I think this is the million dollar question—was this just a sprint effort to hit a milestone for PR sake or will they produce 5000 next week too?
A well-run production line produces about the same number of units per week. Tesla's weekly numbers are all over the place. Their cost per unit has to be very high, because the cost of running the plant is roughly constant as the output varies.
Eventually Tesla ought to get their plant debugged, but if they're doing assembly in a tent, that's in the future.
They also seem to be having trouble at the battery plant in Nevada, which is strange. That's a relatively simple product, and it's one they've built before.
Among other reports: https://electrek.co/2018/05/25/tesl-model-3-massive-shipment...
Phase out starts with the same tax credit still applying for the remainder of the current quarter and the next one (before being reduced in later ones) and that's exactly the reason why they would want to match reaching the threshold to the beginning of a new quarter. This way they have as much time as possible to ship as many cars as possible to their customers (that's OK then since numbers sold do not affect the phase out beside the threshold of 200 000 cars).
Tesla is near the 200k mark and has been holding back domestic sales so to hit it at the beginning of a quarter (i.e now).
Edit: Here is a link to the official explanation of the credit in glorious IRS legalese (https://www.irs.gov/irb/2009-48_IRB#NOT-2009-89).
Relevant quote from the IRS to this discussion:
"The new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit phases out for a manufacturer’s vehicles over the one-year period beginning with the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009) (“phase-out period”). Qualifying vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer are eligible for 50 percent of the credit if acquired in the first two quarters of the phase-out period and 25 percent of the credit if acquired in the third or fourth quarter of the phase-out period."
This is what is confusing me: if the credits are timed to domestic sales (so international sales don’t affect the timing of the tax credit phase out) what does this have to do with production?
Rather, you don’t want to rush to produce vehicles you don’t want to deliver quite yet. You want to get to maximum output at the same time the timer starts on federal tax credits phasing out (which, keep in mind, would’ve happened without Model 3 production due to 2k/week Model S and X production).
tl;dr they'd basically benefit from an additional 336M in government subsidies if they delay recording their 200k'th sale to July 1 instead of June 30.
Are you on a different page?
Heck, those in the know said even a couple of months ago that Tesla would not be able to achieve 5000 Model 3s by today.
The truth is, there aren't really any people we can claim are "in the know" when it comes to new, innovative approaches to manufacturing.
Maybe Tesla will fail, maybe it will succeed. I don't think anyone actually knows one way or another. Elon Musk and his crew are trying something no one else has bothered to try before and we just have to see how it goes and what lessons can be learned from it.
The first is an estimation of difficulty - probably an educated guess that could be wrong. The second is a statement based on the evidence in front of you.
Secondly, whilst it's true that people have been saying Tesla won't get to 5k/w, it's also true that Tesla were claiming they'd have a fully automated production line. If Tesla gets to 5k/w by hand-building them all then in most people's eyes they've failed. The value of Tesla is not the actual production of cars. It's the IP of their self-driving technology, and the IP for their fully automated production line. There's a reason Tesla's valuation is completely unlinked from their production capacity.
Difficult things have been done all time and being done even as we speak now. Its not very hard to be positive about difficult things happening even in the present.
The real problem is the discomfort with anything new, and the fear of new order of things.
There is also a certain amount of risk taking ability that goes away when you become intelligent(expertise). That's because expertise is an investment in time, and there fore a good part of one's life. Watching that get washed away, or giving it up to start a new life is very hard. Its a huge mountain of emotion which you have to scale up and then down. People would rather let existing order of things prevail as they are.
The second part is people find it hard to put what is already done aside and start afresh. I have even forgotten the count of number of people who I have heard telling they can't learn something new, or begin on a new heading because they have travelled too long down the current path. Sometimes this is for things as simple as starting a new hobby.
So Tesla will likely win, and people won't be happy seeing it win. People are not comfortable watching live anti-thesis to their excuses.
And are they really "trying something no one else has bothered to try before"? Altogether, an electric car is simply not that much more new or different from a conventional one, these days. In fact it's much simpler. A lot of the learnings of the last 40 years would absolutely apply.
