New Tesla Vice President of Vehicle Production Peter Hochholdinger, who joined the company five months ago, is impressed by Tesla manufacturing process (perhaps not surprisingly).
In recent interview with ML Journal (read entire article here) Hochholdinger said that that:
Tesla Assembly Facility in Tilburg, Netherlands
"The cars we build are about seven years beyond everything I’ve seen before, and it’s quite thrilling and exciting to be here and to be part of this car manufacturing group"
We are not sure how the advantage was rated at seven years, but it sounds like a big number to have over established manufacturers, if accurate.
Such an opinion would be especially alarming for Audi, where Hochholdinger spent most of his career as head of A4, A5 and Q5 manufacturing.
Another interesting note is that the production of electric and conventional cars on the same line isn't good idea according to the former Audi line chief, which is clearly a break from the traditional OEM thinking on the matter.
Although we have to say, as Tesla has never tried to sell petrol versions of its BEVs (obviously), and we aren't aware of any manufacturer producing the same model of plug-in and petrol car separately, we can't point to a real life example where the point could be proven.
Historically, traditional OEMs have seen little issues in the way of producing plug-ins to demand, and overall the build quality of those EVs have been very solid to date (perhaps with the exception of the Fiat 500e and Focus Electric anyway).
Tesla's VP of Vehicle Production is now under the gun to prove himself to the company (and his opinions), as Tesla has set ambitious goals for production increases, along with Tesla factory expansion and introduction of the Model 3 over the next year.
Hochholdinger states that one of the way to leverage production efficiency is to introduce more robots, and also to design parts specific for robotic use over human use for quicker/less expensive installations.