Tesla Model 3 Production Could Be 1,600 Per Week, But Probably Not

Red Tesla Model 3 at handover event


Tesla Model 3 Dash Install

A recent Tesla Fremont factory tour suggests that the automaker has the current potential to build about 1,600 Model 3 vehicles per week, and that’s only with a single line.

We’re pretty confident that this is not happening. But the fact that it “could” happen is compelling. And, we have no reason not to believe what the observer recounts.

Redditor hormesisaccountant posted some interesting information a few days ago at r/teslamotors. Amidst a tour of the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, he was able to observe Model 3 part stamping and vehicle production.

Tesla Model 3

Model 3 seat install

His first takeaway is that there are hundreds of finished parts stockpiled around the stamping area. He mentioned that it appears even though Model 3 production was experiencing bottlenecks, the stamping has continued on. While HA admits to knowing nothing about “what goes into the car”, he was confident that there must be:

“Multiple hundreds of a given part ready to go.”

The tour guide spoke of two assembly lines for the Model 3. HA was discouraged when he noticed the first line was at a standstill. But, we knew this was the case already. For now, only one line is running. He was unable to see the second line very clearly, however, it was clear enough that it is moving continuously (one would sure hope so!).

HA notes that the elevator up to the paint shop was in plain view and he observed the interval between Model 3s to be less than three minutes. Let’s take a look at HA’s napkin math here:

“Assuming 3 minutes for easy math, no stops at shift changes: 20/hour, 2 x 8 hour shifts, 5 days a week equals 1600 car per week.”

There are obvious flaws with this (such as the double shift/no stops being in the calculation) and HA even points that out, as do several picky commenters on Reddit. But, that’s not the point. It’s a simple, quick guesstimate for the sake of sharing. HA’s point is to shed some light on the situation for us, from the standpoint of an average Joe checking out the Tesla factory. He goes on to say that once the other line is producing equally and weekend shifts are included, there’s no reason that Tesla can’t produce 5,000 Model 3s per week. He concludes:

“Like probably all of you (short-sellers excepted), I was concerned; now I am somewhat reassured. Also: giddy as hell about my eventual Model 3.”

Click the link below to read his entire account and the comments that accompany it.

Source: Reddit

Categories: Tesla

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61 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Production Could Be 1,600 Per Week, But Probably Not"

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I *could* win the Powerball too!

You could already be a winner!. Too many If’s, Ands, & Butts…Yes Butts …lol

Butts! Get them in the Drivers Seats! Yup! That’s the Ticket!

He certainly could already be a whiner.

No, but you certainly win the resident serial anti-tesla troll award here.

Yup. And how, exactly is ‘could’ a çompelling’ word??

Bro, Maybe if you win the power ball you could finally install some of those common to most car items in your bolt. You could get someone to jerry-rig a garage door opener into it, send it to Foose to get it to look like car someone other than a grandma wants to drive, while there you can get an upgraded motor so it is can actually go fast. Hey they could even throw another motor up front and make it an AWD. Then you could maybe put a panoramic roof on it, get someone to put a navigation system in it with a large screen. While your working on the electronics you can get someone to make it so you can start and drive your car with your phone or maybe a small discrete card you can put in your wallet, then to add more functionality too it you can get it to wirelessly take updates. Then you could have them install some cameras, sonar and radar to make it drive by itself. Then you could position thousands of fast chargers around the country so that you could drive your new bolt anywhere without worrying about running out of… Read more »

As I recall, a very recent quote from a Tesla rep said they were running the Model 3 production line, or parts of it, at bursts of speed equivalent to (up to) 500 per week. If it was really 1,600 per week, then why wouldn’t Tesla make that claim? I see no advantage to downplaying the production capacity in a situation where they’re saying “Well yeah, currently we’re nearly stalled, but here’s what we can do once the bottlenecks are removed!”

Looks to me like either HA’s estimate is quite inflated — is he a stock pumper? — or else the speed at which that particular elevator was working is not representative of the production line as a whole.

In any case, the analogy of “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” holds. The rate of production of the TM3 won’t be determined by the fastest parts of the production line, but rather by the slowest.

Looks Like a Slow Go For some time to come . They need to get their act together , get it done ! & Cool the hype because every one wants that car anyways..

If 500 a week is the current burst rate, then shipping out over 1000 this month seems doable.