Really? Who said that?
Exactly the point. Yet the struggle is real with Tesla, for some reason.
Wasn't it in multiple letters to shareholders? It is literally an update to debtors on the company's position, far from arbitrary.
Were Tesla required to give an estimate? Nope. But doing so may be used to attract further investment into the company, so it is far from innocent.
Debtors are people who owe you money. The word you are probably looking for is “creditors”, who are people you owe money (e.g., corporate bondholders.)
But, while it's closer, stockholders aren't those, either.
There are two things you could disagree with but you don't specify which. You can disagree that Tesla set this goal for itself, or you can disagree that the number 5000 is arbitrary.
To disagree with the first part, you'd need to show that the 5000 figure came from an external party, do you have such a source for this?
To disagree with the second part, you'd need to show that there is something significant about the number 5000. Is your claim that there is some significance to the number 5000?
If you can't substantiate the claim that some external party gave Tesla the goal to make 5000 vehicles per week, and you can't substantiate the claim that the number 5000 has some fundamental significance when it comes to car manufacturing, then you have no grounds to refute the statement that Tesla set this arbitrary goal of 5000 for itself.
Unthinkable? Their Q4-16 Shareholder letter  (Feb 22nd, 2017) stated: "Our Model 3 program is on track to start limited vehicle production in July and to steadily ramp production to exceed 5,000 vehicles per week at some point in the fourth quarter and 10,000 vehicles per week at some point in 2018."
On July 2nd, 2017 Musk forecasted  20,000 per month by December '17.
Giving this the new estimate is placed to summer 2018.
When that was missed, it was pushed back again to Q2-18. It looks like those shifting goalposts have finally been met but for the above poster to call it "unthinkable" is absurd. It's the exact messaging we've been hearing for at least a year and a half.
That's the important thing. A lot of people are concerned about Tesla's ability to raise money and stay solvent. Tesla will not be profitable, or even cash-flow positive, until enough Model 3 cars are made.
Every month Tesla fails to reach a high-degree of production, Telsa loses another $75 million.
The worst part about this rampup effort is how bursty and unreliable it is. Its going to be a one-week hit of 5000. Next week, or even next month, Tesla's sustainted output will be well below 5000, and therefore Tesla will remain unprofitable for another few months at minimum.
That's not even factoring in all the costs Musk threw down for these tents (Obviously a temporary arrangement, as a single storm will put those tents out of commission).
But the thing is, they did triple their q1 production, going from 9.7 to 28.5k so they almost trippled, or went from an avg of 9/12 weeks to 28/12 weeks, a clear increase. The newly announced goal is 6k by the end of August. It doesn't matter if through super-human work they get one week that is good, we can just measure their performance by total production, so I'd guess at least 50k would be another significant increase. It won't be 6k*12 weeks in q3.
Lost in this is the significant additional revenue they get. They aren't making their cheapest cars yet, so at 50k each, that last week alone was 250 million additional revenue. That 28.5 cars is about 1 billion more in revenue than q1. If they double that again, you are talking real money :-)
- 2,425 model 3’s in Q4 2917, about a third (793) of them in the last week of 2017 (http://ir.tesla.com/news-releases/news-release-details/tesla...)
- 9,766 model 3’s in Q1 2018, about a fifth (2,020) of them in the last week (http://ir.tesla.com/news-releases/news-release-details/tesla...)
So, the Q1 average was about equal to that last week of 2017, but only because of a massive sprint (20% of production was in the last week of the quarter)
If that pattern has repeated itself, we should see about 26,000 model 3’s produced in Q2, 5,200 of which in the last week.
Also, based on these data points, they won’t produce 5,000 next week, but next quarter’s sprint will bring the average there.
I wonder what the cost of reaching that milestone is. That extra factory wasn’t free, and they either are driving their personnel into the ground or they had to hire and pay a lot more people (possibly even both, as new people being hired will need training)
As long as tesla doesn't die i'd bet Musk will find a way to crank up the next stage.
