Tesla Tent – Building A Cheap and Innovative Production Facility

JUN 20 2018 BY WADE MALONE 143

Elon Musk says that the new temporary structure and makeshift production line was erected in just 2 weeks.

June is going to be a big month for Tesla.

It’s the end of the quarter, when Tesla delivers as many vehicles as possible. Canadian deliveries truly began in earnest this month. Tesla is on the verge of passing 200,000 units sold, triggering the tax credit phase out soon.  Musk has persistently stated they will to hit 5,000 Model 3’s produced per week by the end of June.

All these factors and more are turning even greater attention to the Silicon Valley automaker than usual. What better way to top it all off than with a huge freaking tent.

In a series of tweets this week, Musk explained that the team was able to build a new assembly line using ‘scrap’ they had sitting around in warehouses. Around the line, they constructed a large temporary building. This was done quicker and cheaper than constructing a full building. The facility is being referred to as a ‘tent’ by Musk and others. However, it is speculated by many to be a somewhat more permanent Sprung structure.

Musk praised his team for thinking outside the box and believes that the new temporary assembly line is ‘way better than the other GA line’.

So far, we don’t know to what extent this will impact June deliveries. How many Model 3’s are going to be rolling off the new temporary line? Will daily production numbers stay consistent?

It’s been suggested that only all-wheel drive and performance models will be produced here. This could make sense, if upgrades to the existing lines would have been needed. The tent potentially prevented a 3rd production shut down this quarter.

If this is the primary reason, the temporary line could be taken down at some point in Q3. Or perhaps not – Elon seems content to keep the tent as is:

Well, no matter what Tesla’s intentions are, this is a pretty clever way to boost production at the end of the quarter.


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2. Tesla Model 3 Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.) Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.

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143 Comments on "Tesla Tent – Building A Cheap and Innovative Production Facility"

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Manufacturing 78 k$ model 3 in tent. Priceless!

Hey, Elon promised profits starting Q3 this year. Gotta cut corners somewhere. 9% layoff of the workforce isn’t gonna do it alone. 😉

What I think folks are missing is that Tesla guided 5K per week with the lines that are already in the factory (ramping to 10K in 2018), and now scrambling to add GA3 and GA4 (both manual assembly lines) that were never in the original production plan, along with 24/7 operations. and from the leaked documents they are still well short of the 5K per week with only 6 K cars built the first 3 weeks of June… I say incompetent management. Also looking at Google Maps around the factory, there is just garbage everywhere, I have never seen a manufacturing operation that is so completely disorganized, and in obvious chaos. Now Tesla boys, before you rip on me pull up google maps and take a look around the factory for yourself, between buildings, and along fences… That my friends is not normal in well organized manufacturing operations.


It does seem to be evidence of bad planning, or optimistic plans gone bad. That plant used to crank out a lot more cars than Tesla’s doing all inside. Why are they messing around with a metal pole barn out by the dumpsters?

I’m sure Tesla will be fine though. In spite of the chaos, working in sheds and high pressure working conditions with likely low moral, the lay offs, increases in production and positive reviews of the car itself will likely keep investors satisfied even if they do miss Elon’s production claims. If they come up short, they can always blame saboteurs!

If enough people will Tesla to survive, it will survive even in the midst of mistakes and bad planning. I think a lot of people investing in Tesla aren’t doing it for the usual ROI reasons, but rather they just want the Tesla story and Elon Musk’s story to continue.

Yes, I agree with you, I also want to see Tesla continue and get stronger, but that does not mean we cannot try to figure out what is really going on behind the fences. I keep my own spreadsheet of Model 3 production, if for no other reason then just to see if I can accurately interpret the data. My post might seem bearish in nature, but actually I am really trying hard to sort through the chatter, and have a real estimate. Last week I commented that Bloomberg was was 5K above my production estimate, to which got resounding negative sentiment on here, but you can see this week Bloomberg made a major downward correction in their estimate. I wonder if Bloomberg is following my posts… haha!


