Musk on Model 3: 'I need to figure out how to do better'

In a new interview with CBS, the Tesla CEO discusses Model 3 "production hell" and the company's path forward.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
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Tesla Model 3 Long Range
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Elon Musk is sleeping on the floor -- literally. He has a couch set up in an office at the Model 3's production facility in California, but he told CBS This Morning's Gayle King that the couch was too narrow, so he's moved to the floor.

The Tesla CEO's new interview was the first time broadcast television cameras were allowed on the Model 3 production floor. While the interview didn't offer any revelatory information, it did show Musk speaking candidly about what his company's done right so far, and where it's fallen short.

"I need to figure out how to do better," Musk said in response to King's question about production targets that keep getting pushed back.

The shift from Model S and X to Model 3 has been difficult to say the least, which led to Musk coining the term "production hell." When King asked if the Model 3's production woes were within his expectations, his answer was pretty straightforward: "It's worse than I thought. We got complacent about some of the things that we thought were our core technology."

But over time, production seems to be smoothing itself out, and in the first quarter of this year, Tesla was closer than ever to its production estimates, even if they're lower than originally anticipated. "We'll probably have a three- or fourfold increase in Model 3 output in the second quarter," Musk told King. He believes he now has a "clear understanding of the path out of hell."

You can watch the CBS This Morning interview above, but if you prefer reading to watching, check out a text-based recap at CBS News.

(Full disclosure: CBS News and CBS Interactive, Roadshow's parent company, are two peas in the same corporate pod. Synergy!)

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