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Transportation Technology

Bloomberg Starts Tracking Tesla Model 3 Production ( 55

WindBourne writes: Tesla is producing their Model 3, but is apparently tired of answering critics about production. So, they quit telling. Now, Bloomberg has an active tracker that shows the total production and deliveries, along with the production per week, which is probably more important. In fact, they are now up to 1,025 Model 3s per week, and it is apparent that Tesla is growing by leaps and bounds on this as parts of the manufacturing line are converted to full robotics. Bloomberg reportedly tracks Tesla's production via Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), which are unique strings of digits displayed on every new car sold in the U.S., along with "data from official U.S. government resources, social media reports, and direct communication with Tesla owners." While the company is now building approximately 1,025 Model 3 vehicles a week, Bloomberg estimates that Tesla has manufactured a total of 7,438 Model 3s so far.
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Bloomberg Starts Tracking Tesla Model 3 Production

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They pre-sold a reported (approx) 400K on opening offering day alone. At a rate of 1025 a week, this means that just to satisfy the original pre-order Tesla will take a a good 7.5 years to deliver the vehicle to the last person on the list.

    • by ELCouz ( 1338259 )
      Factory output will increase with time.... 7.5 years is a bad estimate.
    • by iserlohn ( 49556 )

      Currently they are ramping up to 2500 per week. They are shipping a whole battery assembly line from Germany to make 5000 per week happen by Q2. []

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @06:54AM (#56134060) Homepage

        And once it's working they plan to duplicate the whole line for 10k, finishing by the end of Q4. They're currently at 10% of the production design spec.

        Just to explain better (because I expect a lot of bad information on this thread): the bottleneck is battery packs. Not battery cells, but the assembly of the packs themselves. Tesla contracted the construction of two of the four zones of the pack assembly process out to an engineering firm, and discovered that not only did they not work, but it wasn't even possible to make them work; they were fundamentally broken.

        Tesla purchased a German engineering firm last year, Grohmann, which is now Tesla-Grohmann. When the broken line was discovered, Tesla dispatched Grohmann to rush together a replacement, and apparently they pulled it off. But the line is still in Germany. They'll be moving it to the US and installing it over the next several months. Apparently the new line is much faster and more efficient than the old design specs, too (Grohmann has been quickly becoming Tesla's "Skunk Works")

        In the meantime, Tesla has implemented and is expanding a semi-manual stopgap. Robots do all of the welding, cell connections, etc, but they have to use people to move the parts from one stage to the next, and in some cases place parts for the robots. They're dealing with the slowdown by parallelizing the process.

        Musk has owned up to hubris on this one. Tesla's attitude had been, "Meh, we know battery packs"; they put most of their effort on systems that were new, and not nearly enough holding contractors to the fire and making sure well enough in advance that their hardware could actually deliver. It's come back to bite them hard. Musk has talked about how much this has been "lesson learned", and how they're planning a lot of new steps on the Y to make sure that it's not delayed as well. Well, I'll believe it when I see it. No matter how ambitious the project, Musk almost always delivers - but he almost always delivers late. It would be out of character to do otherwise. ;)

        Model 3 reservation counts have been holding steady through the delays, and actually started growing again now that Tesla has started providing Model 3s to showrooms. That said, this was before they announced the delay on the SR version (which should be expected given the LR delays, but...); that might have a negative impact. But probably not a profound one. Tesla is fortunate that the competition is... well, absent (at least from the perspective of most reservation holders); most see the only real competition to the 3 to be other Tesla models. CCS/CHAdeMO networks are a joke compared to the Supercharger network (~43kW real-world on most vs. ~117kW, much lower reliability, less even spacing, far fewer chargers per station, usually much higher prices, etc). Teslas are faster, better handling, longer range, have more interesting options (AWD, air suspension, performance package, etc), over-the-air updates, don't look like econoboxes, have properly climate-managed battery packs with low degradation, have far lower depreciation than competitors, etc and are built by a company they know will never abandon EVs. So while you may get some grumbling, few people are giving up their spot in line.

        You of course hear other manufacturers shouting "But wait, we'll have the coolest thing since sliced bread soon!", but they've been saying that for the past decade, and continually delivered lacklustre offerings in comparison to Tesla, to the point that Model S and X frequently outsell vehicles a third to a quarter of their price (a market 1 1/2 orders of magnitude smaller)

        • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @06:58AM (#56134076) Homepage

          I'll note that I don't say the above criticisms to be harsh to other manfuacturers vehicles in absolute terms, only relative ones. E.g. most reviewers are in agreement that the Bolt is a good (albeit econobox-y) car - speed, handling, etc; it's nothing to be laughed at. But the reviewers also agree that it just doesn't match against a Model 3. If Tesla didn't exist, I think people would be flocking to Bolts, Leafs, etc instead.

