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How could we NOT have Model 3 production by the end of 2017?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by timk225, May 3, 2016.

  1. timk225

    timk225 Member

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    I know there's a lot of things to sort out on the car yet, but how could we NOT have production of Model 3's by the end of 2017?

    We already have driveable prototypes. The battery and drivetrain and autopilot technology is already mostly in place.
    The new 20700 cells are already being worked on, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are being produced now.
    Lots of interior design needs to be finalized, and suppliers arranged for all that.
    The assembly lines need to be set up, the robots programmed, the metal stamping tools all made for high production life.
    And a lot of other things.

    But even so, we have over a year to do this. A YEAR!!! YEAR!!!

    And even after the YEAR, we still have another 6 months to go and still be able to have cars made in 2017.

    And since pre-order demand is so high, I'm sure all parts of Tesla are running full speed to get things going as quickly as they can.

    How could we NOT have cars being delivered in 2017? If Tesla started making them in 2017, but did not deliver until January 2, 2018 for tax and $7500 rebate reasons, I can see that, but the cars would still be being built in 2017.
     
  2. SolarUnderwood

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    The first two things that come to mind is how much time Tesla engineers are spending on issues with the X that potentially takes time away from refining the the 3, and what the most innovative feature on the 3 that could cause issues, kind of like the falcon wing doors on the X.

    The Model 3 is meant to be a straight-forward mass-production car, so it doesn't look like there will be much that can significantly hold it back other that the HUD.

    My question is how long are they going to test the first batch of deliveries before they expand nationally? 1,2,3 months? Hopefully not too long, but I imagine most of us that stood in line can expect delivery in 2018, hopefully early 2018.
     
  3. 182RG

    182RG Free The Service Manuals From Tyranny

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    Do you work for a manufacturing company building high tech consumer products? Do you have experience in managing a complex supply chain spanning multiple countries? Do you work for a public company, and have to manage investor and analyst expectations? Does your company innovate, announcing products before they are engineered, tested, and produced? Is your industry heavily regulated by government agencies, laws, and legal restrictions? Do you manufacture products with a high degree of product liability?

    I could go on, and on, and on. Unless you can answer yes to any of the above questions, then you probably don't understand the complexity. At a C level, I can answer yes to most and I can see how easily it will be to blow right through 2017, into 2018 and beyond. Easily.

    Even without that, was the S on time? Is the X on time? Were there plans to build 500,000 of them?

    Seriously.
     
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  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    1) Because it's Tesla
    2) Because Tesla needed to get the Model 3 prototype out there, since they're desperate for cash.
     
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  5. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Remember who reserved first?
    1. Tesla employess
    2. SpaceX employees

    There you have a few thousand ppl that are doing the massive beta test.
     
  6. N5329K

    N5329K Member

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    "How could we NOT have Model 3 production by the end of 2017?"
    Very easily.
    Robin
     
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  7. Breezy

    Breezy Member

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    There were driveable prototypes of the Model S and X years before their production started. So that doesn't mean much.

    A year is not a long time in the automotive production world. If the design were frozen, there might be some hope. But they're still making changes.

    There may be a few Model 3s built in 2017 so Elon can say he did, although I'm doubtful. There won't be meaningful production until 2018 at the earliest.
     
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  8. tomas

    tomas Traded in 9 rep bars for M3, used to be somebody!

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    Yep. These things are very, very complex with a lot of (pun intended) moving parts. A year is but a blink of an eye. Having said that, I do think Tesla will do everything it can to be able to say it shipped cars in 2017, but it may be symbolic (like the X) with real deliveries beginning sloooowwwwly in 18.
     
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  9. Mkorpal

    Mkorpal Member

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    There is so so much that needs to be done in the next year.
    1.A final design needs to be set. Hopefully they are done with the battery packs and drive train and chassis, but who knows. But it seems that some body designs are still in process, and the interior is still not done.
    2.Gigafactory is still a ways away. Sure, they have put together a few battery packs, but it really only final assembly at this point (and that may just have been for show). It's hard to tell how long until it actually produces batter packs from raw material to final product.
    3.They still have a full assembly line to tool up. They can only do so much on it until the design is finalized.
    4. They still have a thousand plus workers to hire and train. Two complete sets of factory workers, logistics, delivery, support, ext.
    5. They are doing all of this while working out many issues with the X, revamping the S, ramping up the Powerwalls, rapidly expanding the super chargers, fighting legal battles, and design work on future models.

    There is really no shortage of work to do in what is a short amount of time. This isn't just a release of a single product, it's the transformation of the entire company from niche to mainstream.
     
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  10. Rashomon

    Rashomon Member

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    Think about tooling lead times, and processes that will be used to make parts. A large, complex die-casting tool (say for an instrument panel cross beam or similar) might take as long as 12 months to procure and prove once the design is finalized. You can speed that up by working with suppliers to order die material before the design is absolutely final, and shave a couple of months. When do you think Tesla will have all such designs finalized? Sheet metal dies may take six months or more. We know that Tesla is still tweaking the body shape and aerodynamics, trying to hit the 0.21 Cd target. When will that be done? Even small die castings require tooling that will take around 6 months. Now think about what happens if you screw something up and have new discoveries during the production validation phase, when you finally start making the first test vehicles with full production design parts made to production processes. What if a crash test indicates that all the simulation and analysis overlooked some factor, and a significant structural redesign is necessary? (This is less and less the case as analysis and analysis tools get better.) The wonder isn't that vehicle releases are late; it's that they're ever on time.
     