“That plant used to crank out a lot more cars than Tesla’s doing all inside. Why are they messing around with a metal pole barn out by the dumpsters?”

How many times does the obvious need to be pointed out, until you serial Tesla bashers get it?

More expensive and more complex cars have more parts, and thus need more floor space to be built. Furthermore, Tesla makes more parts and sub-assemblies in-house than the industry average, so that also takes factory floor space.

Not that I think a temporary assembly line setup under a tent is a good idea; clearly that’s just a stopgap measure. But there are quite rational reasons why — as Elon put it — the Fremont factory is “bursting at the seams”.

there is a difference between assembling car parts and making most of the parts then assembling them all in-house.

> and take a look around the factory for yourself, between buildings, and along fences…

There is no “garbage” to be seen. As matter of fact, anything identifiable as garbage would be very difficult to make out at the resolution that Google maps satellite view offers. Unless it’s mountains of garbage, you’re not going to see garbage from outer space.

Please be more specific. Point out pieces of garbage, and indicate what type of garbage do you think it is.

Did you look around? there is scrap materials, steel, pallets, etc.. after looking at Tesla, go look at Magna in Graz Austria, any GM plant, Toyota, and look how much cleaner and more orderly the surrounding grounds are… Tesla Factory is Chaos

Agreed, I did a scan on Google Street view and saw nothing beyond some tires holding down a tarp over dirt in one of their construction areas (and that’s construction workers for you). Care to post a Google Street view of what you’re talking about, please?

Use google maps, and look from he top, on the south, and west sides of the factory there is junk everywhere.

Marketing tagline is:
“Experience the new Model 3, it’s in tents”

Looks pretty flimsy. The open space is probably in alignment with prevailing winds. West/East

It’s hard to say if it’s flimsy by looking at the pictures. If you’ve ever been to the Denver airport the roof over the airport is a tent like looking material and it looks spectacular. Also it’s hugh and handles the elements better than many other roofing materials. I just didn’t expect to to be easy or cheap to install.

Yeah I happen to be an architect and we design tensile structures all of the time. It is a common misconception to call them “Tents” They are not tents, they are tensile structures and they are all around the world as permanent structures. This verbiage is another attempt to diminish or undermine Tesla.

I think the building permit as to call them temporary ,with a set time until it’s taken down, someone asked the permit department.

The permit says 6 months, but I am sure that can be extended.

If the term “tent” is intended to undermine Tesla, you should tell that to Elon, as he’s the one who coined the term.

This is classified as a temporary structure, and does not meet all building codes, Tesla even got them to waive fire sprinklers on this one, which is odd for an industrial structure. Tesla actually has several of these “tents” around the factory, I think it is a good solution for many things, but setting up an assembly line like this on an uneven parking lot, seems a bit desperate. By the time you forklift the painted car bodies over for final assembly, I think here is just too much exposure for damage. My guess is we will start to see more of the damaged car bodies pile up in the junkyards out back, there are already a coupe dozen.

You’re certainly not the first FUDster “wolf in sheep’s clothing” pretending to be a Tesla supporter while doing everything you possibly can to damage Tesla’s reputation. Sadly, you’re probably not the last, either.

Sharply contrary to your mendacious claim that you “want to see Tesla continue and get stronger”, none of the predictions you make about Tesla are true.

None. Zero. Nada.

And darn few of your Tesla-bashing “alternative facts” are true, either.

Pu-Pu, lets go statement by statement and see which facts are true or false? You are the troll around here, and do not provide any real data points, just a bunch of hot air… No wonder you like Elon so much, two peas in a pod….

None of Tesla supporters predictions for production have ever come true, they are always too optimistic,Green was right when he called out Bloomberg for being 5K too high and they agreed and removed the 5K.
People keep postulating 10 K a week of 3’s while all we need is a steady 3K over the third Q to make 36K, then if Tesla beats this measure, it can be a boost to the stock.The way things are now, they never meet their projections, they are already the number 1 BEV maker in NA.

