Suppliers in China are beginning to take a page from the Tesla playbook, and it could prove super successful going forward. Will suppliers in the US and other areas follow suit? How about legacy automakers?
Many Tesla fans and owners will tell you that that brand has a huge edge over other automakers for many reasons. Many cite range and performance, in addition to Tesla's Supercharger network as the company's "moats." However, according to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla's advantage into the future will be focused on manufacturing.
Yes, Musk has faith that the newer, smaller-volume automaker with no previous experience building cars will far exceed rivals in the area. This is due in part to the company's innovative ideas, such as using a giant machine to "megacast" vehicle parts, essentially building them like one would a diecast toy car.
Typically, it seems legacy automakers and related companies shy away from following Tesla's lead when it comes to the specifics. Many are already following the brand's lead by bringing EVs to market, and they've taken other pages from Tesla's playbook, but that's not usually the case when it comes to making massive changes to how they operate and manufacture vehicles. Legacy OEMs have decades of experience cranking out cars, and they're not quick to completely turn the tables.
With that said, smaller suppliers may be a different story. A report recently surfaced that Tesla and NIO supplier Wecan has ordered seven Lijin diecasting machines. Tesla supplier Xusheng also ordered a diecasting machine.
If these machines prove successful, we assume other suppliers in China will eventually follow suit. Perhaps global suppliers will get on board as well. However, we're not so sure legacy automakers will move to megacasting, at least not very quickly.
Perhaps some smaller electric vehicle makers and startups will consider the technology? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.