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  11. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    Tesla has never been able to deliver a model on time, so that would be the primary reason. They also will likely be using smaller suppliers than the bigger manufacturers and delivery slip of even a couple of months from any one of a dozen or more suppliers could delay them starting up whole-sale manufacturing.

    Basically what they need to do over the next 18 months is move from building prototypes to finalizing all of the parts needed and arranging suppliers for any of the parts that are new for this car. They need to test the actual assembly line process because their early prototypes were probably built mostly by hand.

    For parts they are building in-house they need to get dies cut for the parts stamping and they need to build up inventory of components of this car that might be different than their other cars, such as electric motors and possibly smaller battery packs.

    It seems like they have a lot of time, but they really don't. They basically need to be ready to start cranking out early manufacture cars for final testing using a few substitute parts in probably 1 year to verify the manufacturing processes are all good and to check for fit/finish. They also need to build cars for government crash testing, etc, that use all core components of the final model. Those probably need to go to the government months before they can crank up full production.

    I will honestly be surprised if they are able to pull it off, as they never have. Even Elon seemed to be sweating a bit when he joked they would deliver in 2017 and it would be "on time" this time.

    The much higher number of orders than Tesla anticipated is also going to put them in a crunch. It might be more important to them to deliver late, but with a higher initial capacity, than to deliver early and have a lot of problems.

    As it is, it is going to be a monumental struggle to deliver all of the pre-orders by late 2019 and surely they know this and also know that if they are greatly delayed it will cause a lot of people to go buy something else.
     
  12. timk225

    timk225 Member

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    Well...... not as such. But then again, Tesla has already been through this process with the Roadster, S, and X, so hopefully they have enough experience with it now to see and deal with the potential problems ahead of time.

    I'm not saying Tesla should hurry up and rush the process, as it will be extremely important to deliver a high quality Model 3. It just seems like with all they have done already, that at least having the initial production going for Tesla / SpaceX employees to be beta testers should be running before 2017 ends.
     
  13. lklundin

    lklundin Member

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    Well, some perceptive poster at Seeking Alpha did learn something regarding the drive train in at least one prototype at the unveil:

    "Under the skin of the Model 3, I doubt the prototypes were running their final drive train configurations, even with prototype hardware. A peek inside the trunk of one of the Model 3 demonstrators revealed a rectangular region that was boxed over and intruded substantially into the trunk space. The driver commented that the final production cars would have more trunk space."

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3962588-teslas-model-3-exceeding-expectations
     
  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    Said box was the charging equipment. There were pictures showing the cars being charged from a supercharger with the cable running into the trunk.
     
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  15. lklundin

    lklundin Member

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    Interesting. You are welcome to point to these pictures. I guess something will be finalized there, then.

    Personally I wonder if Tesla will modernize the DC-AC converter. The last time I read that someone had opened one from a Model S, they found 20+ year-old COTS components. With production in higher numbers one could hope that it will be economical to develop something more compact, (even) cheaper, hopefully with even less loss and perhaps also capable of handling more power.
     
  16. FirstSea

    FirstSea Member

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    I'm hoping for early 2018, but if I have to wait until 2019 I might have to buy something else in between...
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Building a factory that can produce vehicles at a rate an order of magnitude more than their current factory is going to take some real work by Tesla to accomplish.
    There are many regulations, certifications, tests and such that need to be done before they can get the cars delivered to customers. This includes meeting the federal crash standards that they have set for themselves with a very high bar.
    They probably have to get the gigafactory humming making the new cells before they can ship in serious volume as well.
    They probably have a lot of parts vendors they need to coordinate, and having even one component slip schedule could cause a delay.

    So, personally, I think there is a risk that they could end up having delays.
    But, I am hoping they manage to slog through all of this and do start getting cars to customers before 2018, and that production ramps up well.
     
  18. CoastalCruiser

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    I know there's a lot of things to sort out on the car yet, but how could we NOT have production of Model 3's by the end of 2017?

    One must be mindful of the three axioms of life when pondering such ponderous questions. As a refresher, the three axioms are:

    1) Sh** happens
    2) Bring beer
    3) Don't be stupid

    Chrysler has taken axiom 2. See here.

    GM has taken axiom 3 by putting this guy in charge of marketing the Bolt. See here.

    That leaves axiom 1 for Tesla M≡. Too many moving parts for any certainty on when the car will be delivered. We have to think like the old Orson Welles commercial for Paul Masson wine and apply it to a Tesla automobile. See here.
     
  19. N5329K

    N5329K Member

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    It's not just the supply chain, not just the lines, the programmed robots and trained people. Here are a few of the additional hoops every new car has to jump through prior to shipping. Tesla's Roadster did.

    Robin
     
  20. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    Actually, we don't know this. The refreshes of the Model S and the refreshes of the production lines occurred in the past and we don't know the internal schedules. Since the Model S is the first time they ever built anything at Fremont and the Model X represents a lot of new technology that has never been done in a production passenger vehicle, therefore those two instances might not be very instructive. The reconfiguration of the factory production lines twice thus far is much more instructive. The various refreshes of the Model S, including the dual drive upgrade which had plenty of changed parts and the latest cosmetic refresh are far more in line with what the Model 3 represents in terms of delay.
     
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