At some point, he'll need to understand how to design an effective large-scale manufacturing system, and not simply yell for one.
Specifically, he should actually learn some things about managing people, and the place that has in producing quality at volume at speed. It's sad, because that's exactly the lesson Toyota was trying to teach at NUMMI, and their legacy has been totally forgotten by its new owner—at great cost. It's simply a shame.
> "According to this, they're using 7 times as many employees and still making less than a 1/5 of the cars NUMMI did when they had the factory." https://insideevs.com/teslas-fremont-factory/
-- via https://twitter.com/Benshooter/status/1012113642689519617
(albeit they're earlier in their maturity, for sure, but still)
Let's just see now.
Musk wanted to grow a plant on Mars, and when the Russians pulled out of a deal to sell him a couple of ICBMs he decided he would will his own rocket into existence.
Then he decided he wanted it to be reusable, so he willed that into existence when everyone said it was impossible.
Then he wanted to strap three of them together, so he willed that into existence.
Then we wanted electric cars, so he willed into existence not only the best electric car ever, but one of the best cars ever, period (Model S)
I think it unwise to underestimate Musk.
That said, I think he'll get it done, but it's still arrogant (and inefficient) to take all of the learnings of manufacturing and management of the past 30 years and try to "start fresh."
It's a waste. It's a waste of money, a waste of time, a waste of human capital and life and happiness. He's expending energy to learn things we've already learned.
That's the sad part. I'm sure he'll get it done, but at what cost? At what despair and unnecessary strife? And at what level of waste and inefficiency.
Sure, you'll say, necessity is the mother of invention, and new knowledge and innovation will come out of this struggle—but how can we know even more could not be done in a better process? We can't, and this naysaying will go by the wayside. As perhaps it should.
I disagree that he’s not good at managing people, he just has very different success criteria, which do not highly rate the welfare of his workers. I think like Jobs, Bezos and many other successful business leaders he’s good at finding talented people, selling them a dream, and wringing every last ounce of life out of them in service of his dreams, then finding someone else to keep it going. A lot of people will be broken along the way, a lot of people will produce their best work.
Hmm. This strikes me as somewhat implausible or at least uncharitable.
Are there other example of doing something as complex, in a 'new' field, at a scale to compete with incumbent operators AND vertically integrating both design and manufacture?
If one zooms out a little to place what Tesla is doing in context, or Musks 'performance', it doesn't seem they've been particularly bad per se, more that they've faced difficulties that are inevitable. It's somewhat of a testament to them 'doing well' and learning to do it pretty damn quickly that we here can continue to talk about how bad they continue to be - namely because they're still around and not dead and disbanded.
I may, of course, be talking rubbish seeing as I don't know much about this subject nor do I have a horse in the race. But it just strikes me that Tesla is doing something extraordinarily hard (I know about the logistics of supply chain management and that's hard enough in the auto industry) and being played out in public view with intense competition.
The shame is that the parts that are innovative, like the engineering of an electric car, the design, the interface, and the battery technology, are all going so well, all things considered.
Whereas the parts that don't necessarily require innovation on a major scale, such as management of people, the operation of a manufacturing line at scale, systemic quality control, and safety and health—are being done (by all accounts) not so well. These are the things that are far more difficult than the technology and innovation precisely because they are so much more complex, and require a different mindset. For the same reason Musk is so good at engineering, it is not totally surprising he is not so spectacular at leading the human systems required for this new pursuit. Again, by all accounts.
And the sad part: these are the parts that have been done before, in similar situations, at similar scales, with similarly new technologies, without drastically different requirements or problems. Having that experience available to you and not using it is not exactly wise.
All that said, I think he'll learn what he needs to learn, get it done anyway, and will not fail. Making this point of efficiency at this stage pretty moot. I realize that.
They'll burn through supposed 450K before the end of Q3, and then the order book is dry/cash crunch time for Tesla.
Further, I expect the number of people who can put down 1k and wait with no new car for a long time is but a small fraction of those who can buy without those substantial barriers.