If we label the production status, the last few months have been “compliance car”, hopefully this month and the next few will be “EV top ten”, then moving into next year it will be the first EV to hit “mainstream” production levels.

I think 500 per week at this point sounds “impossible” Hopefully when they get it going they can do 1000 per week and build it up from that..next year?? Perhaps..

Pretty sure Nissan is already hitting “mainstream” levels with the Leaf II.

Leaf 1.5. It’s the exact same platform as Leaf 1.0 with an updated battery pack and body panels.

Such is the pace of the EV market that the new Leaf shares little with its predecessor. There’s all-new styling inside and out, more power and more torque, as well as a significantly greater range thanks to cost and energy density improvements in lithium-ion batteries. A suite of new technological features cap it off.

Here’s the quote direct from the Q3 letter: “Several manufacturing lines, such as drive unit, seat assembly, paint shop and stamping, have demonstrated a manufacturing ability in excess of 1,000 units per week during burst builds of short duration.” The Reddit guy may have seen the paint shop being tested for a short burst. The letter went on to say: “Other lines, such as battery pack assembly, body shop welding and final vehicle assembly, have demonstrated burst builds of about 500 units per week and are ramping up quickly.” Don’t read too much into “burst” rates. I can run at a world record marathon pace for a short “burst”. In the call Musk and his team said battery pack assembly was the main bottleneck, so there’s more than a 10:1 ratio between their burst build rate of 500+/week and the actual sustainable build rate of less than 50/week. I don’t know what to make of this vague quote: “Likewise, cell production at Gigafactory 1 continues to ramp, and current cell production makes it one of the largest battery cell manufacturing facilities in the world.” They started mass producing (their words) cells on January 4th. 10 months later they still won’t… Read more »
Doggydog said: ” don’t know what to make of this vague quote: “Likewise, cell production at Gigafactory 1 continues to ramp, and current cell production makes it one of the largest battery cell manufacturing facilities in the world.” They started mass producing (their words) cells on January 4th. 10 months later they still won’t disclose their GWh/year production rate. ” Doggydog, I really don’t have any concrete evidence but I think Tesla may indeed be having issues with cell production and that it is being hush hushed. If I remember correctly they were supposed to be cranking out power wall cells at GF1 as a prelude to M3 production. However, their biggest power pack install in Austrlia used cells sourced from Samsung. Plus we have this (not too) credible source claiming he works at the GF1 and discussing issues there. Quote: “1) I’d point out first that production is absolutely not being rushed or corners cut on quality just to meet promises. It’s the exact opposite. Panasonic takes the term “anal” to an entirely new level when it comes to product quality standards. I could write for days on the rigorous and extensive quality standards Panasonic lives by. If a… Read more »

If they could get Model 3 production to 1000 units per week next year, that would be good.


Hey, thanks for providing the direct quotes regarding “burst run” rates on the TM3 assembly line.

I agree, it’s puzzling that on the one hand, Panasonic is reportedly proceeding smoothly at ramping up production of Gigafactory 2170 cells, but on the other hand reportedly they are not putting those cells into Tesla PowerPacks. I realize that they probably need a different cell chemistry for stationary power storage than for BEVs, but I’d think that with Panasonic’s expertise in making batteries, they should be able to produce two different cell chemistries in Gigafactory One.

Could it be that the PowerPacks and PowerWalls are intended to use the same pack production line as the Tesla Model 3? If so, it could be that the use of Samsung cells in PowerPacks is another symptom of the problem with pack assembly at Gigafactory One, and not an indication of any problem with the rate of cell production.

Pure speculation on my part, of course.

I live in Carson City Nevada, about 35 miles as the crow flies from Gigafactory 1. I do not pretend to be an authority, but I have friends and family who works there and I can tell you what they tell me. Gigafactory 1 is divided into two sides, the Tesla side and the Panasonic side. There is literally a wall between the two. The Panasonic side creates the battery cells and passes the created cells through the wall to the Tesla side. My sources work on the Panasonic side, on the lines where the cylinders are filled with material before they are sent to cap and fuze to complete the battery. There are currently four lines consisting of 14 machines per line, and I am told for the last 2 months these machines have been producing about 500,000 batteries per month each. I am told they are capable of much faster speeds, but have been running slower while employees are trained and brought up to speed. Panasonic has been creating so many batteries that Tesla has had difficulty finding places to store them. Because of this surplus of batteries, Tesla was able to have Panasonic take two lines off… Read more »

Honestly it sounds like a real disaster on the Tesla side. I am somewhat starting to wonder whether the problem is fixable in the near term or whether Model 3 production may be hamstrung well into 2018.