The thing about Tesla’s production is they’ve been about six months “behind schedule” all along. The overall ramp doesn’t actually seem that unrealistic, it’s just that the car didn’t really go into production until around December.

Sprung Structures are rated to handle hurricane force winds and are used as permanent structures by Dade County.

Usually manufacturers care for extreme cleanliness to ward of any imperfections and more importantly protect sensors of the machines from any interfering possibilities that could mess up the production or quality. Most even go as far as to shield the production space from sunlight.
The tent seems more like a temporary thing to get the car out the door and money and time in so they can build a more permanent solution.

If I remember at it’s highest Fremont was putting out 6300 cars per week under GM?

Fremont’s output under GM has zero relevance. Tesla is much more vertically integrated.

Really? What does Tesla manufacture for Model 3 in Fremont? Battery Pack, and Drive units come from GF1 already assembled. Suspension, glass, lights, tires/wheels, steering, rubber, seats, interior all come from outside sites, and vendors. Basically all Tesla does in Fremont for Model 3 is stamping, BIW, paint, and assemble.

Yes, but not at the former Nummi plant, they have a separate factory on Page…

Yeah, GM-Toyota assembled twice as many cars, with half as many people, as Tesla are right now.

And did 1/4 of the manufacturing on site.

Well, the Tesla Hater Cultists are certainly identifying themselves! They’re the ones repeating the very old, very tired FUD that Tesla needs more workers and more factory space than other auto makers, to make the same number of cars.

Reality check: If you added in all the factory workers at the suppliers making parts for those other auto makers’ cars, and the floor space at those other factories, then amazingly enough, Tesla would likely appear to be about average, or perhaps slightly better, in the worker-to-car ratio.

Amazing how vertical integration works. Also amazing that anti-Tesla FUDsters keep pretending not to understand such a basic concept.

/simple logic

Shocking news story!! 100K luxury cars have more parts to assemble, and spend more time in paint, etc than a cheap 15K 1990’s GM or Toyota!! Thanks for that great insight.

Weird, because the Tesla guys claim this car will never fail because it has such few parts. Should practically assemble itself via Alien Dreadnought…

Or, maybe that was Afghan Dredlocks? But, I digress.

“Weird, because the Tesla guys claim this car will never fail because it has such few parts.”

I challenge you to find any Tesla spokesman making such a claim or even implying that, Mr. Troll.

The Tesla Hater Cultists are out in force today!

Listen here Sabatini Rafael! You, you, you! Ahh, never mind.

“Really? What does Tesla manufacture for Model 3 in Fremont?”

For someone who professes to know so much about Tesla production that he claims to make a spreadsheet more accurate than Bloomberg’s, it’s rather odd that you know so little about what Tesla actually makes at its Fremont plant.

So I guess we can add “poseur” to your description, in addition to “anti-Tesla FUDster”. 🙄

Tesla is up to around 5500 right now, but maybe working more hours. My hunch is whatever improvements they see in this temporary general assembly line will get incorporated back to the other lines.

This is actually ingenious, it allows them to keep moving while they make improvements, although it does remind me of the modular buildings they put up at schools to deal with extra students.

And like with schools, it’s the result of poor planning and lack of money to invest. Or a very temporary measure.

Right, just like the 50yr old schools that had to bring up bungalows to accomodate a growing neigjborhood. They should’ve planned 50yrs ago.

What a dumbass comparisson.

I see TLSA cultist alt account #4 is going strong this morning!

Another Euro point of view

…and a rude one.

Exactly. It is probably the same type of building often constructed for temporary churches, schools, warehouses etc.

I originally linked to the Sprung site for reference, but took it out before publishing because their site was down last night. I am guessing due to too much traffic. I didn’t want to add to their load.

