Current Production Run Rate

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!!!

Brian H | April 26, 2012

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!)

JoeFee | April 27, 2012

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!

Soflauthor | April 27, 2012

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.

tdelta1000 | April 27, 2012

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

Thumper | April 27, 2012

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.

EdG | April 27, 2012

I read it as anytime during the month of July.

JoeFee | April 27, 2012

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

JoeFee | April 27, 2012

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.

Soflauthor | April 28, 2012

@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 ...

Sudre_ | April 28, 2012

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!

JoeFee | April 28, 2012

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.

StephRob | April 29, 2012

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

Brian H | April 29, 2012

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

Soflauthor | April 29, 2012

@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. :)

Soflauthor | May 1, 2012

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.

JoeFee | May 1, 2012

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.

Mark K | May 1, 2012

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).

Volker.Berlin | May 8, 2012

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.

brianman | May 8, 2012

@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.

jackhub | May 20, 2012

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!

Teoatawki | May 20, 2012

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

Sounds like 2 or 3 shifts by then!

Brian H | May 21, 2012

And probably selling 60,000 ...


JoeFee | July 24, 2012

Seems like we are still <5 per day.

murraypetera | July 25, 2012

Earnings today stated 10/day unless I am mistaken.

Brian H | July 25, 2012

Yes, you are. 10/week.

Leofingal | July 25, 2012

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

Brian H | July 25, 2012

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!

BYT | July 25, 2012

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

Brian H | July 25, 2012

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!

BYT | July 25, 2012

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

Brian H | July 26, 2012

Ya, let him bang around in the Model X Alpha. >8-0

mbcaffe | August 14, 2012

I apologize if this is not the correct thread. below are the production numbers for Tesla from

North America car and truck production by model, July and YTD
July 2012 July 2011 July % change 7 mos. 2012 7 mos. 2011 7 mos. % change

Tesla# 92 0 - 118 0 -

Brian H | August 14, 2012

I can't quite follow the numbers as arranged. It turns out you can build a table here using the <pre> </pre> tag combo. Just use spaces, not the tab key to align things.


First Second Total
1 2 3

Stands for "pre-formatted".

JoeFee | August 15, 2012

Looks like July = 92 cars built.
YTD = 118 cars built.

% change = 0 (this does not add up ,,, there should be a big increase).

mbcaffe | August 15, 2012

thanks for the tip. I really did not know how to retain the format. I no longer have access to the table. In any case, it is 92 for July and 118 ytd. All of the other columns are 0 since there is lack of history from previous year. I will make sure it formatted properly next month.

Brian H | August 15, 2012

If you don't like the size, it also helps to use the h1 - h6 tags:

h1 123
h2 123
h3 123
h4 123
h5 123
h6 123

Brian H | August 15, 2012

The caps in H3 and H4 were created by the tags; I typed lower case.
The prev. was "naked" h-tags. This one is enclosed in pre-tags:

h1 123
h2 123
h3 123
h4 123
h5 123
h6 123

Volker.Berlin | August 15, 2012

Fascinating! (Not.)

chrissam42 | August 15, 2012

Hey, we web developers think it is ;)

pilotSteve | August 16, 2012

Latest up from my Tesla rep: they plan to have delivered all signature cards by Nov 1. That means I get mine probably last week of October.

He also said my HPWC would ship in September so I can have it installed before delivery.


pilotSteve | August 16, 2012

^cards^cars^! Not a paper picture, the real CAR!

mbcaffe | August 16, 2012

thank you for the update. I am curious for this other post from

Peter Spirgel | August 16, 2012

I just checked my MVPA and my estimated delivery date now says Nov 2012 - Dec 2012! When I locked in my configuration, it said Sept. 2012. I'm S620. This is not a good sign that things are on schedule or that Tesla will deliver anywhere near 5,000 cars this year.

Slindell | August 16, 2012

So, ~1244 Sigs (244 SSL & 1000 S) delivered by Nov 1. That's about 11 weeks from the delivery of SSl#1 (Hi, Jason!). So a rough average of 113 cars/week.