I also find the whole thing somewhat inexplicable, since you’d think the experience with Model S and Model X would have allowed them to avoid this sort of cluster…

OK, so basics: if you have 300 steps in the production line, and 299 of them can run at 5000 cars per week, and 1 of them can run at 100 cars per week, how many cars per week can you produce?

Right. So they’ve got a whole bunch of “problem steps”. They will run a subsection of the production line as fast as possible, in a “burst”, to see how fast that subsection can go (and identify which part of it needs to be improved).

Then, since the rest of the production line can’t keep up with that subsection, they go back to running slowly until they can debug the rest of the line.

We don’t have a full list of the bottlenecks, other than learning that assembling batteries into “bandoliers” is one of them: the automated system didn’t work and they have to redo it from scratch.

It’s encouraging in some ways, but then again, we don’t know if any of them actually get completed, you could end up with 1600 vehicles 99% finished ?

Yea, and then the “Headache” gets passed on to the Customer. These Guys Could fail “BIG TIME”..Musk has Wayyyyyyyyyyyy to much going on all at one time ..It doesn’t seem Humanly possible that one person could get all these things done and done right.. HOPE I’M WRONG!

You’re absolutely correct but Musk isn’t human.

If Musk believes that then he has a huge shock coming…

Unfinished model 3’s have been shipped out to service centers, with parts being flown out later so the SC techs can finish the cars for delivery.
Great QC right there.

Nothing to do with QC, that was deliberate. Pretty sure you know that too, as I think I read about that here.

It’s just another way of getting the cars “completed” for delivery …

Might make some sense, if those parts are ones they will be servicing, anyway!

Every single car that is sold in Europe is delivered in a similar way.

The nearly completed Tesla is built and inspected in Fremont, and shipped to Tesla’s Tilburg factory. There, the manufacturing process is completed and final inspection is done before delivery.

I don’t see any reason to make a big deal out of it.

A service center isn’t a factory.

So what? The name of the facility is meaningless. Are you trying to claim that the technicians in the service centers aren’t qualified to install parts?

You do realize service centers remove parts and install new parts every day, right?

It’s an incredibly weird way of doing things, and is generally inefficient. Parts are installed at the factory to take advantage of the assembly line. You can finish a lot more cars in that situation than with a technician jumping around from one car to the next.

On top of that a service technician is supposed to be available to service existing cars, not devote part of their time to finishing new ones. Overall it’s not generally a positive sign.

Yeah, but due to the problems those cars are not existent anyway so they have time to finish them. THEN they will have to service them.
Not very efficient, but better than idling while waiting.

Because this isn’t Europe!

When you’re building the car in the same country you are delivering it in it makes absolutely no fiscal sense to ship an unfinished car and some parts to some other location for final assembly. All it does is add complexity and cost to the car. Now, if you’re doing it to avoid some duties or something sure it can make sense but that obviously isn’t what is being done in the mentioned scenario.

so what if this isn’t Europe? more drama for no reason.

Who says that giving all the new techs they already hired and trained for Model 3 ramp up something to do doesn’t make financial sense?

Who says that utilizing new service centers that Tesla already built in preparation for the Model 3 launch doesn’t make financial sense?

Seems like a pretty good use of resources already built and hired in preparation for the TM3 rollout.

Why the drama?

I don’t know queen, why all the drama??

What a great intellectual post, DJ Pee-Wee, with your “I know you are but what am I” post.

What other Pee-Wee Herman impressions do you do?

DJ continued his FUD campaign:

“When you’re building the car in the same country you are delivering it in it makes absolutely no fiscal sense to ship an unfinished car and some parts to some other location for final assembly.”

Good grief, nobody is suggesting Tesla will be doing this long term! Obviously it’s just an interim solution until they get certain early production problems with the TM3 straightened out.

Once again, it looks like the Tesla haters are aiming their remarks at the low-IQ crowd, because anyone with half a brain can see the obvious fallacy in this FUD.

Not quite correct. This is a different scenario but it has been common for decades to ship cars to other markets in knock-down form For local assembly to avoid taxation. Perhaps you’re not aware of this if you have never lived outside USA?

Could be lined up in the parking lot waiting for battery packs. Who knows. Hopefully they sort it out before end of 2017 or the patience of people will wear thin.