We don’t know for sure that’s what this is. But I think it is likely.

Total cars built in a week might be 5500 but Tesla is not building 5500 Model 3s a week.

The max weekly rate was 5500. They are averaging about 2000 a week. Look at https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-tesla-tracker/

down to 1500 a week, and the total dropped 5K this week… I guess the whistle blower gave them the real scoop..

Those modular classrooms that “are there just for the semester”, but somehow remain after 20 years?

It’s a slippery slope once you start cutting corners like this. Once you start– hard to stop.

The NUMMI factory cranked out over 400k/cars a year during its peak. No tents required.

And one of its residents there,GM, filed BK and had to shutter their doors there.

Are you foreshadowing Tesla’s bankruptcy too? Lol

Well, no tents required because Toyota and GM sourced most parts from elsewhere rather than produce them onsite like Tesla does.

What machines? I see no machines on that line. From what I can tell, cars on that line will be almost 100% hand built.

Its just final assembly… Throw in the wiring, windows, lights, etc… They are forklifting the painted bodies out to the final line in the tent. Going to be a traffic jam of forklifts going back and forth… wonder how many cars will get damaged in the process, and what about rainy days?

I wonder how much FUD, how many B.S. “talking points”, you can create off this one event?

FUD? Just conversation about the mistake,s and effect of the poor management at Tesla… Please show me which point is BS?

A tent does not make for poor management at Tesla.

You’re trying too hard.

The fact that have to build a tent in the parking lot with a “by hand” final assembly line just to meet the guidance they are already 6 months late for does suggest weakness in management. I do not even need to try for that…

so, producing premium cars in a tent is now “innovative”…

It’s called euphemism

It’s called “spin”.

Spin is your job, did Tesla give you a raise?

Elon forgot to run that tweet by the PR department. Whoops.

If GM or Ford built a temporary structure would anyone care? Tesla gets more free advertising then it cost them for the tent. If an employee gets injured by a robot, the media will run headlines saying “Tesla robot attacks union organizer, accident?”, and it will make headlines around the world.

Even if GM or Ford did build temp tents (they don’t), they wouldn’t be spamming social media bragging about it like they just landed the first human on Mars. It’s actually more a sign of desperation than anything, trying to meet production goals and deadlines by any means possible.

I worked at Ford (Kentucky Truck Plant) and we most certainly did have actual tents that we did rework and repairs in for trucks coming off the line. If you drive by the plant now they are still there bring utilized. So until you know what you’re talking about, perhaps you can spare us your incessant Tesla bashing.

Rework and repairs. What about main assembly? Which is what is going on in the Tesla tent.
And what bashing? It’s just the truth. Tesla is desperate to hit their production goals, and is doing anything possible to not miss them yet again.

Was Bill Ford out publicizing those tents as agile innovation?

“So until you know what you’re talking about, perhaps you can spare us your incessant Tesla bashing.”

Being clueless about any (or every) subject under discussion has never stopped any serial Tesla basher yet… and likely never will! 😀

Yes,serial Tesla bashing is unwelcome, what we want is occasional bashing ,where needed, the great thing is, that after all these years, we are about to see Tesla really perform and spit out model 3’s like machine gun bullets. Will they produce a profit in Q3? They may have one billion in ZEV credits to sell, all pure profit with no cost, if they have even half of that ,at $500 million in Q3 ZEV sales,I’ll say they make a small profit, otherwise,probably not. But a smaller loss is progress.

Where are these departments at Tesla:

Investor relations


20th century thinking.

In Elon’s mind.


All employees in that department are, as usual, hiding under their desks, cringing at Elon’s latest unfiltered tweet storm. 😉


A nonexistent department; that is left to the website manager and to Elon’s tweets.*

“Investor relations”

Hey, give the Devil his due; Elon is truly outstanding at investor relations! That’s why he was brought onboard Tesla in the first place. Controlling the purse strings is how he was able to take over the company and kick out the founders.

