Tesla instituted a temporary suspension in production of its closely watched Model 3 battery-electric sedan last month as part of a planned downtime to work on problems and improve the manufacturing process.

Bloomberg reports that the company paused production from Feb. 20 to Feb. 24 at its assembly plant in Fremont, Calif., where it also makes the Model S sedan and Model X SUV. "Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1," a Tesla spokesman told the outlet, the latter a reference to the Nevada plant where it makes batteries. "These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this."

Tesla of course has been in a very public struggle to ramp up production of the Model 3, its mass-market electric sedan, having twice delayed its production targets amid bottleneck problems at the Gigafactory in particular. The company's most recent target is to produce 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of March, half the number it had earlier promised, then 5,000 per week by the end of the second quarter.

Bloomberg's own tracking tool estimates that Tesla has built almost 9,700 Model 3s to date, a number that tracks fairly closely with numbers compiled by early reservation holders voluntarily reporting their assigned VIN numbers. That's about 704 Model 3s per week, suggesting the company may still be well behind target.

Founder and CEO Elon Musk made headlines over the weekend during a sit-down interview at SXSW in Austin, Texas in which he talked about colonizing Mars and existential threats to humanity (especially artificial intelligence) — but not, apparently, the Model 3 "production hell."

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