          Then again, if Tesla didn't exist, I don't think these other manufacturers would have put anywhere near as much investment into making EVs as they have.

        • Something made by Germans is a lot better than the original broken thing was supposed to be in the first place? Who would've thought.
        • And once it's working they plan to duplicate the whole line for 10k, finishing by the end of Q4.

          Given Tesla's previous attempts at timelines, I would change that to Q4/2019. I put the odds of them producing 10k units/week in 2018 at somewhere just below 0%.

    • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @10:16PM (#56132470)

      Wow...just take their current production rate and forecast it out. What a brilliant forecasting model. However, I'm going to challenge your your model with a one of my own that is equally brilliant.

      From the chart in that article, the estimate is that Telsa manufactured about 107 of the Model 3 in September. In October that jumped to 232. November was 686. Dec was 1499, and in January they manufactured 2909 new vehicles.

      So on average, that's at least a doubling of production every month (higher actually, but we'll just say double to keep it simple). At that rate, by April they will be manufacturing 23,272 vehicles per month. By July, that will be up to 186,176 per month. By October they should be manufacturing 1,489,408 vehicles per month. And just skipping ahead a bit, by August 2019 they should be manufacturing about 1.5 billion of the Model 3 per month. And that's only 1.5 years out. Calculating out to your estimated 7.5 year time frame, I estimate that by then Tesla will be producing 7,202,335,148,562,342,439,363,104,735,232 units per month.

      Do you see anything wrong with either of our projections?

      • Your estimate is wrong. 7,202,335,148,562,342,439,363,104,735,232 units per month will be one month after 7.5 years. The correct number is 3601167574281171219681552367616 (feel free to insert the commas).

        Considering the GP estimate of 1025 cars a week will result 53446 cars/year or 53592 (for a leap year) which translates into a monthly production rate between 4454 and 4466.

        Considering the truth is in the middle I would calculate the monthly production of tesla to be between 1800583787140585609840776181581

        • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @09:10AM (#56134318)

          I appreciate your attempt at correcting my projections, but I believe your suggestion that my calculations are off by a month are not themselves correct. I've been paying close attention to the calendar over the last few years and noticed something significant that you didn't seem to take into account. In 2016, we had 366 days in the year. Last year we only had 365. Over the next year, I expect we'll have lost another day, 2 days the year after that, and so on. By the time 7.5 years from now rolls around, we should have fallen behind by an additional 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+(8/2) days. We will have missed out on an entire 32 days, or slightly over a month. Thus, based on the current 365 day length of the year, 7.5 years from now will actually be an entire month later than you might project if you don't take this into account.

  • 3... 2... 1... TROLL!

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Somebody is definitely in the market for Tesla bad, I mean real bad. Hence the trolling, corporate main stream media, always does the bidding of advertisers, trying to guess who is tricky. They desperately want to pick up Tesla cheap, likely the reputation must having taken a bruising in recent years, and they want the Tesla brand but it is pretty expensive and more than just a little overpriced, for it's current production levels. Might not even be a car manufacturer but an electronics firm. Even got to wa

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants his electric-car company to become a dominant mass-production player that eventually extends its reach to electric trucks and beyond. The Model 3—with a sticker price as low as $35,000, but currently only available in more expensive configurations—is Tesla’s first step into the mainstream. That plan only works if the company can figure out how to make exponentially more cars. And, as often happens with Musk’s aggressive goals, Tesla has repeatedly fallen short of its own manufacturing targets.

    If Tesla can’t figure out how to make more cars soon, it could open a lane for rivals from Detroit and overseas to establish the high-volume market for a $35,000 electric car—one that Tesla has had in its sights from its very beginning. Musk’s ambitions are big, and they all ride on meeting the unprecedented demand for the Model 3.

