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Blog Musk Says Tesla May Prefer Its Tented Assembly Line

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the massive tent set up to house a Model 3 manufacturing line at the Fremont, Calif. factory was necessary to reach the company’s 5,000 cars per week goal by the end of the quarter.

Musk previously shared a photo inside the tented assembly line showing the first performance version of the Model 3.


Answering questions on Twitter, Musk said the company did not have time to construct an actual building, but the tent went up in about two weeks.



Musk said the company may actually favor the tent to a building. “More comfortable & a great view of the mountains,” he tweeted.

Musk said the whole assembly line was built using scrap Tesla had in warehouses. “And it’s way better than the other GA line that cost hundreds of millions!” he tweeted.


Musk also also said that the Tesla Grohmann line is now running at Gigafactory 1.

 
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mongo

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May 3, 2017
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I really feel like this line isn't directly related to them meeting the 5k mark.

Anyone think this line is specifically for the Performance/AWD? Wasn't Elon's picture of the first performance in that tent? Elon said they would start deliverying AWD in July & since they are so close to the 5k deadline ( end of June ) it makes sense to make a new line instead of adding completexity & potentially new bottlenecks to the existing lines.

Perhaps playing word games?
Potential scenario: They want to fulfill the high GM reservation for AWD and P, so they need to make 5k/wk of those vs 5k/ pwn of RWD,. Thus needing the P line for 5k of P/AWD.
 

EinSV

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Feb 6, 2016
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I really feel like this line isn't directly related to them meeting the 5k mark.

Anyone think this line is specifically for the Performance/AWD? Wasn't Elon's picture of the first performance in that tent? Elon said they would start deliverying AWD in July & since they are so close to the 5k deadline ( end of June ) it makes sense to make a new line instead of adding completexity & potentially new bottlenecks to the existing lines.

My understanding is the new line will focus on production of Performance/Dual Motors. But I also think it should help them reach the next target of 5K/week and grow past it to 6K/week and eventually higher.
 
My understanding is the new line will focus on production of Performance/Dual Motors. But I also think it should help them reach the next target of 5K/week and grow past it to 6K/week and eventually higher.

Right, eventually this will put out some meaningful numbers but I feel like there was a lot of speculation that this tent was put up as a last ditch effort for Tesla to make 5k a week which I dont think is the case. I think the existing lines can handle the 5k a week but this was also done to get the AWD/P out in July. Once 5k a week is hit I bet they then update the existing lines to handle P/AWD.
 

icefree

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Apr 8, 2017
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Based on what? I haven't seen anything from Elon/Tesla that said that. And it wouldn't really make sense since the GA line would be after the skateboard, with motors/battery, has been married to the car body.
Elon Musk on Twitter
"Amazing work by Tesla team. Built entire new general assembly line in 3 weeks w minimal resources. Love u guys so much! Pic of 1st Model 3 dual motor performance coming off the line …"
 

EinSV

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Feb 6, 2016
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Based on what? I haven't seen anything from Elon/Tesla that said that. And it wouldn't really make sense since the GA line would be after the skateboard, with motors/battery, has been married to the car body.

Thanks, fair point. I went back and checked and did not see anything directly from Tesla so there does not seem to be anything definitive on this. As @icefree points out the first car off the new line was a Performance model but that doesn't mean they all need to be. I continue to believe that part of the goal here is to ramp production of Performance/Dual Motors while minimizing impact on existing production but can't say definitively that the new line is only for P/Dual Motors.

Right, eventually this will put out some meaningful numbers but I feel like there was a lot of speculation that this tent was put up as a last ditch effort for Tesla to make 5k a week which I dont think is the case. I think the existing lines can handle the 5k a week but this was also done to get the AWD/P out in July. Once 5k a week is hit I bet they then update the existing lines to handle P/AWD.

