Money Tesla says top vehicle engineer Doug Field is 'taking time off' amid Model 3 production woes

16:55  12 may  2018
16:55  12 may  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

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Tesla says top vehicle engineer Doug Field is " taking time off " amid Model 3 production struggles Tesla said its senior vice president of engineering , Doug Field , is " taking time off to recharge." Field was responsible for development of new vehicles at Tesla , including the Model 3 .

Elon Musk often refers to the Model 3 production ramp as “ production hell”, but Tesla actually first experienced “ production hell” with the He now says that he is back sleeping on the factory floor for the Model 3 as he dispels rumors that Doug Field fell from grace over the Model 3 production issues.

a person in a red car© Provided by CNBC

Tesla's senior vice president of engineering, Doug Field, is leaving the company for what the auto maker is characterizing as a leave of absence.

Late Friday, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported that Field wasstepping back from his duties at Tesla, amid ongoing production problems with its Model 3 sedan. A Tesla spokesperson told CNBC that "Doug is just taking some time off to recharge and spend time with his family. He has not left Tesla."

The WSJ reported that Field's absence would be temporary. Tesla, however, declined to answer CNBC's questions about when he was expected to return.

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Tesla is temporarily stopping Model 3 production again, threatening its financial future. But as targets have slipped further behind, Musk personally took the lead on Model 3 production (paywall) from senior vice president of engineering , Doug Field .

In a tweet sent yesterday evening, CEO Musk dispelled recent rumours of a spat with Tesla Vice President of Engineering Doug Field over Model 3 production problems. Musk claimed he had not wrestled oversight of Model 3 production from Field

Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX© AP Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX

Field, who was formerly a VP of hardware engineering at Apple, joined Tesla in 2013. He was responsible for development of new vehicles there, including the Model 3 electric sedan, which is the company's first EV designed for the mass market.

Tesla's future hinges on efficient, high volume production of the Model 3. But the company has so far failed to hit its production goals for the vehicle, and has yet to release the $35,000 base model of the car to eager drivers.

In the first quarter of 2018, Tesla produced 9,766 of its higher-priced Model 3 vehicles, up from 2,425 in the prior quarter. When it first unveiled the Model 3, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it could manufacture 20,000 of them monthly by the end of 2017.

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The first Tesla Model 3 rolled off the company's assembly line in Fremont, California in July. Since then, Tesla has come up short on its production goal of 5,000 Musk said at the time that McNeill’s department would report directly to him and that there were no plans to search for a replacement.

Of those, 9,766 were Model 3 s. Within that time , it was able to double weekly production of Model 3 s and shipped a total of 8,180. Doug , who I regard as one of the world's most talented engineering execs, is focused on vehicle engineering ."

In the first quarter of 2018, the Model 3 became the best-selling electric vehicle in the U.S. More than 450,000 people have signed up to purchase the car, putting down a $1,000 refundable deposit to do so. Tesla doesn't report how many people have requested refunds for vehicles they have paid to reserve.

A Tesla car is charged at a Tesla dealership in West Drayton, just outside London© Reuters A Tesla car is charged at a Tesla dealership in West Drayton, just outside London

In early April, Musk announced that he would personally take over responsibilities for Model 3 production at Tesla from Doug Field. At the same time, Musk

: "I regard [Doug Field] as one of the world's most talented engineering execs."

Field could not be reached immediately for comment. His leave of absense follows a string of executive departures at Tesla. In April, Intel poached Tesla Autopilot executive Jim Keller.

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Tesla Is Said to Lose Energy Leaders as Musk Reorganizes .
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