The Key to Tesla's First-Quarter Output Goal Is Still in Germany
Comment of the Day

February 08 2018

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

The Key to Tesla's First-Quarter Output Goal Is Still in Germany

This article by Dana Hull for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Tesla Inc. has all the tools to meet its planned Model 3 production rate in the first quarter. The only problem is they’re still in Germany.

The electric-car maker -- which is still targeting about 2,500 of the cars a week by the end of March -- has designed a new automated system for module production for its battery factory near Reno, Nevada. The line’s already working at its German Grohmann unit but it needs to be shipped to the U.S. next month before it can go into use, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said.

“That’s got to be disassembled, brought over to the Gigafactory, and re-assembled and then brought into operation at the Gigafactory. It’s not a question of whether it works or not. It’s just a question of disassembly, transport and reassembly,” he said on a conference call Wednesday. Once that milestone’s completed, Tesla will next need to fix material handling constraints at its Fremont, California, assembly plant before it can reach its 5,000-a-week goal by the end of June.

Tesla -- which has pushed back its Model 3 production targets several times -- is banking on the more affordable model to propel it from niche electric-car maker to mass-market manufacturer. The slower ramp means less money is coming in the door from customers taking delivery, and Wall Street is watching closely for any signs the targets could slip again.

Eoin Treacy's view

The launch of the SpaceX' super heavy rocket was delayed on multiple occasions but suddenly everything seemed to go right ahead of the earnings announcement the day after. I don’t think I’m the only one who doesn’t see this as a coincidence. Tesla is attempting to build a world class heavy manufacturing centre from scratch which is no simple task and in doing so faced much greater competition than SpaceX does in launching rockets.

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