During a factory shutdown, it seems the best-laid plans are to make improvements so that when reopening is permitted, your company can make up at least some of the production losses. This is exactly what we said Tesla would likely do during its shutdown, and now official permits prove it's underway.
According to permits Tesla submitted to Fremont city officials (obtained by Teslarati), the all-electric automaker plans to add Model Y production lines at its lone U.S. car factory. In addition, Tesla will make upgrades to its paint shop and body-in-white lines. The paint shop upgrades come as no surprise since CEO Elon Musk has said publicly that it's in need of improvement.
The Tesla Model Y had just come to market and was a month ahead of original plans when Tesla was forced to shut down its plant due to the coronavirus pandemic. Deliveries of the all-electric crossover started on March 13. We have no way of knowing how many reservation-holders took delivery, but we do know that Tesla isn't building the Model Y or any other cars in the States at this time. We also know the automaker posted record production and delivery numbers for Q1 2020.
Once Tesla is given the go-ahead to restart production, it will need to be on the fast track to try to make up for weeks, if not months, of idle time. According to our friends at Teslarati, the permits suggest that the automaker will use separate production lines for the Model 3 and Model X to speed up overall plant production.
The source also points to rerouting underground fire mains. Teslarati explains that this is likely Tesla's solution to prove it can adequately handle stormwater drainage for an upcoming, fifth assembly line.