FRANKFURT/DETROIT -- Robots are not efficient enough for Tesla's new car factory in Germany, which plans to replace hundreds of them with giant aluminum casting machines to build simpler chassis parts, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The EV maker has struggled to raise production volumes through hi-tech automation and was forced to fly in a new production line from Germany to Nevada in 2018 after robots failed to coordinate seamlessly at the U.S. factory.
For the new Model Y, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he will replace 70 components glued and riveted into the car's rear underbody with a single module made using an aluminum casting machine.
That's just the start of a new automation drive, with the vehicle's front module and other parts to come, the source said.
"Will be amazing to see it in operation! Biggest casting machine ever made. Will make rear body in a single piece, including crash rails," Musk said on Twitter on Aug. 13. He did not say where or when the new machine would be rolled out.
Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.