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How many assembly lines in the factory?

boilerbots

Member
Apr 4, 2013
62
3
San Jose, CA
Based on taking the factory tour, there is one final line for assembly. It isn't that big either, only occupies a tiny portion of the building.

- - - Updated - - -

I guess I should point out that the building is huge and was told it is 3 stories tall, the chassis and drive train are assembled up stairs and the tour doesn't get to see that.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
18,278
151
Nevada
I thought they said they only use 5% of the factory before. Either way it's a tiny percentage of the space they have to grow. Truly a bargain for such a big factory.
 

wraithnot

Model 3 VIN #2942 Model S VIN #5785
Dec 16, 2012
569
408
SF Bay Area
Does anyone know how production is organised in the factory? Is it all one line, or are there multiple, parallel lines? If multiple, how many?

I took the tour on a Saturday and the main assembly line wasn't running. But there was still lots of activity- the huge aluminum stamping press was running, we saw a bunch of people making seats, and cars were running on the test track. The tour I was on didn't get to see the batteries or drivetrains being assembled so those may or may not be built on smaller assembly lines.

The main assembly line itself was also really cool. Each chassis was on a robotic sled and the robots followed black lines on the floor. If they need to reconfigure the assembly line, they just have to repaint the lines on the floor. Definitely more high tech than the GM plant I toured in the 80s on a school field trip!
 

shokunin

P85 & M3
Feb 28, 2012
1,199
630
Irvine, CA
My perception when I took the factory tour, was it looked far less than 20%. Before you get to the part of the plant they are using, you walk through a huge portion of the old factory that the are using for storage and parts inventory. It looked like the giant warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Imagine dark, gloomy, rows and rows of pallets and crates everywhere. Then we finally hit the section of the plant that is all painted white, shiny, new and bright. While we walked through various areas of stamping, plastics, etc, it actually felt like they were just using a tiny portion of the factory.

Now they didn't take us to the battery, drivetrain, or painting sections so we did not get a feel for the size of those areas. It's possible that the paint section is capable of handling Gen III production, which would reduce the need for another paint department.
 

boilerbots

Member
Apr 4, 2013
62
3
San Jose, CA
there was an article today, talking about in the heyday of NUMMI plant, it made 300,000 cars / year.

For those not familiar, NUMMI is the old (generic) name of the factory building. This matches with the tour guide who said the plant at one point could produce 6,000 cars a week. I just can't imagine what it must have been like.... 12 times the output of Tesla's current rate.
 

aronth5

Long Time Follower
May 8, 2010
2,675
1,408
Boston Suburb
For those not familiar, NUMMI is the old (generic) name of the factory building. This matches with the tour guide who said the plant at one point could produce 6,000 cars a week. I just can't imagine what it must have been like.... 12 times the output of Tesla's current rate.

I posted this the other day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NUMMI

There has been lots of numbers about Numi capacity when Toyota and GM produced cars there. Usually the capacity number mostly commonly mentioned is 500k cars/yr. But Wikipedia states: "Up to May 2010, NUMMI built an average of 6000 vehicles a week, or nearly eight million cars and trucks since opening in 1984". That is 312,000 per year which is lower than most estimates referenced on TMC. Regardless of the actual number Tesla has more than enough space to produce as many cars as needed.
 

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