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Large scale production sooner than expected?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by DC3000, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. DC3000

    DC3000 Member

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    So, this is my first post here. I have been a reader for a long time, but I felt this was a good time to join in with my thoughts.

    So, regarding what news we may get at the Model 3 event, this is what I hope for and/or predict.

    I should probably start by disclosing that I am a share holder, and I probably could be considered a fanboy. Anyhow:

    First, the Model 3 will be a beautiful car with great performance. This is a prediction that I think most of us here agree to, and that the demand will be high is something that even the most skeptic bears seem to start wrapping their heads around. My guess is 50k to 100k reservations the first 48 hours. 200k to 300k the first week and between 300k to 500k until the summer.

    I do not expect the Model 3 the come with full autonomy, but rather similar autopilot functionality as the Model S and Model X has today. Not sure about if it will come standard or as an option. One of the cards that I think Elon has been considering keeping close to his chest is in my mind more likely to be if he should reveal that Model S and X will shortly be equipped with full autonomy capable hardware. I would expect another few years before the software is launched and legal to use. But of course it would be a great and pleasant surprise if this will be available for Model 3 already from launch.

    I don't consider it to be completely unlikely that Tesla will launch four separate versions based on the Model 3 platform. First of all, obviously, the sedan we're all expecting. What I consider most likely is that the SUV version, "Model Y" will be presented as well. Further I'm hoping for a Model 3 as a station wagon and a convertible. I, for one, would reserve the convertible in a heartbeat. I can't think of a better driving experience that a Tesla with the top down.

    With many of us expecting a large number of reservations, the problem that remains seem to be production. Especially regarding the batteries from the Giga Factory. If I was in charge, this is what I would do:

    First, the bottle neck in the Giga Factory. Is this really an actual limitation? Both Panasonic and LG has provided Tesla with batteries in the passed. I would have prepared an agreement with both of them to buy their full production for the next couple of years, until the Giga Factory is up and running at full capacity. Elon most likely feels pretty confident as well about the demand. After all, the Model 3 is the most important step for Tesla so far, if not ever, and I really cannot see any reason for Tesla not to deliver above and beyond most speculations in this important moment. I presume that Elon is fully prepared for how big the success will be, and that he has planned carefully to execute on it the best way possible. As soon as I saw people starting to line up, even before the event, I would sign the agreement with LG and Panasonic.

    So let's assume that the batteries are not the big concern. How could they possibly ramp up production fast enough? There has been rumors about future Tesla production in China and Europe, more or less confirmed, as I understand, by Elon himself. What would be a better time to do this than now, with the launch of Model 3? I would have prepared contracts to buy existing factories, and started very secretly to prepare the orders for the necessary machinery. I don't expect employees to be scarce when the time comes. So instead of ramping up production to 500.000 cars per year in 2020, wouldn't this make it possible perhaps to reach this capacity already in 2017 or 2018 when serious production is expected to start?

    I would make sure to be able to present this news at the event. I hope Elon will leave this news for his last comments in the presentation. Something like: "So far we have 100k reservation, and if you're reserving your Model 3 today, as it looks now, you will all be able to receive yours in the first quarter of 2018, as we have just expanded our production capabilities dramatically."

    What do you think? Does all this seem completely unreasonable or could this be a real possibility?
     
  2. pinski

    pinski Going Plaid

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    I'm a newbie to the board as well, so it feels weird to say welcome, but welcome just the same! :)

    I agree that demand will be very strong, but I think you're being a bit bullish with your expectations. This is all opinion, of course, but I would estimate maybe 20,000 reservations within 48 hours, maybe 50,000 after the first week and potentially 100,000 after summer. Those who desperately have to have one will immediately get one, those on the fence will probably wait until the reveal and after that, it'll just be steadily declining.

    I'd love to see the success you're envisioning, but the Model 3 is still a very niche vehicle. Both acceptance and infrastructure are big limitations to a number of people.
     
  3. DC3000

    DC3000 Member

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    Thank you Pinski, and welcome to you too! ;-)

    The reservation numbers are still anyones guess, probably not even Elon himself has a real clue yet. What is more interesting to me is the production ramp up. Probably that will be the limitation no matter what they do for a while to come. But could it be possible that large scale production of the Model 3 is planned a lot sooner than what has been generally discussed, based on my theory above?
     
  4. Fallenone

    Fallenone Active Member

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    Setting China and Europe aside, US production capacity as of today:

    Painting: they bought a paint shop capable of 500k/year last year.
    Pressing: Wallstreet analysts said they increased production capacity by 10-20 times compared to their last visit, which I think was 2014. Tesla's production in 2014 was slightly over 30k, so they are close to 500k/year right now in this department.
    Assembly: weakest point so far. I remember reading somewhere saying they can push the current two lines to 3k/week, but still that is far from enough. They would either increase it at fremont or build some assembly lines in China/Europe.
     
  5. DC3000

    DC3000 Member

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    Thanks for your input Fallenone!

    If so, wouldn't that make the case even stronger for setting up two new assembly lines in Europe and China, to have them ready by the time production of Model 3 is planned to start?
     
  6. Model 3

    Model 3 Active Member

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    Don't exptect a station wagon. I would love it if they made it, but when they make a CUV (as they have said they will) I think they believe that to be instead of a real wagon. But I'm sure they will make a convertible some day, but I do not know when :p They have talked about it and shown slides with both convertibles and vans based on the Gen-II platform (Model S/X). But just as "future plans".
     
  7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    In order for Tesla to release something sooner than expected it either has to be horribly incomplete or you have to be as pessimistic as they come.

    With Tesla, if there's one area of consistency, it's being late.
     
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  8. tomsky

    tomsky Unkown member

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    I don't think it's gonna happen, they need GF for economies of scale, otherwise (buying from other vendors) will sell the 3 at a loss (nobody is close to Tesla costs for producing batteries). They need GF for Model 3 and Model 3 for GF. It doesn't make sense to build GF AND buy from others at a higher costs just to deliver a higher number of cars.
     
  9. Roamer

    Roamer Member

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    If Tesla delivers on schedule that in itself will be revolutionary.
     
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