And an assembly line. In a tent. From a bunch of scraps.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely admire what Elon Musk is capable of. But it's worth being realistic when we draw opinions of leaders lest we fall victim to hero worship.
Are there really? I feel like a massive percentage of people are against Musk and Tesla precisely because he's trying to do something new, and take some risks.
It's like a majority of Americans don't want anyone to do anything radical anymore, like they're happy to stagnate.
I just want to point out one thing: hustle is valuable. Not all companies can sprint like this when they need to.
In both cases, me and colleagues made the same amount of money, experienced a degree of burnout, and if anything taught the company they can do it again if they want. Hustling at a sustainable pace? Sure. Sprinting, like death marches, just burns employees.
I would resist commenting, but I know those Tesla employees won't be getting a huge bonus or extra time off. I wonder how well it will go for them the next time.
The anti-Tesla posts are always overflowing with empty, overly emotional statements. No matter how many times Musk overcomes and ultimately delivers in the end, it doesn't matter, the anti crowd returns for the next fight with the exact same emotional arguments.
Maybe it's just all BMW, Toyota and Mercedes employees doing the trolling around the Internet (joking). Every ~$40k+ vehicle that Tesla sells comes directly out of their pockets (it's certainly not coming out of the pocket of GM and Ford). Over the next year, Tesla will take $20+ billion in sales away from the luxury auto makers. The bigger that number gets, the more desperate BMW, Mercedes and Toyota (Lexus) are going to get. Hundreds of billions of dollars are on the line.
If you go back and read forum threads around the time the Model S was launched, people were claiming back then that Tesla could never build it in any volume period, that it would be a failure across the board. Similar claims were made about the Model 3 right out of the gate; they weren't supposed to ever make it in any volume, the venom in every thread was extreme to say the least.
There's a type of person that aggressively hates successful people, and often success in general. They resent everything about it, they lust after tearing people down. Musk succeeding with Tesla is a perpetual open wound for those types.
Where will production rates fall in the next few weeks compared to this almost-5000-a-week sprint?
At what point do you consider the report of weekly production numbers to be fraud? Whose definition are you using? Which court will back you up?
No, they missed the deadline, twice now. Lot of Muskites in these comments, remember, Tesla failed to meet the same deadline in January and pushed it to June. (EDIT: I've been told they missed this 3 times now, the 5K/wk figure was originally Dec '17, then Jan '18 then Jun '18).
When it was clear they would miss again, they put up a third production line in a canvas tent, which the NYT quoted as "never heard anything like this ever" using what Musk tweeted as "scrap we had in warehouses" to build the cars. And even then, and running all three lines 24/7 striving to hit that goal for just 7 consecutive days with the whole world watching... they still came up 150 cars short.
(5k/wk / 168 hrs/week = 30/hr * missing the deadline by 5 hours = 150 cars short)
1) It's clear now that the company is a sham and Musk is a snake-oil salesman. It's all smoke, mirrors, bubblegum and baling wire. After hitting 5000 cars per week one time, they never reached that level again. The company had to do a punishingly dilutive capital raise just to get 6 months more runway, and the company's market cap is now $6 billion (down 90% from 2018).
2) The company has continued to stumble from failure to failure with just enough successes to delay the day of reckoning. Musk is still sleeping in the factory trying to iron out kinks in the manufacturing process and automation. They're producing 3000 cars per week, but the quality is so poor that 30% of cars must be returned to the factory for rework. Competitors are likely to match Tesla's battery technology in the next 3 years, and the company's market cap is down by 50% from 2018.
3) After many delays and billions of dollars of cost overruns, Tesla has perfected the "machine that builds the machine". It's producing 40,000 cars per week in three factories in the US, Europe and China, and a fourth factory in South Korea opens next year. Tesla is cash-flow positive and the company's market cap is $600B (up 10x from 2018). In hindsight, all the delays people anguished about in 2018 proved to be nothing but amusing anecdotes in the company's history.
I assign probabilities of 10%, 50% and 40% to these scenarios, which equates to an expected market cap of $250B in two years. At $60B today, it looks like a bargain.