Since Elon said that the new line was needed to meet 5K/week I assume part of the reason was to meet that goal as quickly as possible. But it also positions Tesla to ramp up production of Performance/Dual Motors as well as to have the General Assembly capacity to blow right past the 5K/week target to 6K/week and higher. (Obviously they still need to continue to ramp up Body-in-White, paint and battery production as well.) So I don't believe 5K/week is the only goal but getting there quickly does seem to be one of the reasons for the new line.
 

MP3Mike

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Feb 1, 2016
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Thanks, fair point. I went back and checked and did not see anything directly from Tesla so there does not seem to be anything definitive on this. As @icefree points out the first car off the new line was a Performance model but that doesn't mean they all need to be. I continue to believe that part of the goal here is to ramp production of Performance/Dual Motors while minimizing impact on existing production but can't say definitively that the new line is only for P/Dual Motors.

In thinking about it more, the one thing that would make sense is if the GA4 line was currently dedicated to the white interior. Which is currently limited to the Performance version of the Model 3, so maybe GA4 is performance only for now. (But only white, the black interior performance version would be on one of the other GA lines.)
 
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mongo

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In thinking about it more, the one thing that would make sense is if the GA4 line was currently dedicated to the white interior. Which is currently limited to the Performance version of the Model 3, so maybe GA4 is performance only for now. (But only white, the black interior performance version would be on one of the other GA lines.)

That restricts it to the 1k/ wk (plus buffered) rate of white parts (Elon tweet). Process wise, there is no difference, so as long as they coordinate the door assembly with body, they can do either color. They may run white until they run out of inventory, then switch to black. Keeps things simple for the other lines...
 
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Calling it a "tent" is just for fun. It's a prefab building that can be put up quickly and is just fine for the climate in Fremont.

They have to look at building 500,000 plus cars in Fremont. Cars spend a lot of hours in a few processes such as the paint shop. They have to look at the space requirements of the paint shop at true high volume. So the don't want to build a GA line where it will conflict with other needs.

The short term building permit will likely be replaced with a regular (permanent) building permit. It seems to be a 25 year life structure.
It
Elon Musk on Twitter
"Amazing work by Tesla team. Built entire new general assembly line in 3 weeks w minimal resources. Love u guys so much! Pic of 1st Model 3 dual motor performance coming off the line …"
The tent is a sad joke. Seriously have people here not looked at the videos posted on Twitter? Cars not even moving; trailers towing car shells around. The permit for the structure only last for six months and then they have to take it all down. No electrical, plumbing, HVAC allowed. And of course, if it was really better than the other lines (as Elon claimed) they wouldnt have spent billions on those lines while building this line out of scrap (as Elon claimed). I am just constantly amazed at how gullible Tesla fans area.....
 

roblab

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Jul 15, 2008
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It

The tent is a sad joke. Seriously have people here not looked at the videos posted on Twitter? Cars not even moving; trailers towing car shells around. The permit for the structure only last for six months and then they have to take it all down. No electrical, plumbing, HVAC allowed. And of course, if it was really better than the other lines (as Elon claimed) they wouldnt have spent billions on those lines while building this line out of scrap (as Elon claimed). I am just constantly amazed at how gullible Tesla fans area.....

I'm wondering why this is bothering you. Who cares? Tesla is figuring out how to build hundreds of thousands of cars more quickly and it doesn't matter where as long as people are not being hurt and cars are being delivered in shape. And it doesn't matter if Tesla fans are gullible. It seems to me that the important point is that Tesla makes profit and stays in business.

I'm a fan. So what? Do you approve of the way GM builds cars in Europe? It doesn't matter.
 
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I'm wondering why this is bothering you. Who cares? Tesla is figuring out how to build hundreds of thousands of cars more quickly and it doesn't matter where as long as people are not being hurt and cars are being delivered in shape. And it doesn't matter if Tesla fans are gullible. It seems to me that the important point is that Tesla makes profit and stays in business.