Even if the Tesla board finally muzzles Elon, they would be well advised to keep him onboard as head of investor relations. Anybody who suggests Elon is less than outstanding at attracting investment money, doesn’t have a clue.

*Probably an exaggeration, but also probably not much of one! 😉

It does seem like “big ideas” are his thing.
Planning and implementation? Not so much.
He did, after all, insist they’d be doing 5000 a week back in December… OFF A SINGLE LINE.
Now, how many lines do they have and are still struggling to get that number?
Somebody’s not doing the hard work of logistics and capacity planning.

+1 – I am an architect – believe me you are correct – there is lots of misinformation floating around here today.

It’s an intense company, implementing “in tents” solutions…

Very true. It’s like camping … in tents for sure

“If you look at pictures of structures like airport terminals, greenhouses, or even hotel and mall atriums, it’s much more along those lines.”

I don’t agree. Those structures are designed and built to be permanent; this one is strictly temporary.

I think it’s clear this is a stopgap measure by Tesla, an interim placement for part of a production line. Tesla has plans to build another factory building nearby, where almost certainly these processes will be moved, once it’s built.

But Elon Musk has certainly succeeded in getting us to talk about, and debate, his latest attempt to spin a stopgap measure into a “brilliant plan”!

In generating more Tesla “buzz”, Elon has clearly succeeded. 😉

I was just making a comparison, and some of these type of temporary structures transition to permanent. It may be a long time before the automaker has the funds to build another factory, as well as a long time before that project is complete.

Mostly, my point was it’s not truly a “tent,” but Elon called it one and whether the press is negative or positive, it’s getting lots of discussion and coverage. It’s forever a tent now!

I think “tent” is fine. No one, except a few people on these EV sites is going to make a big deal about it.

Agreed. Therein lies the problem right. Haha

It’s a slightly desperate attempt to push production to what Elon promised at the end of Q2. It’s neither innovatoive nor cheap, and it’s a temporary measure. Will it work? We’ll see in two weeks.

I’d be a bit sceptical of the quality of the cars, when they push this hard.

I see it as 1) built new general assy line (GAL) in tent, prove that it works and is way more efficient than current 2 GAL’s. 2) Keep running GAL3 while dismantling GAL1, update that to match GAL3 specs. 3) When GAL1 is up to GAL3 specs, do the same with GAL2. 4) When GAL2 is up to GAL3 specs, shut down GAL3. Or as you cal it – a desparate ploy to meet Q2 goals.

Well, if the line put together with ‘junk’ they had laying around is more efficient than the other two, then…well it doesn’t look good for what they’ve been doing.

Similarly, if hand-assembling cars is more efficient than the automated alien dreadnought, you have bigger problems than your Q2 goals.

That’s my point… management is incompetent…

They’ve made a few mistakes, but imagine ,if the stock is so high while they have mismanaged things, what if they straighten out and fly right, they could double the stock price.

Good luck to the people taking delivery of the tent-produced Model 3s. I’m sure the fit and finish will be better than the ones built in the archaic factory.

When GM ran the plant, they would do final assembly “adjustments” in the open air parking lot.

Yup, after GM employees intentionally made massive mistakes so that they could get overtime fixing the mistakes. NPR did a great story about that. One example they gave was an engine put in backwards…..

It’s impossible to install an engine backwards. The engine mounts, the bellhousing, the coolant connections to radiator and heater core, the wiring harnesses of which there are dozens in a modern car, none of it would fit. That car would never get to the next station on the assembly line and the worker would have been fired.

Well that is what the story, that he alluded to says they did. Of course it seems not possible, but then all the components you mention hook up to the engine. Radiator, bell housing goes over the transmission. Yes the mounts would be in different places. Point being the workers were drunk, having sex, doing drugs, and probably listening to rock n’ roll.

