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Current Production Run Rate

Seems like there should be a correlation between increasing calls for orders and increased production rates. May guess would be they are making 50-75 cars per month right now (given data on # of crash test cars, drivable betas, and where they are on the call list.

If we can model this going forward we can predict our individual delivery dates with more confidence, especially for those who have higher general production reservation numbers into 2013-14.

Any spread sheet jockeys want to take a try at that? If not, how some about some educated guesses!!!

I don't think the rate is stable, and isn't even growing stably. The cars to date (demos usable by employees only, and crash test production runs) are very specific preliminary product. As soon as the safety certification is approved, there may be some point. Don't know what actually is happening production-wise with the Founders' and SSL designed cars; I don't think they can actually be made till the certification is in hand, either.

But yeah, as soon as it's clear that has happened, it might be possible to get a grip on how fast they're eating into the reservation list. But it will be all Sigs for a month or two, I suspect. Then the P-Bigs -- and so the P#s will jump discontinuously as those are picked off. By the end of the fall, we might begin to see early Mids and Smalls getting The Call.

A very confusing sequence to track, but interesting (and inevitable!)

Good post but I thought the crash cars had to be Production Candidates. Certification may be announced in the next conference call on 5/9. If Sigs are getting calls then all the Founders and SSL's should be in the cue already… 1st delivery in June/July coming fast!

In order to make the 5,000 car target for 2012, the growth in production will (obviously) have to be exponential during the months of September through December, then flatten into a more stable monthly rate going forward.

Let's assume TM is able to reach a production rate of 1500 cars per month in December (no small task, it seems to me).

If you work backward, I would guess that the following production rates might occur:

May 60
June 100
July 200
Aug 360
Sep 720
Oct 900
Nov 1200
Dec 1500

Tot: 5,040

The slow ramp up is necessary to debug the line, ensure high quality from car number 1, and address any unforeseen production problems (e.g., supply chain issues or equipment constraints) that might occur. The ramp-up I propose would, however, get all Sigs out the door by the end of September.

At the end of the day, I think we may get some hints during the 5/9 call, but maybe not. It's an interesting guessing game, nonetheless.

If there's anyone of us who has production line experience (automotive?) it would be nice to have your opinion on this.

Great post.... Soflauthor provides us with a great prediction as to the number of Model S' to hit the stated 5K goal.

I noticed in the proxy materials that the phrase "Model S delivery BY July 2012" is used. I read this as prior to not during July 2012.

I read it as anytime during the month of July.

See this thread for an extensive, great discussion and poll of "projected delivery dates":

The intent on this new thread is to use more real time data and to track calls/confirmed delivery dates to project forward. It won't be easy…but lot's of fun trying.

Joe F

BTW, Poll result below:

@Soflauthor | OCTOBER 17, 2011
Here's the latest delivery date estimates summary. I've added a few guesses from the Tesla Motor Club forum. Now that Elon has announced 7-31-12 as a target, I suspect that dates will cluster there.
BTW, if you believe in the wisdom of crowds, the current average date is 10 June 12 and the median date is 27 June 12.

@joef -- Looks like the wisdom of crowds was pretty close to being correct. I think it's likely that the first special sigs will be delivered to paying customers between 20 June and 15 July 12. That's only about 2 weeks (nominal) from the median date I wrote about in October. BTW, my guess when the "contest" began was 25 Jul 2012.

The problem may be getting all sigs into our hands before 31 Aug 12. Unless the production ramp up is faster than I suspect (see my earlier post in this thread), I have to believe that I won't get delivery of my sig #422 until mid/late August and that all sigs will be delivered by mid/late Sep. Just guessing, of course, but miracles rarely happen in production, so ...

I think if things go well and supplies arrive on schedule production could easily ramp up pretty quick. That's the nice thing about assembly lines. Once the kinks are worked out it typically just works until parts run out.

If GM or Toyota took 6 months to work out the kinks they would be out of business... but I realize Tesla is new to all this and it will take them a little more time.

It should take about 2 hours for a car to make it from being parts to a car and a car should be coming off the line about every 5+ minutes once things are running smooth.

They are probably already making motors and 85kWh battery pack.

"Aug 360", two cars a day... really. That seems very low to me for August. The only reason for that rate is if supplies are not there which should not be the case. They are already making cars now so the kinks are being worked out now. In four months things should be able to run at normal production speeds.

The only other reason to slow production is if the orders are not there and it appears the orders are there.

I like being optimistic and believe that by August (at least the end of) they will be able to crank out the full 1500 a month.

As far as the intent of the thread I think it's a great idea but it will still be a month or two before it gets updated with an actual delivery.... but I hope I am wrong on that guess and we get a delivery report in May!

No need to wait 2 months! We can use the estimated dates that Tesla is giving when an order is finalized until we get the actual dates in june/july.

