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Elon Musk is using “Soviet-Era methods” to build high-tech electric cars at his Silicon Valley factory. Tesla Inc. erected a giant tent in the parking lot of its Freemont, California, factory to increase production of its latest car the Model 3.
“Words fail me,” auto manufacturing expert Max Warburton said of Musk’s tent. “It’s insanity.”
Drone footage shows cars being assembled by hand inside a series of giant tents , multiple news reports indicate.
“So here we have it — build cars manually in the parking lot,” Warburton wrote in an email to Bloomberg. Warburton has helped set up auto factories all over the world.
Tesla’s tent covers 137,250 square feet it and it is visible from miles away, Bloomberg noted.
Automation Failures at Tesla?
Musk has had a lot of trouble ramping up production of the Model 3 which is supposed to be their mass-market electric car. The billionaire had initially hoped to use a robotic production line but that failed, The Next Web reported.
“Yes, excessive automation  at Tesla was a mistake,” Musk tweeted on April 12, 2018. “To be precise my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
“Yes, they did …We had this crazy, complex network of conveyor belts … And it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing,” Musk told CBS This Morning.
The failures at Tesla indicate that a lot of modern manufacturing and logistics might not be as reliable as previously thought.
An Automated Supply Chain Could Be Unreliable
Consumers should be concerned because big food retailers, including America’s largest standalone grocer, Kroger are increasingly becoming dependent on “robotic” supply chain solutions.
Recently, Kroger has contracted with a British company called Ocado  to create up to 20 high-tech warehouses to supply groceries to its stores and delivery services. The warehouses, like the Tesla’s factories, would use swarms of robots to prepare orders.
Kroger’s supply chain would be vulnerable to the same kind of snafus and catastrophic failures that are happening at Tesla’s factory right now. Other big retailers including Amazon and Walmart rely on similar systems.
Could An Overly Automated Supply Chain Cause Food Shortages?
One nightmare scenario is that these new automated systems would fail and there would be no human backup systems available. Food might get “hung up” in various places along the supply chain.
If such a scenario, food shortages could lead to rioting and looting as desperate mobs roam through cities looking for something to eat.
But it’s not just automated food systems … households and businesses are increasingly dependent on an automated supply chain for practically all essential items. The is a trend to watch very carefully.
The failures at Tesla demonstrate that breaks in automated supply chains are real. It’s also why every household needs to have a backup supply of essentials including food and water. System failures like this demonstrate further why every household should have a garden and perhaps even livestock to become more self-reliant.
Such old-fashioned methods might be more reliable than today’s “automated” technology.