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Tesla Factory Racing To Retool For New Models 257

An anonymous reader notes this story about what Tesla will have to do in order to double production every year for the next several years as Elon Musk intends. "Having just reported a $107.6-million fourth-quarter loss that sent its stock tumbling, Tesla Motors Inc. intends to double vehicle production in the next year as it finally introduces its Model X sport utility vehicle — after about two years of delays. Meanwhile, Tesla is racing to finish the design of its Model 3, the "affordable" Tesla, expected to sell in the $30,000 range after government subsidies. Musk's company is chasing General Motors Co., which plans a 2017 release of its all-electric Bolt, with a similar price and 200-mile driving range between charges."
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Tesla Factory Racing To Retool For New Models

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  • There will be a surge and resulting peak in demand for their expensive cars and then demand will fall off a cliff and the company will eventually disappear. Maybe then we'll finally stop seeing the endless supply of pump and dump stock articles that appear on /., esp positive-spin articles like this one that magically appear whenever there is negative news about the company.
    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      There will be a surge and resulting peak in demand for their expensive cars and then demand will fall off a cliff and the company will eventually disappear.

      That's assuming that (a) Tesla continues to make only high-end/expensive cars, and (b) that the (now saturated) market for high-end/expensive Teslas is insufficient to support the company. The former is possible, but only if Tesla doesn't follow through on their stated goals with the Model 3 (and presumably, other cheaper models thereafter). The latter is also possible, although that problem doesn't seem to stop other high-end auto companies from staying in business.

      Maybe then we'll finally stop seeing the endless supply of pump and dump stock articles that appear on /., esp positive-spin articles like this one that magically appear whenever there is negative news about the company.

      Now who is being the naive optimist, e

      • If the oil price kept at the same high level for another decade I think they had good chances of doing mass market electric cars. But given current oil price trends I think the Model 3 is about as low in the segment as they can get. Unless they figure out some way to magically decrease costs which would depend on battery technology advances which aren't there.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          If the oil price kept at the same high level for another decade I think they had good chances of doing mass market electric cars. But given current oil price trends I think the Model 3 is about as low in the segment as they can get. Unless they figure out some way to magically decrease costs which would depend on battery technology advances which aren't there.

          You're assuming oil is being kept artificially high and that it really should be as low as it is. But it isn't - Saudi Arabia is throwing its weight a

    • Probably. Especially considering the current freefall in oil prices. Still it's a lot more useful and interesting than, say, Facebook.

  • retooling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 15, 2015 @03:43PM (#49061305)

    I am currently working as a skilled tradesman in the fremont tesla plant. installing a massive body line that will be able to manufacture 3 body styles. Tesla is paying upwards of 12 million to get this line finished by fall. So they can ramp up production. Anyone that says it won't happen should take a tour of the plant on Wednesdays. The new line is massive and we are doing our best to finish it.

  • Did anyone else read that head line and think "hey, I didn't realize that Tesla had a Factory Racing team, those races would be fun to watch"....

  • so the short term rats dont like that i'll take time for this comapny top be succesfull. Why the fuck didn you buy into the stock in the first place. If I had the $$$$ i'd be into Tesla now and hopefully the new model shoiuld come out as the same time as my current car is paid off. Nice trade in towards the Model 3.

  • $30k for an electric car doesn't sound too bad. Now drop the weight by half and double the range and count me in.
    • I can't speak for the Model 3, but the Model S claims 295 miles per charge. Doubling that would be 590.

      I don't get 590 miles on my car. Do you?

  • and now trying to make it up on volume? I'll pass on that business plan.

    • They are doing large capital expenditures to expand production. Of course that costs money but the expectation is that they will get back once they start churning out more vehicles.

      • Companies don't do capital investment out of cash flow. Learn something about finance. The IRS wouldn't allow it even if they wanted to.

      • Better get there before the subsidies expire - and suddenly those cars are $7500 more expensive to the consumer. Which will probably happen in the next 2-3 years.
    • I see this moronic attempt at a "joke" every time this topic comes up, but you win today's lottery in terms of getting responses, so...

      Tesla makes (significant) profit on every sale. The problem is that they don't make a lot of sales. In order to make a lot of sales, they need to dramatically invest in production. Some of that goes into upgrades and retooling (making it possible to sell cheaper cars, which will get more sales), some of that goes into sheer manufacturing capacity (more factories, including t

  • An affordable vehicle is one that actually is about the same price as any other kind of vehicle that is physically comparable to it.

    Last I heard, the model was expected to cost no less than about $45k CDN... which is more than double what my wife and I spent our current automobile.

    • The cost of the car is the combination of the purchase price, and the price of fuel, maintenance over the life of the car.

      The "average American" spends $3,000 per year on gas. That is $30,000 over ten years. Tesla supercharger stations are free. And, electricity is cheaper than gas.

      That Tesla will never need an oil change.
      Interestingly, ignoring the recommended maintenance does NOT void your Tesla warrantee.

      Just something to think about.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        A fat lot of good all the money it can save on gas in the long run will do if the car is so expensive to begin with that the difference between the monthly payments on it versus a gasoline vehicle is more than double what you'd be ordinarily pay for gas anyways in the interim. Of course you could reduce the monthly payments by stretching out the loan over a longer period, but then you are paying even more money for the car, causing it to take even longer to pay for itself with the gasoline that you aren't
        • There are a lot of different market segments in the auto industry. The Model S is extremely competitive in the high-end luxury sedan segment where cars regularly sell for $80K+. The Model 3 will be targeted at the $35-40K midrange sedan segment, a segment in which hundreds of thousands of cars are sold right now (BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, etc.)--the Model 3 will be sold at a similar price-point as those other cars.

          Eventually electric car technology will ripple down into economy segments. That's how new technol

          • by mark-t ( 151149 )

            Even $35k, which it wouldn't cost, by the way, is about 70% more than what we spent on our current car.... and Volkswagen's midrange sedans go for about $25k CDN. not $35-$40... at those prices with a VW, you are easily looking at their higher end vehicles.

            I am expecting the model 3 to check in next year at about $45k CDN.

            Make no mistake about it, I'd certainly deeply want one... but at those prices, the gasoline saving are entirely irrellevant when you can't afford the monthly payments on the car in

    • So there's a good example of a vehicle costing more than the vehicle it replaces.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Costing a little more is fine.... and entirely understandable owing to inflation. Costing more than double the price of what was considered a mid-range car that we bought brand new in '09 is not.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Affordable is a relative term. Affordable to whom? Everyone in the world, or people in the segment where the vehicle is targeted?

      And what does "physically comparable" mean? Same rough size and door count or do you get down to powertrain specifics, interiors, etc?

      And I would argue whatever Tesla's affordable model is it will not be physically comparable to what you can buy for $18K USD. It will very likely have a far more luxurious trim, more bells and whistles and better performance.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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