Future growth is already baked into Tesla's current valuation of 60B. They're not making any money today (in fact they're losing billions) but they have a high market cap because they might become profitable years from now. Once (if) they become a mature car manufacturer their valuation multiple will go way down. They'll be judged on their profit margin and FCF like any other car manufacturer.
Your best case scenario of Tesla growing their market cap by 550B in the next 2 years is completely unrealistic. Even Facebook didn't grow that quickly, and their profit margin is second to none.
After watching what Tesla is doing, they have chosen not to invest those resources even though if they did, they would beat Tesla at its own game quite easily because they eclipse it both in capital and experience.
Either their analysts are wrong and failing to see a winning strategy here, or there is no winning strategy. One of these two statements must be true. I've put my money on option #2, but I'm aware that large competitors aren't idiots and there is a risk here.
Elon Musk has also publicly stated that he wants the other big players to compete with Tesla. He doesn't actually care if Tesla is ever profitable or not, he just wants to force the world to transition off fossil fuels by dispelling the myths sown by the oil industry with concrete examples of success. It is stupid to ignore Musk's stance on this matter as an investor.
If you ever pitch your startup idea to a VC, you're expected to explain how you're going to deal with this risk.
Sure, and many don't.
>If you ever pitch your startup idea to a VC, you're expected to explain how you're going to deal with this risk.
And that is exactly my point. Tesla certainly has strategies to respond if GM/Toyota enter their markets. You and TAForObvReasons are responding as if those companies will easily beat Tesla as soon as they make that decision.
Elon Musk's stated purpose for Tesla is to kill the fossil fuel industry, not to create a profitable enterprise. And he is tracking well towards that stated purpose. He actually wants those much bigger companies to start doing what Tesla is doing at scales that they can achieve and Tesla can't. He said this very clearly in an interview with DiCaprio. I don't know why people keep thinking there's some master plan to be profitable when the guy steering the ship has repeatedly said the plan is orthogonal to profitability.
As an investor, I am well aware of this. I'm also well aware that the profits of SpaceX eclipse what Tesla could achieve even in its best case scenario, so he probably really doesn't give a shit about making profit via Tesla.
Simple as that really.
Somewhat answered your own question . It's if the market values Tesla as a mature company or a continues to value it as a growth company. When have we seen Elon rest with a successful product? Tesla is more than just cars. And Elon's answer to Gali (hyperchange YouTube channel) question during earnings about moats states his mindset clearly. He's about innovation. Innovate faster than competitor always. If Tesla can be cash positive, Elon will do what Bezos does. Demand that as much money as possible is reinvested. They're not going to be like Apple with tons of money sitting on the side.
I think Tesla won't be just a car company. Eventually, they will be a company with multiple branches in the same idea as Alphabet. But that's way in the future. First, they have to survive to profitability.
More and more Tesla is looking like a traditional car company. Especially as the traditional car makers are moving aggressively into EV.
I am not a car market place expert, $45K cars do not usually move in those numbers.
For reference, check the number of cars moved.
(a) Tesla aren't the leaders in the self driving car space. Waymo arguably is, (b) almost all of the car makers have self driving car programs and most importantly (c) why would the traditional car makers just sit back, do nothing and allow Tesla to eat up the entire market ?
There is a 4th or 5th scenario, where
4. other car makers trail behind Tesla more and more in terms of technology. Remember, all these car makers had DECADES of head start developing EVs before Tesla was even born. Tesla was supposed to trail them in tech, not the other way around.
It's easy to assume that because a company is bigger, and have more resources and manufacturing experience, that they can move fast in developing tech. It's easy to judge a book by it's cover. Incumbents move slow ALWAYS. If moving fast was so easy, they would of done it before Tesla was born.
5. solar panels from SolarCity come into play.
Tesla has already deployed Solar grids in Australia. It's not just "smoke and mirrors", it's actually in production.
While the competitors are still trying to "match Tesla", Tesla has already moved on to find other areas to grow in tech advancement.