I always find Nix to be informative, thoughtful, well written, so I had to check and found the story, with the horrors it contained.
Sometimes it might best to not focus on a particular tree but take a look at the whole forest. The gist of his comment was accurate though you focused on one particular point you found questionable.

Yes, it is nearly impossible to install an engine backwards. Which is why such “mistakes” were made, it was clearly done intentionally in order to increase overtime hours:

“There were cars with engines put in backwards, cars without steering wheels or brakes. Workers fixed them later in a yard outside — sometimes doing more damage to the vehicles.”


The scary thing is that they HAD to resort to such obvious and glaring mistakes because if they made small mistakes, they would get passed through inspection anyways. So if they wanted to guarantee those extra hours, they had to go big.

“It’s impossible to install an engine backwards.”

What, an anecdote reported in media news “story” is actually not true? I’m shocked, SHOCKED I say! 😯

(If it’s entirely factual, then why do they call it a “story”? Hmmm?)

I agree, this is not at all plausible. But as Nix said, it’s what NPR reported about the days when GM ran the NUMMI assembly plant, which is now Tesla’s Fremont plant:

As a result, vehicles at the plant had lots of defects. Haggerty saw all kinds of mistakes go right down the line.

“So we had Monte Carlos with Regal front ends and vice versa,” he recalled. There were cars with engines put in backwards, cars without steering wheels or brakes. Workers fixed them later in a yard outside — sometimes doing more damage to the vehicles.


That just stupid wives tails. Next you are going to tells us about Coke bottles with nasty notes left in the quarter panels.

Yes, and that plant closed down. So I’m not sure it’s a good idea to take those practices as a how-to manual.

Why so anti Tesla? Bolt resentment? Knocking down Tesla make you feel better about your out of state, overpriced Bolt purchase?

You should be a proponent of all that is EV. It’s a remarkable vehicle. I rented the 3 on Turo after test driving the Bolt and found it to be a substantial improvement, worth the extra dollars to get a first production version. Heck, if I was in a rush to get a 3 such as a lease expiring, etc… I’d still wait it out by purchasing a temporary beater.

Speaking of Turo, I asked the host how busy he is with renting. Mentioned that it’s booked every weekend and he typically drives it weekdays. The first month of rental profits, provided 3 months of car payments.

I’m sorry, I missed the rule that states commenters have to post only the most positive, glorifying takes about Tesla. My sincere apologies.
No resentment at all. I’ve had my Bolt for over 18 months now driving 21k problem free miles.
How are those $35k base Model 3 owners doing? 🙂

Was it your constant bashing of cars made by GM’s competitors that got you kicked off the Bolt EV Facebook page, despite being a moderator there?

At any rate, Bro1999, you’re certainly not contributing anything positive to discussions here. Your comments are almost entirely negative and disruptive. In other words, they are almost all troll comments.

It’s part of his mission statement. It’s a good thing, in a way. Many of us spend our lives casting fruitlessly about for something we can really get behind. For good or ill bro 1999, has found his.
To paraphrase the famous interlocution of George Mallory:
Q. Why do bash Tesla?
A. Because It’s there.
Incidentally Mallorie’s body was found in 1999 on Everest. He disappeared in 1924 on his third attempt to summit that fabled peak,

It appears the fit and finish issues are something that Tesla has worked out over time. The recent Model 3s are leaps and bounds beyond the early cars. I don’t think the materials used to make the roof should have any impact on that aspect. However, we really know very little at this point.

You so sure about that? My cousin’s dentist’s fiancee saw a bunch of kids running around on top of a Model 3 the other day; one of them slipped and fell into a panel gap and was never seen again.


And Tesla immediately put out a press release blaming the owner for negligence, stating the gaps were within spec, and hinting the kid was malnourished. 😉

Later still he was found curled up in the Frunk, sucking on a juice-box, and everyone had a good laugh. (until the car burst into flames, and they were all killed) bro1999


“Lassie, what is it girl? Oh, Timmy fell down between the frunk body line again?
Go fetch the battery rejuvenator and the tool kit!”

