Tesla poaches Apple’s Reliability Director David Erhart, as it plans to significantly scale up its production with the Model 3
While Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had been abruptly scaling up production for the Model S, and later the Model X, one of the main issues that it faced was “reliability.” Even the premium sedan, which broke the rating scale of the Consumer Reports, was later downgraded due to “worse than average” reliability concerns last year.
The company plans to ramp up its production numbers to half a million by 2018 and a million by 2020 with the Model 3. If the reliability issues occur in the compact sedan, the automaker will find itself in a big mess. Therefore, it has hired an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reliability director, according to Electrek.
In fact, the publication states that the automaker has been increasing its reliability and test team since last year, leading to major improvements in replacement rates for main components. Tesla has now poached David Erhart earlier this week as the new Sr. Director Reliability and Test.
With roughly 22 years in reliability engineering, Mr. Erhart has served in Apple, Medtronic, ON Semiconductor, Vivid Semiconductor, and Motorola, according to his LinkedIn profile. The reliability guru attained his PhD, Chemical Engineering from University of California, Berkley and BS, Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.
Sources close to Tesla’s reliability and test department told Electrek that the electric vehicle (EV) maker increased the team’s size to more than 40 full-time employees, compared a few engineers last year. The company also hired data scientists for the team and focused on reliability to the vehicle design. However, the Model 3’s manufacturability is expected to be much easier and faster.
Since the automaker plans to include its weekly production rate from 2000 units today to about 9,600 units over the next two years, Mr. Erhart becomes an important executive to oversee the vehicle’s quality and reliability. He would mostly like be maintaining the quality standards at the Fremont factory to ensure that any reliability problem is quickly resolved before it comes widespread.
Apple’s iPhone was widely known to have great reliability and Mr. Erhart must have played a key role in that, being the former Director Reliability Engineer at the tech company. Hopefully, his arrival could improve the quality of Tesla cars.