must confess an automatic admiration of intelligent persistence in total violation of reality. And that is Elon Musk to a T.”

    Hitting on All Cylinders …..in the Electric Automobile
    BY JACK RICKARD ON APRIL 10, 2016
    http://evtv.me/2016/04/hitting-cylinders-electric-automobile/

  21. Ob1 says:

    Bill Gates at times would sleep under his desk. When a problem needs to be solved some people get obsessed.