Right now, solar panels are considered a "toy". It's not even on any of the car makers' radar. It's like how Tesla's first Roadster cars were not on any of the car maker's radars 5 years ago. It's a "toy" until one day, it becomes a reality, and you tout your ability to "catch up" with your "vast experience"
5 years from now, folks like you will write another article, about how GM will be able to produce solar panels to "catch up to Tesla in just one or 2 years"
> It's easy to assume that because a company is bigger, and have more resources and manufacturing experience, that they can move fast in developing tech. It's easy to judge a book by it's cover. Incumbents move slow ALWAYS. If moving fast was so easy, they would of done it before Tesla was born.
This isn't silicon valley. There is years of design and manufacturing experience that Tesla simply does not have. This isn't a software project where someone in a garage can make it and scale it. Tesla can build luxury cars because budget constraints are significantly less. Now they're struggling with the constraints like everyone else.
Other car makers are just as competitive now. The reality is the Chevy Bolt is a great start and will only be improved upon. Elon Musk has no monopoly on technology. There are competitors in almost every sector. Many great engineers are elsewhere.
And the reality is - most people don't care about EV right now. Sedans are struggling mightily. Americans are buying SUVs and crossovers right now. General car manufacturers are able to easily switch production when the market shifts. Tesla can't even make a budget friendly car. Their model 3 will be out of most of the market's price range. Meanwhile GM can still make a Sonic and Cruze or a pickup truck.
> Right now, solar panels are considered a "toy". It's not even on any of the car makers' radar. It's like how Tesla's first Roadster cars were not on any of the car maker's radars 5 years ago. It's a "toy" until one day, it becomes a reality, and you tout your ability to "catch up" with your "vast experience" 5 years from now, folks like you will write another article, about how GM will be able to produce solar panels to "catch up to Tesla in just one or 2 years"
Gee why didn't GM buy FirstEnergy or Duke Energy! They're so behind in the energy industry...This argument isn't even worth debating. GM is not a power company. They do not want to be.
It has nothing to do with Silicon Valley. The geography is meaningless. The only thing that matters is staying ahead of the curve. It's always going to be hard for GM to do that, because it's focus is always going to be on incremental improvements of the same way of doing things. The "years of design and manufacturing experience" you mention.
Look at their $1B acquisition in Cruise Automation. Like you said, GM is not a power company, its' a car company. Its' business is cars. GM should have developed self-driving tech internally, and not had to buy it. Cars is GM's job. But GM missed that boat entirely, because everyone in GM is focused on incremental improvements on manufacturing.
Even your comment mentions that "most people don't care about EV right now." EV is not a big focus for GM. Sure it has the Chevy Bolt, but that only began development 10 years after Tesla started. GM does not care about EVs right now. It's focus is still on manufacturing traditional cars, and will continue to be this way until someone else forces them to change.
This isn't true. They can continue to make their general automotive improvements while also upskilling in EV - the Bolt is a prime example of that. Frankly, they beat tesla to the punch there.
> Look at their $1B acquisition in Cruise Automation. Like you said, GM is not a power company, its' a car company. Its' business is cars. GM should have developed self-driving tech internally, and not had to buy it. Cars is GM's job. But GM missed that boat entirely, because everyone in GM is focused on incremental improvements on manufacturing.
Hmm, you mean like Tesla bought the solar manufacturer for Solar City? Is that not acceptable to you? You bring up an argument against your point. GM can easily purchase anyone. If they slightly miss something a purchase is all that's needed.
> Even your comment mentions that "most people don't care about EV right now." EV is not a big focus for GM. Sure it has the Chevy Bolt, but that only began development 10 years after Tesla started. GM does not care about EVs right now. It's focus is still on manufacturing traditional cars, and will continue to be this way until someone else forces them to change.
EV is a big deal to GM because they know where the future is heading. They also are not hemorrhaging money and burning runway because they also have a sustainable business now. So they can do both.
Meanwhile Tesla can't even scale a 35K car. They're a luxury brand. period.
