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Will the Model 3 Be Built in Fremont, or Somewhere Else?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by igotzzoom, May 21, 2015.

  1. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Just wondering what everyone's thoughts were about where the Model 3 would be built. Since as a NUMMI plant, Fremont had the capacity for about 500,000 units a year, they're only using a small fraction of that currently. Model X will bring it up to around 100,000 give or take. So at least initially, there should be plenty of excess capacity to build the Model 3 there, but at some point, do you think a second Model 3 plant will pop up somewhere else? Discuss...
     
  2. favo

    favo Model 3 Reservation Holder

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    Clearly they will use the current Fremont plant until they start approaching its capacity (2020?). Assuming the great success for Model 3 we all expect :wink:, they will probably look to build a second factory in Europe or Asia. That is a good problem to have.
     
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Keep in mind, Tesla is doing a lot of work in house at Fremont that was done by subs at other sites under NUMMI. They certainly have some excess capacity right now, but I doubt they could build 500k cars per year there doing as much of the fabrication as they currently are onsite.

    Having said that, I'd agree with you basic assessment: I expect the Model 3 will initially be built in Fremont. Before they increase the rate very much, I believe they'll have to either open regional facilities as you suggest, or start doing some of the work offsite (motors, inverters, and/or body panel forming in addition to the battery pack manufacture that is moving to the gigafactory.)
    Walter
     
  4. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    I agree that the 3 will have to built in house but as the numbers increase they will have to have regional factories or outsource the parts for the 3.
     
  5. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Member

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    The question for Tesla is does it decide to move the in house non-assembly work it does in Fremont to elsewhere to free up space for more assembly, or does it do assembly elsewhere in order to not disrupt the existing in-house work. Either way, that's an industrial engineering question rather than a customer concern.
     
  6. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    There are also tax and efficiency reasons to build cars closer to where you sell them. Most large car manufacturers now have plants in multiple continents.
     
  7. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Let's just keep it in the good old USA.
     
  8. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    In a presentation by JB Straubel from September 2013, one of his slides showed Tesla Motors' projected growth in capacity at Fremont. It showed Capacity roughly doubling year over year. At the year 2019 mark, the expectation was for a 700,000 unit Capacity at that facility.

    This is the part where I reiterate that Capacity, Production, and Sales are different things. Capacity is the number of vehicles that may be built at Fremont. Production is the actual number of vehicles built during a calendar year. Sales equals the number of vehicles delivered during a calendar year, and may include some that were built in the final quarter of the previous year, but reached Customers in the first quarter of the current year.

    Tesla Motors' Fremont facility finished 2013 with a Capacity of 25,000 units; 2014 with a Capacity of 50,000 units; and aims to complete 2015 with a 100,000 unit Capacity. I expect that to grow to 200,000 unit Capacity during 2016, in preparation for Model ≡ Production in 2017.

    I believe Tesla Motors will strive for Production to reach 70% of Capacity through 2017. Some quote Elon saying that Production in 2015 would be 50% over 2014. But he later clarified that as being for Model S alone, and that Model X production would be above and beyond that amount.

    Model ≡ Production will begin at Fremont. Once its popularity demonstrates that there may be a two year waiting list, Tesla will move to establish their second factory in short order. Where? Idunno. Maybe one of the Southern states, like Texas or Mississippi. Maybe in Europe, perhaps Britain or the Netherlands.

    No matter the location, it will likely have to be built anew, from the ground up. No one is going to give Tesla Motors a deal ever again. Ultimately, that's OK. They will be better off not having to reconfigure an existing facility to meet their needs. By building from the ground up, they may even consider that a second Gigafactory be co-located with the new factory.
     
  9. Drucifer

    Drucifer Active Member

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    It might not necessarily be new. With Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Saab, Suzuki and maybe others tanking or exiting the auto business altogether, there may be another opportunity like NUUMI/Freemont.
     
  10. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Member

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    I've heard rumors that auto industry operations in Southern Ontario are likely to decline. There's plenty of industrial capacity in Gary, Flint, lots of cities. Leaving aside the places that were all set to compete for the Gigafactory before.
     
  11. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    There's also currency reasons. The Model S has gotten about 20-30% more expensive in Europe over the last couple of years due to the strong USD/weak EUR. The more manufacturing you can put in the EU, the less the fluctuations in price will be.

    But the maximum of 500k production at Fremont is definitely not a firm limit. My guess is that it would be possible to produce a million cars there, if you get the plant working perfectly, while using all possible modern technology and multiple shifts. Though it may not be cost efficient.

    Tesla should start looking at a plant in the EU in a couple of years.
     
  12. Drucifer

    Drucifer Active Member

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    As a GM/Toyota plant building economy cars and small trucks at a rapid clip, the Freemont plant got over 400,000 units for only one year. I doubt that Tesla will be able to do much better than that building more upmarket vehicles.

    The reality is that Tesla will want to diversify their global footprint by the time they get close to that number.

    NUMMI timeline - San Jose Mercury News
     
  13. Model 3

    Model 3 Active Member

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    They should be looking now, and should have been looking for some time already. By now they should have a good idea about where they will want it to be located, but no action yet if they are not getting anything like the Fremont deal.... If I where Tesla I would be following the NEVS (late SAAB - R.I.P) closely, and ready to take over if it falls or withdraws from Sweden... And there is probably also some other factories out there worthy of been monitored closely.
     

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