Tesla Built an Assembly Line Inside a Tent for Making Model 3 Cars

June 19, 2018, 9:20 PM UTC

Tesla has had its share of challenges this year, but credit CEO Elon Musk for his resourcefulness whenever his company is presented with an obstacle.

Case in point: Tesla is under pressure to meet a goal of manufacturing 5,000 of its Model 3 cars a week. Musk recently pledged to shareholders the company would reach that goal this month. Faced with a shortage of space for a new assembly line, Musk opted for an unorthodox solution: In essence, he built a factory inside a big tent.

Musk tweeted this weekend that a team at Tesla built a new assembly line for the Model 3 in only three weeks using “minimal resources.”

According to an Ars Technica reporter who examined documents on file with the city of Fremont, the new facility appears to be a series of connected, tent-like structures. Each tent is 53-feet high and 150-feet long, with aluminum framing. Tesla filed a permit for a 5,000-square-foot multi-story building on the Fremont site in January, Ars notes.

Musk has recently taken to Twitter not only to goad his many critics there, but also to engage Tesla’s more ardent supporters. When some asked him for details about the new assembly line, Musk replied that the new facility relied in part on scrap from Tesla warehouses yet maintained that they were “way better” than costlier structures.

“Not sure we actually need a building,” Musk said in a tweet. “This tent is pretty sweet.” Be that as it may, Tesla will need to work with Fremont’s policies on maintaining temporary structures and transitioning them to longer-term facilities.