Tesla is building SUV EVs. Other makers are planning to.
Tell me when they make one people can actually afford.
> Seems like a poor time to drop your sedan production in favor of SUVs with oil prices climbing,
GM can do this. They can change production so quickly that when oil is cheap and people want SUVs (aka now) they can do that. And when it is not, they can change production back to sedans and EV. Much more flexibility.
And yet Tesla will not be able to deliver the cheap model 3 and GM has been doing it.
That's a substantial claim - without any evidence. No surprise though - it's easy to be pulled into the Musk hype.
The Bolt has been selling at between 1.5 and 1k per month while the production of the supply-limited model 3 is approaching 5k per week.
I guess I'm crazy and got pulled into the Musk hype.
> Tesla will not be able to deliver the cheap model 3 and GM has been doing it.
I'm guessing they will. Right now though, you have a point there, the model 3 is more expensive than the Bolt.
An "SUV" is a luxury good anyway and many of them are absurdly priced (imagine what that'd get you in a real car!).
GE is.. why are they separate companies?
Well, the devil is in the details. Where did these numbers come from?
But, the case can certainly be made that he is prone to hyperbole and "exuberant optimism".
Panasonic takes those and makes battery cells. Think AA battery. That part is done as a joint venture between Panasonic and Tesla which means Tesla contributes to the design e.g. Tesla employs people doing research into battery chemistry i.e. cell level R&D. (and so does Panasonic, to be clear).
Tesla takes those battery cells and packages them into a battery modules, which they also design. That part is all Tesla.
That description doesn't adequately describes how much technology and work goes into making battery modules. Cells are an important component but it's also inverters, multiple electronics boards, software to control it all.
You can see e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNd-yJtRPhk
TL;DR: it would be grossly misleading to say that "battery tech is Panasonic". Battery cells are important but battery packs are designed and manufactured by Tesla.
Overall it's pretty classic Tesla/Musk. Predict the absolutely impossible, get 97% of the way there, and regardless of how you slice it the only thing that's not impressive is the facxt that they didn't meet the arbitrary guideline. They still crushed everything that anyone else thought was possible, so IMO it's a victory just a hollow one.
Will they be able to repeat this sustainably? Probably not unless they figure some other things out, but the point is that it's within striking distance. The company has a shot at profitability in the near future, and I see Teslas everywhere now.
In the past they missed it drastically; the number is important because if they can figure out a way to get to that level of production they have the chance to become cashflow positive relatively quickly.
Except, I might say, you said you could do it with two indoor assembly lines but you needed a third outdoor line at full capacity, so you didn't show anything. We have no time to build more indoor space and we can't just keep building assembly lines in tents out of spare parts, man, they break down, it has to work with two indoor assembly lines so they will work long-term. You still need a 50% improvement in your assembly speed before you can take down that tent!
Plus, even though you had an third rocket when you assured us 2 was plenty, one of the rockets was 5 hours late. A whole extra rocket and still late?
But the reality is that they eventually deliver and Musk can keep investors engaged which keeps the company going with more cash. Even reaching 4850 is a big deal.
The real stretch goal is reaching profitability. I hope that happens soon.
Meaning you live in one of 4 coastal cities. Teslas are exceedingly rare everywhere but the wealthiest cities.
Anyway I live near Philly. I've seen a few dozen Model S in my life, one X and no 3s yet.
...recent trip to Paris.
Yeah... a notably wealthy city.
I can't understand the people that think he's a charlatan. They have sold approaching 200k electric vehicles. They are great cars, I have one. But separate from that, they always had a plan to increase production and sell more of cheaper cars, ramping up from first selling expensive ones. The latest ones are going to need a lot more volume before they can make them cheap enough to sell at 35k, such as higher battery production. They will lose money until they make them at high volume. It's not crazy to say they'll have a lot more money coming in as they raise production, that's like any business. The open question is will they actually make a profit. We can't know what the numbers are until they come out. Based on history, I think they'll get close to profitable but won't quite make it, but they'll clearly be headed in that direction as the early hurdles of increasing production are met. Again - it won't matter exactly when they are profitable if they are close. Just like the 5k/week number.