I am Sig#353, and live 10 miles from Tesla's factory (which eases some block-shipping/delivery issues). There have been 299 Sig refusals, but we don't know what numbers they originally had. Some could have been late SSLs.

Best case: I get car 298, and get my car early September.
Worst case: I get car 597, and get my car early October.

I guess I haven't learned anything new. I'll get it... soon.

Beaker | August 16, 2012

My understanding of the SSL and Signature lists are they pull from the same pool so 244SSL + 756 = 1000 US Signatures. The SSL's intermixed within the Signature reservation numbers for example: SSL1, SSL2, S3, SSL4, S5... then at some point Tesla closed the F&F (SSL) order window and all orders after that point are the normal Signatures by definition.

We saw the Signature reservation numbers climb quickly when the configure emails were going out to the SSLs first, then they dropped and climbed again when Tesla went back to contact the regular Signatures. There's no reason to believe they will not deliver in a similar order.

At #915 I'm well past the SSL folks so only the refusals will change my delivery slot.

nvjx | August 16, 2012

mbcaffe | AUGUST 16, 2012
thank you for the update. I am curious for this other post from

Peter Spirgel | August 16, 2012

I just checked my MVPA and my estimated delivery date now says Nov 2012 - Dec 2012! When I locked in my configuration, it said Sept. 2012. I'm S620. This is not a good sign that things are on schedule or that Tesla will deliver anywhere near 5,000 cars this year.

nvjx / Aug 16 2012

I am P600 and signed my MVPA on 8/3/12. That MVPA showed a Nov 2012 delivery. Today I added Sound Studio Pkg. and had to redo the MVPA. Now I show a Nov/Dec 2012 delivery. I was assured by the Tesla advisor that my place in line had not changed and the delay in delivery is due to a slow down in production for quality control.

Brian H | August 16, 2012

Beaker | August 16, 2012
My understanding of the SSL and Signature lists are they pull from the same pool so 244SSL + 756 = 1000 US Signatures. The SSL's intermixed within the Signature reservation numbers for example: SSL1, SSL2, S3, SSL4, S5... then at some point Tesla closed the F&F (SSL) order window and all orders after that point are the normal Signatures by definition.

Specifically and officially contradicted by the new addendum michiganmodels added to the "Tally" thread.
"The SSL and S designations lists both begin at 1 and count up. There will be a SSL 4 and a S 4 and they will be separated in delivery sequence by about 250 cars or so. A Senior Tesla representative confirmed this counting sequence."

That is not "intermixed". That is distinct. Thus mm adds SSLs to Sigs and Ps in his estimates.

Bubba2000 | August 17, 2012

Does anybody have what are the bottlenecks in the mass production of the Model S? I do not think it is the electric motor, battery pack, drive train, or even the power control or electronics. It is probably with the tolerances of the body work. The stamping of the doors, frunk and trunk doors, and then fitting to the body. The interior could be a challenge to get the panels to fit within tolerances.

Tesla uses the same presses, stamping machines, robots to make multiple parts. Telsa bought the machines that were used to manufacture steel cars/bodies. Would have to be adapted for Al, which also needs a different kind of welding equipment and conditions.

I am just wondering if this kind of switching, especially of the dies, etc mess up the tolerances. They all have jibs and guides, and as well as the parts to be fitted.

Anybody here with auto manufacturing experience?

stephen.kamichik | August 17, 2012

Elon said the body, chassis, powertrain and paint are good. It is the interior fit and finish that is not yet up to par.

Michael S | August 17, 2012

My estimated time of time of delivery (August 15th) has come and gone. I was told I would be contacted 30 days prior to delivery to arrange for financing. That phone call has not yet come. I am Signature Reservation holder #99. Which means they are still at least 30 days out from delivering their 100th production car. The board told all of the brokerage houses that 500 Signatures would be delivered by September 30th.

Less than 100 by September 17, 2012.

500 by September 30th 2012. Doubtful. But I'll leave it to you all to do the math.