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Model 3: New Body Shop? New paint shop? New Assembly hall?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by AB4EJ, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

    Feb 25, 2015
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    An analyst predicts steel construction for the Model 3 (see article here). This would make sense from a cost perspective (as my Mercedes engineering buddies say, "if you're familiar with the material properties, you pick steel!") - but I would think (plus other factors) this will mean a new body shop:

    1. Welding is different - welding aluminum is a heliarc process, whereas with steel, it is a steel pulse weld, or something similar.
    2. High volumes for Model 3 makes for a much shorter TAKT time, i.e.m,much faster cycles for Model 3 body in white.
    3. Trying to mix the two in a single body shop would be extremely tough.

    Paint may also be different - I would think that your chemistry for washing the body (prior to plating step) would be different, as would the undercoat plating as well.

    Then there is the matter of assembly - Model 3 will have to have less hand labor content than MS to have any chance of ever becoming profitable.

    Does this sound right? Practically an entirely new plant for the Model 3? (Fremont certainly has the space for it....)
  2. Audrey

    Audrey Member

    Oct 8, 2014
    Beautiful Pacific NW
    Wouldn't steel make it heavier too?
  3. Sp4rky

    Sp4rky Member

    Mar 10, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    I think there's a surprise in-store here...

    First time poster, long time lurker. :cool:

    I feel like Tesla is going to surprise a lot of people and use more aluminum than most people think.
    Yes, the overall chassis could be made from steel, but doors, panels, etc might actually be more cost effective to make from their previous aluminum manufacturing processes rather than build an entirely new steel plant for every component (or nearly every component).

    I'm looking forward to the 31st for sure!
  4. tga

    tga Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2014
    New Hampshire
    This ^^^

    Aluminum bodywork is easy. Tesla knows how to do it. The aluminum F150 will mean lots of aluminum-capable bodyshops soon.
  5. strider

    strider Active Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    NE Oklahoma
    They only way they have a chance of hitting their delivery dates is to make it as close to Model S as possible. If they change materials they'll have to start all over again learning how to stamp, paint, weld, steel. Same goes for composites or anything else.

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