I'm a fan. So what? Do you approve of the way GM builds cars in Europe? It doesn't matter.
Its fine. Be a fan. I get upset that he has burned through so much investor/government money and misrepresented so many material facts. Elizabeth Holmes never hurt me or cost me a dime - but it still bothers me that she got as far as she did....
 
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mongo

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I get upset that he has burned through so much investor/government money and misrepresented so many material facts.

Stock is near all time high, so not sure what investor money you are talking about. Tesla also repaid the government loans, so I'm not sure what you are talking about there either. Care to add some facts or references to your emotions?
 

JRP3

Hyperactive Member
Aug 20, 2007
21,228
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I get upset that he has burned through so much investor/government money and misrepresented so many material facts.
Says the person who just misrepresented material facts :rolleyes:

I am just constantly amazed at how gullible Tesla fans area.....

That's nothing compared to the constant ignorance of the bears who always talk about what can't be done, just as Tesla is doing it.
 
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cwerdna

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Jul 11, 2012
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Is removing the doors regular? ?
To add to what mongo said, yes.

As I posted at Tesla struggles to make 500K M3s while Ford makes 900K of just the "F" truck
I've (unfortunately?) never worked in the automotive industry but have taken auto plant tours of Toyota Tsutsumi, Mazda in Hiroshima, Nissan Oppama, Ford Rouge (they build the F-series truck there), NUMMI (when it was still NUMMI), BMW in Munich and Porsche in Stuttgart.
Of the above plant tours, I can't think of a single automaker that didn't remove the doors. They were reattached much later, after they were mostly or completely done installing the interior bits (e.g. wiring harnesses, carpet, seats, dash, consoles,etc.) This is common practice. As explained to us, the doors simply got in the way of that work. Also, leaving them attached for longer than necessary after painting means increased risk of damage.

100% sure Toyota and Nissan removed their doors and re-attached later.

You can see at the videos there and at REPORT: Oppama Style, that the doors are off for most of the time after painting. They seem to skip over showing door reattachment. I don't like the music at
, but you can see the rail system for the doors. I've seen this at all or virtually all the plant tours I've been on. At ~2:00, you can see final assembly and why the doors would be in the way.

I stumbled across
which I need to watch completely but at ~17:41 they discuss kaizen and why they remove the doors.

I posted about the door removal and all at How 2010 Prius is made in Tsutsimi plant - Videos in 2009. Unfortunately, all the accompanying YouTube videos in that thread are dead. :(

I've also seen plenty of documentaries on various car factories/how a particular vehicle is assembled.
 
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Cloxxki

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Aug 20, 2016
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It's possible that adding a second motor to the chassis has been found impossible to do at 10K or even 5K a week, on the line as it is.
Then it would make sense to take those tardy units out of the line that is working, leaving it to bump into another bottleneck as they speed it up, and handle the dual (or only second) motor at GA4.
If they can split off assembly station currently posing a longer term bottleneck, removing it almost completely, that makes a lot of sense. Even if the underlying truth were to be a miscalculation or bad production process design.

And yes, $5K per car extra, short term a few thousands extra units to be possible every week (dual motor not being viable on the existing line), that seems to more than warrant the cost of the extra line, especially if you consider that there is a whole car attached to that second moter, to be sold at a good marginal profit in itself.
 

ℬête Noire

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Jan 30, 2018
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It's possible that adding a second motor to the chassis has been found impossible to do at 10K or even 5K a week, on the line as it is.
The drivetrain is in place well before the GA section, it's one of the first things done.

It'd make more sense that this line was for say white interior only, because that's the type of pieces being added. We don't really know at this point if Performance variant has much in the way of differences to save them hassle running it down a separate GA but if it was white interior-only, or the only line that they are introducing the complication of white interior to, that would imply only Performance variants were coming down this line. They could run all Performance down it and it becomes the line they use to work out the glitches of mixing white and black interiors.
 
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