Tesla Idles Factory To Ready For Model X, Plus An Increase In Model S Production

2 years ago by Jay Cole 31

Tesla Readies Fremont Assembly Plant To Build Upcoming Model X

Tesla Readies Fremont Assembly Plant To Build Upcoming Model X

In a positive sign that the Tesla Model X is well on its way for an “early 2015” release (along with the first production prototypes this fall), company spokesperson Simon Sproule announced that Tesla’s Fremont assembly facility would be shuttered for two weeks to both speed up Model S production and to get ready for the Model X SUV.

As Part Of The Palnt Upgrade To Build 25% More Model S Sedans, 25 New Assembly Robots Have Been Added

As Part Of The Palnt Upgrade To Build 25% More Model S Sedans, 25 New Assembly Robots Have Been Added

The shut down is effective today through August 4th.

When the plant reopens, Model S production should be boosted by about 25%.

In total, the retooling with cost Tesla about $100 million dollars and includes a adding a further 25 robots to the mostly automated process.  Mr. Sproule told Bloomberg news the following in regards to the assembly lines first real shutdown so far:

“This represents the single biggest investment in the plant since we really started operations and enables us for higher volumes. It gets us ready to build X and to do it on the same line as the S.”

These changes should see Model S weekly production crest the highly anticipated 1,000 per week level – a long time ‘success benchmark’ of CEO Elon Musk.

Despite an deep reservation/deposit book, and only being about 6 months from first deliveries of the all-electric SUV, no pricing or available options (outside of 3rd row seating) as yet been released on the Model X from the company.


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31 responses to "Tesla Idles Factory To Ready For Model X, Plus An Increase In Model S Production"

  1. Mark H says:

    If you are a supplier, nobody sleeps for the next two weeks in Fremont.

    1. kdawg says:

      We didn’t get any of the work 🙁
      But we’ll keep trying. There’s still the Model III!

      1. Anon says:

        Best of success to you and your company, next time, KDawg.

      2. Robster says:

        Hi kdawg, just curious about your company. What kind of possible supplier are you?

  2. DanCar says:

    Yeah, it is going to be exciting when announce the improved model x specs. I’m thinking 300 mile battery.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Tesla is planning also for Model S longer range version, so 300–350 mile real world range can be expected.

  3. ffbj says:

    For all those few that have been continually saying that demand for Tesla’s has been falling, using things like the poor results in Germany, and then extrapolating from that that Tesla sales are in trouble.
    Now a few months later we have a lesson in business. One part of that lesson would be that Tesla as a whole, is probably smarter than you, and me. The other is that if they are in such trouble with demand why raise production? Because they are not in trouble and you were wrong.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      My guess is that global S and X demand is around 100–200 kilocars per year. So Tesla has still long way to fill the demand.

      1. Spec9 says:

        I doubt that. They’ll have to lower the price of their cars to move up to such volumes.

        1. Jouni Valkonen says:

          No need for that. Tesla can have about 30 % market share with S/X among cars that are more expensive than $70 000.

          1. Ocean Railroader says:

            They could lower the starting price of the model S if they released a 110 to 120 kilowatt battery pack and used it to replace the 85 kilowatt battery pack. Then they use it to move the 85 battery pack to were the 60 kilowatt is at. And the 60 kilowatt gets moved down in price to were the 40 kilowatt used to be at.

            1. Fabian says:


            2. Boris says:

              Why would they want to do that, to destroy their margins? They get 25% GM right now, that’s not much for such an expensive car. Of course they can lower their prices after they are able to manufacture batteries for less. But by that time, rebates will no longer be available, so pricing will likely stay the same as now with the $7.5K rebate.

        2. TomArt says:

          It’s not just price, but convenience, in addition to the range, driving performance and riding comfort. The supercharger network is a big plus, particularly for people here in the US. We are sprawled out all over the place, and we are more likely to drive long distances anyway, even in the very few places where trains are convenient.

    2. mutle says:

      Another thing to keep in mind with german sales numbers is that since they started selling cars here the delivery estimate has always been at 4-5 months. It’s possible that we’ll see positive effects from the supercharger build out in a few months.

  4. Mikael says:

    Is it still just one production line? Before there were talks about one for only Model S (the one existing today) and later a second one capable of both Model S and X.

    Anyone know more about what exactly they will be doing?

    1. Mike I says:

      One aspect of what they are doing is making one long final assembly line (for both S and X) that exits the north end of the building. The old Model S line snaked around in a small area at the south end of the building. That line will not be used going forward. However, that is not $100M and +25 robots. I would therefore assume then that they are improving the chassis assembly line also.

      1. Mikael says:

        I would love to see some schematics over how the line was and will be in the factory.

        And where different sections are in it like painting and whatnot.

        If you or anyone else has something like that or could draw something up I’d love that 🙂

  5. Anon says:

    1000 units a week? AWESOME!!!

    1. Josh says:

      1000 per week is what Musk promised by the end of Q4 this year, so it seems they might be 5 months ahead of schedule based on tooling. I am guessing they will not be able to hit 1k per week once they start testing X in the line.

      Since they are looking at using the same line to produce X and S, the first Xs will disrupt the line. Once they get it all rolling in 2015, they should be building 50k a year regardless of the order mix between X and S. I fully expect that the capacity will continue to creep up over time. The next step change in production will be with Model 3.

      1. Mike I says:

        Tesla will continue to be constrained by battery supply, but this down time will probably give them some additional breathing room and some battery inventory build-up.

        They’ve already said that Model 3 will be a new and completely independent line, but it will still have its own ramp-up.

        1. Ocean Railroader says:

          It could be that this new production line could make 1500 or 2000 cars a week but they are promising a 1000 week. In that when you look at what it boils down to Panasonic is the real 900 pound Gorilla in all of this with their slow battery production.

          1. Mike I says:

            I’ve said this elsewhere but I’ll repeat it. I think it is good for Tesla that Panasonic is limiting their ramp rate. However, for Model 3, Tesla will really have to step up their game and their supplier network to execute an even more aggressive ramp up.

  6. Anthony says:

    Does the line itself have a capacity of 1,000 units a week, or can it produce 1,000 Model S’s per week? In other words, if Model X production ends up being 500 units/wk, how much does that cut into Model S production?

    1. TomArt says:

      My impression is that it’s a mix of both – 1k/wk means any blend of S and X. Given the shared aspects of both vehicles, and given what I’ve heard about modern assembly line controls, flexibilities and automation, such an expectation should not be out of the question.

  7. Spec9 says:

    This is big news. I guess they solved their problem with the doors.

    1. TomArt says:

      🙂 So it would seem…

  8. leaf owner says:

    Can’t wait until 2500 / week!

  9. ffbj says:

    Tesla is right on schedule doing what Musk said they would be doing, in the time frame he predicted in Feb 2014.
    My guess is that will switch runs depending on demand or how far back they are in deliveries.
    Thus the dual capability of the line.

  10. MDEV says:

    I want to see the X beta 🙂

    1. TomArt says:

      Me, too, but I don’t even think they’ve made alphas yet…