@Sudre: isn't 360 in August over 10 cars per day?

Sudre is saying a car every 5 or 6 minutes, at full ramp, so that's 10 cars/HOUR.

@Sudre: My projection (guess) of 360 per month in August may be low, but I'm sticking with it. I do have a little engineering experience, and ramping us a line that demands very high quality and the assembly of dozens of discrete subsystems (sometimes composed of hundreds of discrete parts) is more difficult than you think.

Your projection of 1500 per month in August gives new meaning to the word optimistic. :)

Over at Tesla Motors Club, a confirmed order for special sig #182 provides the following info:

E-mail for #182 received at 9:18 am [1 May 12]; quote & agreement signed, sealed & delivered by 12:21pm today!
Vehicle to Be Delivered On or About "September 2012". [emphasis mine]

Here's the link:

Looks like a 360-car production guestimate for Aug isn't particularly pessimistic. It's also probably time to stop the mantra "under promise, over deliver" wrt delivery dates, and accept the harsh reality connected with ramping-up a production line.

Wow ... Sig 182 even Sept 1st would be a drag on the stock putting 5000 (some are projecting 6000) cars by the end of 2012 in real jeopardy. Very bad news if true. I hope we get some guidance from the up coming investor call next week.

Many things influence a production ramp, and it's a little more subtle than an on/off type function.

1. Design Debug - before the first article works to spec, you have to finish this. Your really don't want to make quantity until this is settled.

2. Parts inventory- once you got a good first article, made with the scalable production oricesses, you can't make more without parts in stock. Any changes resulting from design debug that affect custom parts requires lead time for your suppliers to catch up.

But once you've settled those points and start making larger quantities, you face another major hurdle: managing yield.

3. Yield improvement - this is the item that really defines the steepness of the production ramp. Even after you can build some good product and have parts in stock to make more, you can still have problems with process yield.

For example if you build 100 sub assemblies, and you have 2 units that need rework to pass QA, you can manage pretty well and crank up the volume. If however, you are rejecting 20 out of 100, you have to stop producing while you make adjustments (which may require changes by your part suppliers, and lead time to get new parts too). You have to throttle back production while the problems are fixed, otherwise you can quickly get overwhelmed by rework labor demands or scrap costs.

So in reality, even after TM starts making a few 100% good units, there are still a lot of details that take effort to sort out. These may require design and tooling changes to fully resolve, so this is why it may take several months to reach scale.

I am sure TM would love to have a binary switch to turn on the flood gates, but it simply takes a lot of effort and time to work the changes through the supply chain.

It may be excruciating while we are waiting for our cars, but it gets done.

What actually is somewhat easier is adjust the scale of 2013 production from 20k to say, 30k.

The way things are going, there might be a need to do that. (Let's hope so for all TM shareholders).

Those VIN#s make me wonder...

Piece 1: "He told me that crash testing was about to be finished (end of the month [April 2012]) and that they had crashed something close to 60 vehicles."

Piece 2: According the information another thread, VIN#53 "just came off the line this week", which suggests that by the end of April there was a total of around 50 cars built.

How do these two pieces go together? Vehicles dedicated for crash testing don't get VIN#s? If so, how do they identify them in their crash testing reports?

I don't know much about car development business, I'm just curious. But if only select cars count for VIN#s, our production rate estimates may be considerably off.

@Volker.Berlin -

Keep in mind they may not come off the line in order.

For example, there could have been some delayed component in the supply chain causing a delay in completion of #53.

I don't think that really explains the descrepancy with the 60 vehicle reference. Just an observation in general.

In an interview on the Science Friday show on NPR this past Friday, Elon said that in 2014 he expected Tesla to be producing over 40,000 cars. He did not give a breakdown between the Model S and the Model X, but in any event, that is a pretty good ramp-up!

Jackhub: in 2014 he expected Tesla to be producing over 40,000 cars.

Sounds like 2 or 3 shifts by then!

And probably selling 60,000 ...


Seems like we are still <5 per day.

Earnings today stated 10/day unless I am mistaken.

Yes, you are. 10/week.

production is 10/week, reservations are ~ 400/week. Not bad!

By y/e production will be ~500-600/wk. Up to 700/wk+ if necessary.


Of course, by then reservations will be 1,000/wk. |;( >;)

The faster they run, the behinder they get!

@Brian H, A CEO and shareholders dream come true! Just get to my car ASAP DAMNIT! :D

Elon already mentioned that big shots like you were pressuring him to move them up the queue. Sorry, FatCat. You'll have to wait in line with all the peons!

LOL, trust me, I'm a peon as well. No Fat Cat signature under my name anytime soon but will feel like it when I'm in my Tesla made creation and that alone is good enough for me! :)

If I had Elon's ear, I'd just ask if I can borrow his for a few weeks while mine is in production! :D