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Tesla Factory Automation Compare to GM, Ford and Toyota?

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by kevin99, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. kevin99

    kevin99 Banned

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    #1 kevin99, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
    I picked up my MS 85 today. Take the factory tour as well. Good stuffs. The tour guy just join Tesla for a month so he couldn't answer some of my questions. But this is what I get:

    1. Daily production volume is 70-90.
    2. 5 days a week.
    3. 2 shifts, most workers full time, few temp.
    4. They could increase temps to fill the orders by quarter end.

    My impression is they have complete control on how many cars they want to produce. If they need more, simply get some temps. I don't expect the Q2 to significantly beat the estimate, they don't have to. But they should come out with a comfortable number that won't affect the stock negatively.

    One question I have. It is impressive to watch the assembly line when the robots work on each station and the car move from one station to the next. The degree of automation seems high. But how does it compare to other automakers GM, Ford and Toyota, does Tesla has higher degree of automation and efficiency? I can see by removing the engine, transmission, exhaust system, there is a lot less moving parts. But anyone has intimate knowledge of how other manufacturers operate?
     
  2. vgrinshpun

    vgrinshpun Active Member

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    Did you have an impression that second shift has the same quantity of workers as the first shift? Does it cover only certain areas of production, or all of them? It is a bit disconcerting that they still can't produce 80 cars/week using one shift only.

    Could you clarify what does #4 mean? There are 2.5 weeks till the end of Q2. Did you mean to say that total backlog of orders is 2.5 x 90 x 5= 1125 cars? This seem to be improbably low, even if it accounts for the NA only.
     
  3. kevin99

    kevin99 Banned

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    #3 kevin99, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
    Not sure about the 2nd shift.
    I don't mean any specific number of orders they try on meet. Just means they seems to have control on meeting the orders, give or take a few hundreds.

    Bottom, I am not concerned or worried at all.:smile: Control is the point I take away. I don't think Elon wants to do something out of the way to surprise the street and pump up the stock, but he has control not letting the stock suffer in term of Q2 result.
     
  4. DaveT

    DaveT Searcher of green pastures

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    Hey congrats on your new Model S!

    I recently watched a few Megafactories episodes about Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota: (I'm assuming you've watched the Megafactories episode on Tesla)
    National Geographic - Megafactories Chevrolet Camaro - YouTube
    Ford Mustang - Mega Factories - Super cars - National Geographic Documentary - YouTube
    mega factories - TOYOTA AUSTRALIA 2013 - YouTube

    These episodes really helped me to understand the manufacturing process and how the different companies approach it.
     
  5. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #5 cwerdna, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
    I don't think the 1st part is quite that easy. All their suppliers also have to ramp up their production and deliveries. On any production line, you can't just turn up the dial to 11 or whatever. Missing parts? You can't get that far in terms of production.

    From all the documentaries I've seen on auto production, the amount of automation and use of robots beyond welding varies a LOT amongst cars produced in large quantities (leave out exotics). I've toured Ford Rouge, NUMMI (when it was still NUMMI), in Japan: Toyota, Honda and Nissan plants. I've also seem numerous documentaries.

    Almost all of them use robots for most or all of the welding. When I visited Nissan Oppama, I recall they did leave a few welds that the robots can't do (for accessibility reasons) to humans.

    Hyundai in the US seems to have the most automation. They do some stuff by robot that most everyone else does w/a human (e.g. putting in the whole dashboard assembly). Some use people to install windshield and others use robots. The show that illustrated this was an ep of Factory Floor with Marshall Brian on a Hyundai plant. Unfortunately, Robots Take Over - YouTube was only an excerpt of that ep.

    I just stumbled across 2011 Hyundai Elantra, HMMA Plant Tour, 200+ Robots. - YouTube which was decent. I watched Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Plant Tour - YouTube long ago. This has a lot more explanation.

    You can see How 2010 Prius is made in Tsutsimi plant - Videos | PriusChat. I toured this plant when the Gen 2 Prius was the latest version. That's the Gen 3 on the line.

    There have been lots of great eps of shows like Ultimate Factories that goes behind the scenes of various auto plants. I've posted about them at places like Ultimate Factories - marathon of car related eps coming up | PriusChat before. Ultimate Factories: Camaro, Porsche and Corvette on NGC - TiVo Community The Camaro plant one was good.

    The videos at My Nissan Leaf Forum View topic - A Behind-the-scenes at Nissan production in Japan video and The Factory Life: A Behind-the-scenes at Nissan production in Japan | PriusChat may help. One can see some GM stuff at Chevy Cruze GM Powertrain: An Inside Look.

    These are some on the Nissan Leaf:
    Nissan LEAF electric vehicle production process detailed - YouTube - from long ago
    2013 Nissan LEAF Manufacturing - YouTube - I believe I've watched this. This is after made for US Leaf production was shifted to Smyrna, TN.
    Factoring in EVs: An Owners Visit - YouTube

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/02/toyota%E2%80%99s-secret-weapon-low-cost-car-factories/ is an example of a plant that apparently has relatively few robots.

    Thanks re: the Toyota Australia video, I'll have to take a look.

    BTW, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I don't know how true this still is, but the Dacia Logan is built in a plant that had either 0 or 1 robot.
    Got 5,000 Euros? Need A New Car? - Businessweek
    Renault's Manual Overdrive - Businessweek
    Online Extra: The Making of the Logan - Businessweek
     
  6. ppl

    ppl Member

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    Please do not misconstrue my comment. I have no doubt you were told what you were told BUT I seriously do not believe an employee who knows these numbers would give them out. I have talked to company employees before trying to get hints at the numbers made but they run a tight ship that doesn't release that information.
     
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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  8. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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