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$30K Tesla cost reduction idea

I want a $30K Tesla ASAP. To lower the cost, can you please design 3rd Gen car with two super modules.

Super Module 1:
your core IP (Intelligent Property) Super Module, which includes Battery pack, Motor and Computer system only.

Super Module 2:
Pre-assembled everything for rest of the car.

The idea is to out source the Super Module 2 to whoever can build with lowest cost. Whenever you need to build a car, just order the Super Module 2 and drop in the Super Module 1, and you are done. No overhead, no invertory and quick turn around to build a low cost car.

Another idea is to build a Gate way on every 17" control pad so that customers can order things they needed directly from there. This will help to lower the cost in long run since you can get charge others who wants to sell something to your customers.

Thanks! I want to make a reservation today.

Yes, because that would be a great idea for Tesla! For that idea, we'll send you a car kit, complimentary on us!

No, really? While this would be fun, would you like to explain how the business model works?

Seriously, what the heck....

Brilliant idea ! How to spot a good idea is if someone else had the same idea before. That is the Coda concept, the only problem was nobody wanted to buy a cheap car with a 3 star safety rating.
What I like about Tesla/Elon... no shortcuts.

Super Module 2 is made of commodity parts, same parts as all other GAS cars. It is not Tesla's core business. Elon has no need to waste time on it since his goal is to offer low cost car sooner with large Qty. In fact, it is very costly to build and maintain a large maufaturing work force during upturn and down turn.

Apple does not build iPhone by themself. Foxconn does all the work with 1 million plus workers. Time to market is very critical. Tesla can build much more cars with out-sourcing help and take the market share quickly.

For me, I hate to go to Gas Stations every week. I careless about body/seat/paint as long as I have a low cost Tesla Car. My Camry cost 20K, plus another 20K for gas for 10 years. That is 40K already. I would rather to buy a 30K Tesla instead of Camry.

Tesla S/W eng team should build a Tesla Mall/Gate way in the screen, since you have full control of the 17" pad. The idea is to turn every car sold as Tesla's cash register. Any business who wants to access Tesla customer base must pay to get into the Tesla Mall or share revenue with Tesla. For example, I park my car at home, touch Tesla Mall, and touch Pizza Hot. My address and Credit card info are pre-stored already in the car, like Amazon. I can place an order for Pizza with few touch.

This is a great business model when customer based is getting bigger and bigger over time.

Seastar888 that is not the type of business TM is looking to get into, the issue with kit cars like this is that you have a hard time ensuring the quality of the parts.

Elon would rather go bankrupt then not engineer the car in house I imagine.

And only a small portion of the parts are standard car parts for one the body is made from Aluminum which most car companies do not do they opt for the cheaper Steel instead.

Car is designed by Tesla, but product SPEC is given to vendors by Tesla to make supper modules/pre-assembled car without battery and motor based on TM's engineering SPEC.

Tesla is sort of the Apple computer of the auto industry. Apple makes the hardware and the software, controlling both ends to insure a quality product. Tesla effectively does the same thing with their cars. The other model is the Microsoft way. They license the OS and anybody in the world can pay the fee and run Windows on any cheap piece of crap computer. I hope Tesla keeps the package intact so we don't have a bunch of crappy generic cars running on Tesla super modules. Yes, they could probably make a lot of money like Bill Gates did by selling the OS to anybody who could slap together a computer. A Tesla is not cheap, but it is super cool, like Macs. Selling their innovations to a bunch of foreign companies that would put it in ugly, cut rate, unsafe, tin bodies that fall apart would be a disastrous sellout and make the Tesla brand meaningless. Somebody would get rich but the market would be flooded with horrible cars, not amazing Teslas. Imagine the jumpers, dip switches and bios configuration and the blue screen of death nightmares that those kluged cars would have. I shudder at the very notion. Tesla makes the best cars in the world in America. Sell the technology and every company that manufactures widgets would be jumping on the bandwagon to churn out cut rate junkmobiles. Real car companies can't touch Tesla. What kind of cars would widget makers churn out?

Seastar, the brand name has value. You dont want to dilute that. You want tesla guts get a rav 4, or smart ev today.

Good idea! This is what Fisker did with Valmet and then.....

Oh no wait it's a terrible idea.

As jbunn said, Tesla already sells your "super module 1" to other car manufacturers.

They are not going to market it for direct consumer sales though, there is no market for kit cars.

Out sourced iPhone does not carry Foxconn brand. Out sourced Tesla is still a Tesla brand. Out sourced product does not mean low quality.

Most OEM silicon valley companies do out sourcing with much more complicated product than a Tesla car.

yea, Fisker outsourced everything possible (incuding drivetrain) and went under... so terrible idea :)

Tesla bought their factory and equipment for pennies on the dollar. They manage all aspects of manufacturing, from purchasing to quality control. They also have the ability to right size for demand as well as to modify fairly quickly for different markets, e.g., US, Europe & Asia/Pacific. I don't think outsourcing would provide sufficient cost-savings, if any, to justify the risk of potential production or quality problems.


Tesla already does outsource stuff (Batteries, electronics interior parts). Normaly there's a reason why a company does it a certain way. And I serciously doubt that if you manufacture the aluminium frame in china it would become 30k cheaper. My guess is that outsourcing takes away a LOT of flexability in a company where things have to change fast that's probably not good.

Also many guys here in the forum are very proud of Tesla being an american company wich also produces in america. It's probably a good thing to keep that for a while. Americans seems to be picky about it...


You want a cheapo Electric car, so you come with your own solution. A poor selfish idea.

