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Elon Musk takes charge of Tesla Model 3 production from former Apple executive

  • Elon Musk has taken direct charge of Model 3 production, according to a report in The Information.
  • Former Apple exec Doug Field, who was in charge, has been reassigned.
  • The move comes as the company is behind on the production of what was supposed to be its mass-market sedan, according to an internal email reported by Jalopnik.

Tesla is shuffling its leadership after reportedly missing its first-quarter Model 3 production targets.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken charge of production of the company's flagship electric sedan, pushing aside former Apple executive Doug Field, according to The Information.

Field, Tesla's senior vice president of engineering, will focus on "vehicle engineering," while Musk focuses on Model 3 production.

"Model 3 production is the highest priority at Tesla, so Elon is focusing his time there while Doug focuses on vehicle engineering," a Tesla spokesperson said.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk
Brian Snyder | Reuters
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk

Field had been consolidating power at Tesla, since leaving Apple to join the electric automaker in 2013, the Information reported.

Tesla's future as a mass-market automaker hinges on efficient, automated production of the Model 3, but the company has faced significant issues with production speed and quality of parts.

Musk said in July 2017 that Tesla would probably be making 20,000 Model 3s per month by December, but the company then downgraded those expectations to 2,500 per week. Earlier on Monday, Jalopnik reported that Tesla was making 2,000 Model 3s per week as of the end of the first quarter.

Model 3 production issues aside, Tesla has faced an onslaught of bad news in recent weeks. The company on Thursday announced a voluntary recall of 123,000 Model S vehicles because of an issue with a power-steering component. And last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into the role of Tesla's Autopilot in a crash that killed a driver in California. The NTSB faulted Tesla in a prior fatal Autopilot crash.

Read more about Tesla from the Information.

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