This is Tesla making 1600 cars per week.


I loved that movie growing up 🙂

How many cars is Tesla producing without an NDA taped to the driver’s door?


That’s all I care about. Removing the NDA means they’re confident in the process and the product. Until then, it’s still just experimentation.

Another Euro point of view

With all that fuss about the Model 3 ramp up Tesla still allows anyone that cares to do tours of the factory floor ?
I understood that info flow was pretty much under strict control, that includes factory tours.
Can we also do tours of the accounting dept. and have a look at the books ?

Are you some kind of Chef? You think you could See their Cooking Recipe?
Ha! You no go thru that door today! You come back Tomollow!

Allowing people to see Model 3 production at the factory seems to be a fairly recent thing. It seems like it is a good sign that they may have gotten through the worst of the headaches.

I’m waiting for someone to calculate M3 run rate by an examination of the bathrooms at Tesla. Its coming…

Surely we can get a more accurate estimate by counting the number of vending machines installed in break/lunch rooms. 😉

BEIJING (Reuters) – “China will start a pilot scheme in the first half of next year, aiming to relax restrictions on foreign firms’ ownership of new energy and special use vehicles businesses set up in free trade zones, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

In a statement issued after a meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping, the ministry also said it would gradually cut tariffs for vehicles.

The pledge comes as Tesla plans a factory in Shanghai. The electric car maker wants to expand its presence in China’s growing electric vehicle market without compromising its independence or intellectual property norms.

China, which levies a duty of 25 percent on imported vehicles, has not allowed foreign automakers to establish wholly owned factories in the world’s largest auto market. Media say it is considering allowing foreign investors to increase stakes in new electric vehicle firms.”

News Blurb.

One day it’s this number/week another day that number/week …. at least news outlets have something to blab about, right?

More to the point, stock “analysts” have more numbers on which to base their newest pumper or dumper advertisements.

Can you imagine production at GM or Volkswagen or Toyota or any other auto maker of any size being put under the microscope the way it is here? Can you imagine that anyone would care enough to read article after article after article on the subject?

I wonder if we’ll ever escape from the spotlight glare of TSLA stock pumpers and dumpers trying to manipulate Tesla’s stock price based on the flimsiest of evidence… or worse, on the “fake news” that the FUDsters keep churning out.

I can’t really imagine a ramp up at any of those companies would go this badly. On top of that Tesla really brought this on itself by announcing the Model 3 was going into production. If the line isn’t ready or still going through testing they could have just announced a delay, rather than seemingly taking that production is running.

Of course the problem is Tesla is not a financially sound company without the Model 3, so saying it’s delayed or they missed their production deadline (which looks closer to the truth) is unacceptable since it jeopardizes their future funding. From the outside things really don’t look good to me. If they’re just trying to buy time, there could be a reckoning at some point.

I’m worried that fixing the automation on the battery line is more like something that could require a year to pull off, not just a few months. I very much would like to see Tesla succeed (much as I don’t think I’ll probably end up going through with my Model 3 reservation) but the signs right now don’t look that good to me.

im guessing that the production line is improving daily.
Note that Musk is in Turkey AND he has the semi display coming up.
He would do NEITHER if the line was still stalled.
Gut feeling says that Telsa will be at 1000-2000 cars at end of NOV, and likely 4000-12000 for December.

I highly doubt that number for December. My guess is they will be lucky to be producing much more than a thousand per month into 2018. There seems to be a serious bottleneck at the battery factory.

Of course, that’s just my guess and it very well could be wrong.

Let’s hope they get a least 1000 out in November….

Currently the battery is probably considered the major challenge for production of Electric vehicles right now. Tesla especially is having major problems in that respect. Its their own fault mostly. They get past that last major bottleneck you should see both of the Model 3 lines going full out. When that happens 5,000 per week should be doable then.

There will be more than 200,000 Tesla Model 3 deliveries in 2018.

The issues in the production process are just temporary.

Nothing to worry about.

Glad to see the Iraqi Information Minister is still alive and well.

Seriously though, I honestly can’t tell if your post was sincere or sarcastic.

From what I have seen so far, Tesla might be able to make around 4,000 model 3 cars by dec 31. Then, they probably adjust the production to 1,500 to 2,000 cars a week on 2018.

Remember, TESLA MOTOR is an AMERICAN electric car factory which represents the highest technology in the world. We should all feel proud of it.