This certainly won’t help improve fit and finish.
“But documents the company filed days later with the state of California show that more than 400 workers will be terminated at its Fremont factory, including dozens of directors, managers, technicians and other workers in manufacturing, engineering and ***quality inspection***.”

More quotes:
“Fremont building permits show the open-air structure is temporarily approved for up to 6 months, and show that fire sprinklers and other building features have been deferred.”

Heaven forbid a fire breaks out in the new tent. I’m curious what other “building features” were omitted. Employee break rooms?
If this isn’t proof of a company putting profits before employee safety, I don’t know what is.

And this quote is also eye catching:
Industry experts said it’s incredibly rare for a carmaker to sprint toward production goals by pitching a tent. “I have literally never heard of any major manufacturer of any sort doing this, ever,” Ramsey said.

Breaking news: Faraday Future is going to start production in a yurt.


And Nikola is going to start building its fuel cell semi in a gypsy wagon.

Looks like a giant quonset hut to me.



That should be a great work env when the San Francisco “summer” blows in…..

An assembly line built out of “scrap” and housed in a “tent”.
I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Houston – we have a problem. Everyone is focused on the structure – but using large temporary structures to shelter industrial, or military, commercial activities of all kinds, including assembly is nothing new. Look closely at what the spy shots show underneath – a continuous concrete slab poured directly over parking pavement, a simple ground-mounted final assembly vehicle conveyor line, and marked absence of robots or other sophisticated automated assembly machinery at each station. Granted, they still are adding stuff to it, but they already have rolled out at least one supposedly fully-assembled vehicle off the end. This is definitely a place to build cars, but it does not have the chops to be a climate-controlled 21st century mass-market automated automobile assembly line incorporating heavy precision automation machinery requiring regulated temperature control, heavy foundations, significant overhead steel structures, and massive electrical power distribution. As noted by skabooshka in his ironic tweet “This is the alien dreadnaught Elon promised: hand-building cars”. This appears to be a manual-build linear line similar to Ford’s original Model-T assembly line. Could it be the stored “scrap” that Elon refers to is the prototype hand-build Model 3 assembly tooling and jigs Tesla was using a year… Read more »

My guess: The tent is where finished current production Model 3’s roll in. All wheel drive (and maybe “P” ) versions roll out.
Someone tell that to bro1999. Steam is starting to come out of his ears!

You obviously have never been in a car assembly plant. After the body in white is assembled and the car comes out from the paint shop, the vast majority of the fitting is manual.

HVACman’s comment is a cool glass of water in a desert of misinformation, jokes, and Tesla bashing FUD!

Thank you, HVACman, for reminding us that there is a serious topic worthy of discussion here!

Great comment, HVAC. Model T was the first thing that sprang to mind when I read they set up an assembly line in three weeks. The Apollo 13 analogy is great, I might have to steal it.

Standard automaker practice is 5000 cars/week on two shifts (80 hours/week). Musk says line 3 is running way better than lines 1 and 2 and line 4 is being built as we speak. He also says they’re running 24×7 (168 hours/week).

So Tesla needs twice as many hours and four times as many lines as the dinosaur legacy carmakers running at granny-with-her-walker speed? That’s 1/8th the productivity.

These extra lines buy them time, but they have a long way to go before they are efficient enough to even consider a 35k base model.

Now with all the latest cool outdoorsy Tesla Tent news, regarding the manufacturing of the Model 3, how do I change my reservation for one that was assembled in the Freemont Tent?

Hopefully St. Elon will find somewhere to put a “TENTSLA” logo on the performance “collectors edition” version of the Model 3!

Any future attempt at a Tesla Model 3 Eddie Bauer Edition, just won’t suffice!