If Elon can develop a quality car, why should he adulterate its quality with a sub quality product from Chinese?

ChritianG its not that we are picky its that for the first time in over 100 years the US has a company that is changing the industry, a industry started by Americans I might add.

So in a way its kind of like the US is returning to its roots to an industry that helped make the US as wealthy as it is today. I personally would not want a frame to be made in China not because I am picky but because it keeps the people in our country employed something we need now recovering from a huge economic down turn.

Tesla actually got the NUMMI factory for free. At about the time it paid $40million for it, Toyota bought $40million worth of stock.

So TM traded a few pieces of paper for the factory.

Really smart move on the factory. One of Elon's better moves and based on the economics at the time.

So, regarding outsourcing Tesla tries to be vertical integrated. The did outsource the 12 volt battery to a reputable company who outsourced it to another company, who outsourced it to another country. End result, the 12 volt battery issue caused bad press and hurt feelings and expectations.

There is a difference between inexpensive and cheap.

And I think like many other people, nobody want's a cheap Chinese car. Coda just went down this month for that reason.

I want this 30K version of the Model S to come out in 2 years. I don't know if i can wait 3-4 years. I am willing to buy the 30 version as soon as I finish school which is in about 2 years.

This is my idea (might not be practical). Tesla will design the vehicle, but it would be built by GM or ford. For some reason I believe GM has a better supply chain (being a large volume manufacturer) and they have expertise in producing cars (skilled people) than tesla. Tesla is sourcing parts for higher price than other auto manufacturers due to volume. Also their interior plastic is not aesthetically pleasing (cheap looking). Also in the forums we have already seen many people complaining about misalignment, rubber seal not properly done and other manufacturing defects. I think a big manufacturer like GM or ford could have better quality control and also could source parts effectively (in terms of money). But still the built cars would have to maintain the tesla quality specs. In a way same like Apple designs the device but it makes its supers manufacture hardware for them. Tesla could try GM or Ford like Foxconn for Apple.

But tesla wants to build I house which is nice, it will take tesla some years to get parts sourced for a little cheaper price as GM or ford and also it will take time for them to have better quality control. Right now I don't think they are very good with Qualoty control way too many complaints (I saw number of them pano roof noise, inverter hissing noise, break squeaking, door mirrors not tightly sealed for sound proofing, footwell plastic changes etc).

But Auto industry is not open as Tech industry. They might screw tesla with manufacturing. Auto industry is full of political lobbying and they don't have valley mindset of thinking.

Tesla could drop in the battery, Powertrain and infotainment at the end of assembly

You seem to have missed, that most (if not all) of the above reported issues have been fixed within the production process.

When praising Apple and Foxconn please also be aware that that is achieved on the backs of very poor people, child labor and horrendous work environments.

Look, tesla has the best car in the world right now, they have hit all their targets, and without advertising,are selling cars as fast as they can build them. They have a margin they are hitting. Why on earth would tesla want to turn over their business to gm

That is a false dream that GM, Ford could take a TM design and produce it at lower cost. The key supplier - battery cells - GM, Ford are in a big, big disadvantage.
To take the base model S 60 kWh at $70k with a battery pack retail of $28k... the $35k Tesla the battery pack has to retail for $14k - we are not there yet. $14k today buys you a 35 hWh battery pack or 125 miles range - barely above the Leaf.

@tobi_ger :
I am huge tesla admirer I really wanted tesla to build their cars in house. I mentioned my idea not practical in my post. But however most of the manufacturing issues are resolved, I accept it but their QC is not upto industry standards. We are all Tesla fans, but can not bluntly defend the company on every issue. I personally read many posts where many owners have to go to SC to get one or the other issue fixed. My friend took a model s delivery last week and he had issues with Panoroof squeaking at 50+ MPh speed and his windows are not tightly enclosed. Yeah he spent 100K on car and very much disappointed about the quality issues. Tesla manufacturing has to step up.

Coming to Apple and Foxconn, I do agree conditions in China are not great. But Apple did the right when the instances of abuse are brought to its notice. They made stringent rules to their suppliers to maintain good working conditions at their facilities. Kind of cash And command apple has on its suppliers they just forced their suppliers to be better at work. They did every thing they can. Why Apple is to be blamed every computer, electronic good we use are made in China (Foxconn or some other vendor). But Apple is a big player abd it if often targeted and criticized. Why not dell, HP and other manufacturers? They also use Foxconn . I personally many apple engineers and I know what the culture at apple is. they stand for values,

@Kliest :
I agree it is a false dream. When I said my idea is not practical I meant a hypothetical situation. From you posts I knew you come from a manufacturing background, and you have a lot experience in industry. I am just a recent college grad, you know much better than me about manufacturing logistics.

Theoretically what I meant is if there is a company which has the experience of making large number of cars (structural components : chassis, panels etc) and has already established supply chain could produce the parts for much lesser price. Let's say a steel vendor supplying steel to Toyota which makes about million cars could get the steel for cheaper price than a manufacture who makes thousands of cars (theoretically). Also these companies have established suppliers for raw materials of steel and plastic. These companies could even source aluminum for cheap also given their connections. This is just theory and my limited knowledge.

Many typos in my posts... I am blaming autocorrect of my iphone.

@sgarapat - have you actually been to chinese factories ? From where do you get your info ? The news ?
Not that I want defend any conditions here, but the choice is starvation or work. The Chinese goverment has a huge problem of scale - 10% unemployment means the entire population of Germany has out of work.

Edit - is out of work.