Why Tesla is hurrying to finish the 'gigafactory'

Tesla scrambles to finish 'gigafactory'

Tesla has doubled the labor force working on its $5 billion high-tech factory in the Nevada desert, attempting to finish construction on a new and much tighter schedule, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The company wants to have the factory ready for the launch of its Model 3, a $35,000 car meant to be a more affordable version of its high-end electric sedans and sports cars, the paper said.

About 1,000 workers are keeping construction up seven days a week to meet Tesla's new plan to produce lithium-ion battery cells by early 2017, according to the report.

Tesla has been building the factory in phases, and it will be ready to produce batteries before vehicles. The factory is already producing battery packs, but Tesla has to buy the actual lithium-ion cells from Panasonic.

Last week, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk released his "Master Plan, Part Deux," where he outlined some of his strategies for the company over the next several years.

"What really matters to accelerate a sustainable future is being able to scale up production volume as quickly as possible," Musk wrote. "That is why Tesla engineering has transitioned to focus heavily on designing the machine that makes the machine turning the factory itself into a product."

Tesla has faced problems meeting consumer demand, and lost two manufacturing executives this year, the article noted.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.