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Simplifying Production

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by pinski, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. pinski

    pinski Going Plaid

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    I know we're all just pontificating on a number of things with regards to the Model 3, but I wonder if Tesla is planning on simplifying production lines for this vehicle. With the Roadster, Model S and Model X, Tesla has been largely boutique, from what I can tell. I may be wrong as I'm relatively new to the fold, but viewing their site and specing out some cars, options seem a la carte.

    For lower production volumes, that's generally not terribly problematic, but when you're trying to crank out 100,000 vehicles per year, that's not as likely to be a successful process.

    That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla offers packages for the Model 3, or specific trim lines. If they do pursue this route, it will be interesting to see how they break it down.

    What other ways can they simplify production to meet the volume demand?
     
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  2. Tiberius

    Tiberius Member

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    I'm an industrial specialist and for years Toyota has been the gold standard for production streamlining. I imagine they have hired some of the best production experts in the world and will be at Toyota's level from the beginning. As new processes specific to Tesla mature, they will take input from these experts as well as workers on the production floor to figure out where they can simplify things (LEAN concepts, etc)

    Long story short, I'm sure they will be the best in the business.
     
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  3. vjason

    vjason Member

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    They already admitted to mistakes with the X production (parts shortages), which they say they have rectified: Tesla blames 'hubris' for Model X part delays - BBC News

    Someone else posted that the 3 production process will be more streamlined than the S or X, which will allow them to double the number of cars they can produce compared to either a S or X. Wish I could find that post; it correct that should help.

    They produce about 60K cars a year today and the factory is supposed to be able to handle 500K. It doesn't take much understanding of manufacturing to see that they have a lot of work in front of them in order to get to the production numbers they need to deliver the current number of 3 orders within a year, not to mention the orders that might trickle in over the next 18 months.

    Everything else aside, I'm sure they will hire whomever the need to in order to produce as many cars as they can. What that number will be for the first few quarters is anyone's guess.
     
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  4. pinski

    pinski Going Plaid

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    This is exactly my hope as well - I have all the faith in the world that they'll walk along this path, especially after the issues surrounding the Model X.

    I honestly can't wait to see how they do it!
     
  5. pinski

    pinski Going Plaid

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    On the Model S and Model X, for the most part, options are a la carte. You can order air suspension without having to get Performance or high fidelity without leather, or any combination of items. I realize that they do have "packages," but the only one that really bundles a series of options together is the Premium Upgrades Package.

    The Model 3 has been reportedly designed to be easy to build, which is a departure from both the Model S and Model X. One way Tesla could do this would be bundling options together - throwing high fidelity sound into the Premium package, for example.

    Do you think Tesla will attempt this? Would it result in "trim" levels on the Model 3? What options would you like to see bundled as a package? Would you prefer a la carte, even if it meant you had to wait longer?
     
  6. FirstSea

    FirstSea Member

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    Although I highly dislike the idea of packaging since I don't want to pay for some fancy features I'll probably never use/need, Tesla will most likely use packaging for ease and price reduction.
     
  7. 22522

    22522 Member

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    It is hard to say. I think cars with bundled options hold their price better because on the secondary market people know what they are.
     
  8. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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  9. pinski

    pinski Going Plaid

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    LOL! I couldn't remember if I made it - I searched (not my old threads, just a general search in Model 3) and I guess I didn't use very good terms.

    My feeble mind. :(

    Mods, please close or merge.
     
  10. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    mod note: duplicate threads merged.
     
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  11. S3XY

    S3XY Member

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    With nearly 400,000 orders in the queue it wouldn't be that difficult for Tesla to allow ala cart options and still be able to group the builds in large enough batches to be cost and build time efficient.
     
  12. Mike Pan

    Mike Pan Member

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    Pushing as much of the software development to post-delivery could be one way to ramp up quicker. Ship with only CarPlay/Android Auto support and AP hardware, add all the software 'when they are ready' via OTA updates.

    What I am worried about is Tesla's liability on warranty claims, at the speed they are ramping up, if early Model 3 has major flaws that requires a few visits to the service centre, that's going to cut down on their margin significantly.
     
  13. 22522

    22522 Member

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    They need to run fast without freezing out innovation. That says parallel lines where innovation can ripple through as there is less risk.

    I do have a concern that automation will be used as a crutch to overcome marginal elements of the design, resulting in bottle neck factory architectures. Vigilance for this can solve it. But they may be too busy.
     
  14. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    I fail to see how adding upgraded sound system to the upgrade package makes things simpler. If you are running multiple kinds of cars on the same production line (and they have to be), each station needs to assess whether to add a bit, looking to see if some other bit was also added is a terrible way to do that. Each car needs to be spelled out whether that part goes on the car, either to the human or the robot adding the part. If we just start with the things we know will be options we get 9 colors, AWD/RWD, 2 battery sizes, ludicrous, tow, 3 roof options, wheels, we get 50,000 different kinds of cars. Tesla has figured out how to option a car, now they will add how to make them fast when they are designed to be easy to make.

    Thank you kindly.
     
  15. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I agree. I don't think packages of options simplify assembly (or parts ordering, etc.)
    Having fewer options would make it easier to order, stock and assemble.
    Someone mentioned having just one battery which was software locked/unlocked to the level purchased. That would simplify parts and assembly.
    Fewer options for interior colors and seat types would also simplify.
    Just fewer option choices overall would simplify.
     
  16. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    #16 Topher, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
    I still fail to see how that simplicity could possibly pay for the increased cost of batteries, even at $1500 per 10kWh minimum. Does it takes 30 hours of labor to differentiate?

    Thank you kindly.
     
  17. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Yes, it's hard for us to understand since we don't know the costs. They do think this strategy will work for the new S 60, however.
     
  18. ccutrer

    ccutrer Member

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    Lulz. It would be far simpler to ship a shrunken version of what they have now on the S and X, rather than completely develop CarPlay and Android Auto to be shipped initially. And they are already well versed in this strategy. It was many many months from when cars started shipping with AP hardware before a software update actually enabled it.

    It should also be noted that ramping the physical production line is orthogonal to developing the software. Case in point - Apple never releases the GM version of iOS that is shipped with the new version of a device until days before the new device is released, and they immediately start churning out millions of them. The hardware and production line have been perfected over the previous few months, and they likely stockpile a few million before release, and the final software is loaded on just in time right before shipment.
     
  19. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    There's a bit more to it than that. Smaller battery pack can mean having additional production elements with cost such as "blank" dummy cells, etc.

    Additionally we don't know what the impact of speed of delivery is when they need to stock different battery SKUs for production.

    Personally I think that the model 3 will for sure have one battery with software locking. For one thing it means if a buyer needs more range later, even if it's not the original owner Tesla can sell them an "upgrade" that costs them nearly nothing to deliver.

    As limp bizkit said, "think about it"
     
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  20. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    Lol, dislikes for speaking the truth. Too many fanboys.
     
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