    Oh Fuck off
    Just another Tesla hater that wants them to fail. Wallstreet acts like Tesla is always on the brink of failure. Spoiler alert. They've already won. There is no risk of failing anymore. They've delivered 3 successful products to the market. Demand exists. They sell out on pre-orders everytime. They're developing a 4th (autonomous semi). 10 years from now, you'll still be reading articles about "Tesla on the brink of failure"

    There is some weird Republican sentiment that doesn't like

    • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @10:32PM (#56132566)

      Also spoiler alert. If Detroit could deliver a $35k electric car, they would. They can't. Tesla is not stopping them. Detroit is stopping Detroit.

      The Chevy Bolt starts at $37,495 (vs the Model 3's $36,200) and is actually cheaper than the Model 3 for typical option packages. Range is similar. Warranty is similar (better in some ways, worse in others). Please feel free to argue the merits of one vs the other (I personally like Tesla designs, but at least the Bolt doesn't make you navigate a fucking touchscreen display to use the windshield wipers...WTF were their engineers thinking? ), but the point is the Detroit isn't as uncompetitive as you seem to make it sound like they are.

      • by Socguy ( 933973 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @12:15AM (#56133074)
        Bolt has a lot of potential but GM seems to be content to only produce ~25,000 per year. Kinda looks like Musk was right, that they can't sell it for the price without CARB credits or they'd lose money. Over in Europe GM may have been losing as much as $12 000 per bolt. []
        • Every automaker loses money on the initial run of a new model line. It's not a big secret. It costs billions to produce the tooling and R&D to manufacture a new car. Over time, the automakers scale up and improve their processes to produce them at less cost.
        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Tesla's margins on S and X have long been around 25%, which is very reasonable. Tesla's automotive margins currently are down to around 18% now because of the Model 3 problems dragging them down (when you're building cars at a far lower rate than the lines were designed for, using more labour than the lines were designed for at max volume, of course that's going to hurt your margins). But it's simply not accurate to claim that they lose money on their vehicles. Tesla's cash burn has been driven by capex.

      • The engineers were probably thinking that the automated rain sensors on the model 3 would take over manual operation of the windshield wipers. Detecting rain on a windshield should be a little easier than automated driving.

        You can still use the lever behind the steering wheel to control momentary wipers.

        Heaven forbid that a truly innovative car company question the status quo of windshield wiper operation.

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          The autowiper update has indeed been rolled out.

          Also it's worth noting that when you do a manual wiper flick with the lever, that pops up the wiper context on the screen. It can also be opened with a drag on the screen.

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        The Chevy Bolt starts at $37,495 (vs the Model 3's $36,200)

        MSRP on Chevy Bolt is indeed $37495, but on Model 3 it's $35k. In fact, I'm struggling to see where $36200 came from. Doc and delivery (which you have to pay for on Bolt too) is $1k, not $1,2k.

        Beyond that, Model 3 is easily superior on a stat-by-stat and feature-by-feature comparison, and has a much more interesting options list. Heck, even DC charging is an optional extra on Bolt, and it's a third the power with a much worse network.

        Don't get me

        • Boring. Get a Zero SR; it only costs $15,000.
        • The Chevy Bolt starts at $37,495 (vs the Model 3's $36,200)

          MSRP on Chevy Bolt is indeed $37495, but on Model 3 it's $35k. In fact, I'm struggling to see where $36200 came from. Doc and delivery (which you have to pay for on Bolt too) is $1k, not $1,2k.

          Beyond that, Model 3 is easily superior on a stat-by-stat and feature-by-feature comparison, and has a much more interesting options list. Heck, even DC charging is an optional extra on Bolt, and it's a third the power with a much worse network.

          Don't get me wrong, Bolt would be a good choice if Model 3 didn't exist. But it's just not competitive versus it.

          Both of my figures included MSRP plus the mandatory destination charge. The Bolt Is $36,620 MSRP plus $875 destination charge ( [] ). It was originally reported that the Tesla's destination charge was $1200. If it actually ended up being $1000 then thanks for the correction.

          Beyond that, as I said...feel free to debate which is better, but it's wrong to say that Chevy (or Detroit, as it was stated) can't compete for that price range. In fact, if anything it's the opposite. As a


      According to this [] Chevy sold 20K Bolts from December 2016 to November 2017. MSRP is $37,500, before any rebates

      The Ford Focus Electric has an MSRP of $29K, again, before any rebates.

  • Good for him.

  • They should maybe talk to a mathematician: During WWII, the allies had
    exactly the same problem with the German tank production rate and their
    tanks' sequential serial numbers.

    It's known as the German tank problem [], and statistical methods
    delivered impressively accurate results at the time (results that were doubted by
    the military, but that's another story...).

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]