““TENTSLA” logo ”


The “peaker” production the tent will work for now. That style of tent is very durable. A similar (albeit smaller) tent is being dued for over 10 yers now at the San Jose Convention Center, South Hall.

What’s the intent with the tent in the tent?

My tentative suggestion for the intent behind the tent is retrofitting finished Model 3’s as 4WD/P versions.
Sorry, I just had to vent (about the tent). That’s just where my imagination went.

Tentacle Intentions? It’s a Cuthuloid thing.

I remain confused about his line:
“Needed another general assembly line to reach 5k/week Model 3 production.”…

Like didn’t he commit to 5K/week LAST December with only ONE line?

At least it never rains in CA.

Gosh, what a brilliant idea! It’s simply genius! I’m sure that in the future, nobody will ever bother erecting a building to put a factory inside, when clearly a tent is so much better!

Gotta hand it to spin-meister Elon Musk for turning a temporary and rather desperate measure to boost production, into positive PR. 🙄


So many concern trolls who are all oh so concerned about a factory built of steel supports and concrete floors, just because it has textile panels instead of 26 or 29 gauge metal as the skin.

You do realize that it is just a difference in skin covering the structure, and it isn’t like they have dirt floors like the old WWII army surplus tent you live in down by the river, right?

well, since it’s not sealed you also have humidity, dust, debris and flotsam blowing through. But, hey, I’m sure the rainy season won’t be an issue either.

“You do realize that it is just a difference in skin covering the structure…”

It’s not often I disagree with you, Nix, but I will do so here.

I think HVACman covered the important and significant differences in his masterful comment above.

That’s not to say that there isn’t any useful work that can be done in a tent; as you say, in the days when GM was building cars at this same plant, they did some reworking and fixing of cars off the assembly line in the open air in the parking lot. But there is no way Tesla would be able to put an entire assembly line under a tent and be able to deliver quality cars.

(Cue more serial Tesla bashing FUD about Tesla’s quality.)

As usual you are talking about of both sides of your mouth… Bad management is the reason production has come down to tents in the parking lot and hand assembled cars to meet the already delayed 7 months guidance. That not FUD nor BS, that is FACTS… If this was the way to do it, other would have done this a long time ago… BTW, the whistleblower leaked some serious production data, and it shows my spreadsheet is within 500 cars for the year so far… Like I said in my earlier post, it all about ignoring the chatter, and interpreting the real data. :)~

I think I know what Musk was talking about when he said the shorts will be in a world of hurt in a couple weeks.
Tesla is gonna show a profit or at least breakeven.

A profit in Q2? No hope of that.

Musk will announce 5k per week (extrapolated/demonstrated/whatever). He’ll re-affirm Q3/Q4 forecast of profits (non-GAAP in Q3). And he’ll have a couple other shiny new baubles, e.g. 1 GWh Powerpack order, China factory, Roadster P version, or ….. ???

No, the question is ,can Tesla set another record for most massive quarterly loss, it is Q3 when they will try for profit.

The structure provider’s site seems to be slow today for some reason: http://www.sprung.com/

Yes! Tesla has tents! The enemies of Musk will fall before him.

Now can I get my Model 3 not made in a tent?

I don’t want Model 3 Tent Edition.


What is innovative about a tent? Native Americans had tents. It just shows they are unable to assemble as many cars planned in the factory.

This is Silicon Valley Northern California. There’s no snow, very little rain, and not much wind down in the valley. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with using such tents. When I picked up a Tesla with a friend at the factory a couple years ago, it was done in such a tent. They’ve literally been using them for years already.

But the shorts gotta whine about something.

Sounds like the ‘Shorts’ are still whining dubbing the tent “the Stonehenge of auto manufacturing” on one media outlet.

This kind of play might be good for a short production run. Like a roadster. Bring it up, build 2500 or so. Tear it down and rebuild for the next short run.

Not a good idea for ramping up a longer-term production goal though.