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Aug 2013 Factory Tour Observations

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Vger, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    I finally got a chance to get down to Fremont (drove my Roadster, for fun!) for a factory tour, 8 months after taking possession of our car in BC, Canada. I brought a local friend along, who is a shareholder and aspiring car owner. Always fun to get another friend mesmerized by TeslaWorld. ;-)

    So here are some observations from the visit:

    1) The SuperCharger at the Customer Delivery Center was open and operating, and not yet saturated. There are four stations.

    2) The factory was operating mostly at speed, but it is interesting to see and appreciate how the whole line is broken up into sections, with considerable inventory/ buffering in-between. So, if one section is down for calibration/re-tooling, etc., the others keep chunking away, building their inventories of parts or assemblies, or partial cars. For example, while we were there, the main body assembly robot line was down ( :-( ), but there were still plenty of bodies-in-white in evidence, and painted bodies were continuously being delivered from the paint shop to the final assembly line.

    3) I got to see the mechanical structure of the battery casing and its buss bars for the first time. I will not describe them, as I have no interest in helping out GM's Tesla research team. ;-) I will say the engineering is very impressive! A Tesla employee told me about a recent accident where a Model S landed on a concrete traffic barrier with the full force of impact taken by the middle of the battery. The battery not only did not react badly, but in fact was still powering the car! I now can see how that is possible.

    4) It seemed a LOT of the production on the floor was EU Signatures. There were MANY Sig Red cars in evidence, and there were holding areas with finished cars explicitly marked for export to Tilburg, Zürich, and Drammen.

    5) We got to stroll right through the final assembly area, and watch the interiors and drivetrains installed up close and in detail. The focus and craftsmanship of the workers was evident. The polish and attention to detail was comparable to the only other auto line I have seen in person, which is the Ferrari factory in Maranello. 'Nuf said!

    6) Our host stated confidently that they are at a continuous rate of 100/cars a day, 500/cars a week using two shifts and a 5-day workweek. He also stated clearly that the factory had "already produced between 15K and 16K cars this year", so achieving and likely exceeding the 2013 goal was in the bag. Investors, take note.

    7) Perhaps I am starting an unfounded rumor, but our host indicates he had seen a Model X "beta" in the factory late one recent night. It might have been just the design prototype myself and others have seen, but it also possible they are quietly starting to product alphas, or functional engineering prototypes. If really so, I am sure we will hear and see more before too long.

    Always great to be around the Mother Lode. I hope to get back with my wife in September, and it will be interesting to get another data point, if that happens.
     
  2. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    Thank you and good luck.
     
  3. laalan

    laalan Member

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    My tour is next Tuesday at 11. Can't wait
     
  4. donv

    donv Member

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    I took the tour last week as well... quite the impressive factory! Made me proud to own a Model S.
     
  5. laalan

    laalan Member

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    My last factory tour was 1965 Ford Motor Co Mustang line. I am prepared to be dazzled.
     
  6. Andercam

    Andercam Member

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    So what is required to get a tour of the factory?
    I looked on Tesla's contact page, and this is what I found.

    Tesla Factory45500 Fremont Blvd.
    Fremont, CA 94538
    (510) 249-2500
    Visitor Lobby, enter through gate 5. Public tours not available at this time.
     
  7. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Tours are given for buyers, and typically in conjunction with factory pickup. Occasionally very interested individuals not in queue can get a tour.
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Let me know the next time you're in the area!
     
  9. donv

    donv Member

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    If you can't pick the car up at the factory, they will arrange a tour for you when you are in the area.

     
  10. blakegallagher

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    cool to hear about the Model X. When they mentioned awarding the compensation options to Elon based on the Model x alpha being released shortly I figured we would be seeing something this quarter.
     
  11. Effects

    Effects Member

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    How many days does the Model S spend on the production line these days?
     
  12. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    If you are an owner and have a friend(s) who are interested in purchasing a Model S you can request a factory tour for them. Tesla now has a sales operation (Tesla Store) at the factory that will accommodate this type of request.
     
  13. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    Thanks! I almost got in touch, but I did not know what kind of notice was TOO short for you...
     

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