Building 5000/w is nothing if you're just willing to throw more and more money at it. The point of the original goal was that it was actually going to be a sustainable, profitable approach.
A company's true function is to benefit society. Tesla has done that, so he gets a win from me. He's done it by taking chances and thinking outside the box. The tent is an example. Most companies would have given up but they did not.
20 years from now Tesla might not be alive but we will see its impact on the car industry. Very cool, Musk.
Could you elaborate on how did you come to said conclusion?
Sure there are ways to manipulate needs but at its basics companies are supposed to benefit society by filling those needs.
We are fed the idea that companies are created to profit the investors but profits are a side effect of meeting needs.
Profits are also a side effect of meeting needs today. It does not necessarily follow that meeting needs today benefits society in a meaningful way in the longer term.
For what it's worth, I think your implication is true. Clearly most companies create wealth and deliver benefit to society, it's that aggregate effect that makes capitalism the most successful system we know of under which to run a society.
But the reality is that it's entirely the other way around: companies do exist to profit their investors and it's the benefit to society that's the (usual, aggregate) side effect. It's not good, or bad, it's just a fact.
It's the other way around.
Their revenue isn't supply driven anyway, it is demand driven. Two weeks of delay will not result in 273M in lost sales. It will just result in delayed sales.
I know two people who withdrew their Tesla Model 3 reservations due to them failing to meet a deadline. Their reasoning was that they'd like to buy a Tesla, but if they need to wait years for it, they prefer to get a nice car to drive in the meantime. The longer the delays are, the more people will give up.
Anyway, Teslas are overpriced and of questionable quality.
If I am 100,000 in queue, then car should have originally taken 20 weeks at 5000 cars per week. Now it will take 20.62 weeks at 4850 per week.
That is a delay of few days.
You're quibbling over a rounding error.
Also recall that band //width// can be increased for a cost while latency has hard upper bounds.
For anyone complaining about profit margins, think per unit profits rather than hitting some round base10 number.
I'm a software guy. Can somebody explain to me how you can build a high-tech auto production line from "scrap"?
That fits with my analysis from a few days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17397505
> A tent, about 50 feet high, its taut grey canvas membrane supported by aluminum columns.
I don't think it was a joke. The tweet was specifically in the context of trying to convince investors that the cost of that tent production wasn't substantial and by "scrap" he meant equipment they had discarded from their main production lines because they are constantly upgrading them. You can't have it both ways. It was either discarded "scrap" machines they had lying around and he was not joking or machines they bought and he was lying (a.k.a "joking") about it. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that they really had all that equipment in a warehouse because its been reported they have re-tooled the line several times.
Repeating false statements doesn't make them true.
Why should we trust you on that fact? Do you have all the documents required to prove that all the previous car models of all manufacturers in the world were built and sell on time? In my experience (not about car manufacturing), several projects didn't meet the deadlines, and still succeed at the end.
Is this thread being linked to by some Tesla short seller blog of what?
Surely this kind of misinformation isn’t organic to HN.
I'd say they're ramping pretty fast!
EDIT: 7,000 per week, not per month, thanks below.
Tesla needs to spend billions in capex in order to get to 5000 M3 and beyond if they want to produce at a sustainable pace with acceptable quality. Billions they don't have.
*By the deadline he provided. Which he didn't.
Well, Musk himself said that the cars being made in the tent are higher quality.
> “It does everything that the other assembly lines do but with fewer people, lower labor costs and much higher uptime,” he said. “Our unit cost for vehicles is lower on that line than on the other lines, and we’re seeing higher initial quality.”
At least forced ventilation is needed.
"The tent doesn’t have air conditioning, according to the city documents." 
It hit 90 in Fremont yesterday...
How will these cars behave when little Jimmy rides his bike in front of them and they have to execute evasive maneuvers?
I hope someone who has a clue about driving was seriously involved with the handling characteristics, otherwise who knows how these cars will behave.