Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is claiming that a saboteur within the company has hacked its code, shared company secrets with outside parties and may be behind a small factory fire. In company-wide emails, Musk said an employee had admitted to conducting corporate sabotage, and a potentially suspicious fire had broken out in its factory's body-shop on Monday (June 18).
Musk is racing to double production of its critical Model 3 sedan to 5,000 cars a week.
The company is now in a race to ramp up its manufacturing of the mid-priced sedan - a process CEO Elon Musk has called "production hell" on more than one occasion.
But as Musk has revved up workers toward that goal, he has also called on them to be "extremely vigilant" in patrolling for "outside forces" bent on sabotaging their work.
Musk sent a separate email addressed to everyone at his company yesterday.
"As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die", Musk continued.
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The company did not comment and the allegations have not been verified. "Only the paranoid survive", Musk wrote. Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world - they don't love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars.
The Model 3 ramp-up is now priority number-one for Tesla, as thousands of pre-ordered cars have yet to be delivered and investors are increasingly anxious that Tesla may not be able to stay on course and that it may fall short of production targets again. Tesla sold more than $2 billion worth of cars in China in 2017, accounting for almost 20% of its total revenue.
To pump up vehicle production, Tesla needed a new general assembly line - but didn't have time to construct a new building, according to a Musk tweet. Those investigations are ongoing, the agency said Tuesday.
The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad. The cuts came just weeks ahead of a crucial Model 3 production milestone for the electric automaker, which the Tesla CEO said will not be affected by the mass dismissals.
Fremont building permits show the open-air structure is temporarily approved for up to 6 months, and show that fire sprinklers and other building features have been deferred.
Saying "humans are underrated", Musk has in the past blamed excessive automation and other factors for production slowdowns.