factory output

factory output


Does anyone know the factory output of cars (model s) pr. day...??
I have not followed the latest financial reports. Is tesla making money on the model S..?


Brian H | December 10, 2012

A verbal report from a worker said over 90/day. That would be >600/wk! Data is hard to acquire and purify, though. That would imply profit on a gross margin basis, but I doubt TMC will be profitable overall this quarter. Next quarter, probably.

Brian H | December 10, 2012

BTW, you didn't need to specify "(model s)" so carefully. It's the only car they make right now; not sure what the status of the Daimler and Toyota drive trains is.

shop | December 10, 2012

I remember seeing a forum posting recently that said almost 400/week. Now I believe they were targeting 20,000 units per year, so 400/week would be max. capacity. Unless, of course, they decided to increase capacity. Which they could do, I think, by adding another shift. It would take a while to hire and train new workers, of course...

shop | December 10, 2012

Elon tweeted that they hit cash profitability a few days ago. This is a major milestone. GAAP profitability won't happen for a long time due to depreciation, etc., but cash profitability is what matters in this company for now.

Anonymous | December 10, 2012


Your last name wouldn't start with an F, would it?

Brian H | December 10, 2012

20K is the minimum target. No ceiling, though Elon is pushing for 30K ASAP. And the factory is on Emergency Thrust right now, even working through Christmas (yes, even Christmas Day, I think.) 400, btw, is rated capacity of one line, one shift. One line, 3 shifts would be max 1200/wk. That is over 60K/yr.

What they achieved was cash flow break-even, which is a different measure entirely than profit. It means they're taking in more than they spend. GAAP profitability is now expected in Q1; the annual rate required is just 8K+/yr.

jat | December 10, 2012

I think they are busting their ass to try and get as many cars out the door as possible to beat their revised estimate of 3200 cars in 2012.

shop | December 10, 2012

@Brian H: Well, using your numbers (which were the same as mine, I think), 400 cars/wk rated capacity per line per shift does equal 20,000 cars/yr. To get to 30K cars or more per year would require either more capital expenditure for a bigger line (there goes the cash profitability), or a second shift meaning new hires and training. Either way, it isn't going to be done overnight. So I think we are stuck at 400 cars/wk for at least a few months :-)

Hopefully Elon won't be trying to push the line and workers beyond rated capacity as that is just inviting quality problems. I am quite sure they are still trying to work through quality issues as it is since the production line is so new.

But hey, maybe it's all sunshine and roses in there, who knows...

Any recent customers who got a factory tour care to comment?

phb | December 10, 2012

While talking to a phone rep at Tesla today, I asked what the production rate was up to. He replied that they didn't give him those kinds of numbers but that it should be a lot because they were still ramping up production but they were running two shifts.

So, they're running two shifts.

Volker.Berlin | December 11, 2012

So, they're running two shifts. (phb)

Wow, that's news! Thanks for sharing! :-)

willardb | December 11, 2012

Since I received my "IT'S TIME TO SCHEDULE DELIVERY" indicating the last two weeks in December, and I did not expect delivery until February, they must have increased production of my particular configuration.


pano roof
19" wheels
Pearl white
black leather
obeche matte
twin chargers
tech package
sound studio
active air
parcel shelf
paint armor

Nicu.Mihalache | December 11, 2012

@ Brian H
"A verbal report from a worker said over 90/day."

Could you please provide more context for that? It actually sounds too good to be true and definitely it should be taken with a cup of salt.

Brian H | December 11, 2012

That's over 2 shifts (see above), neither at full efficiency yet.

Nicu.Mihalache | December 11, 2012

Even so, it seems too fast. Of course, we are discussing quite sensible information here, but should production be anywhere near 600 cars / day, about 100 new reservations / day, cash flow positive, that should simply kill all bears under an avalanche of buy orders for TSLA.

Volker.Berlin | December 11, 2012

Nicu.Mihalache, there's a typo in your post, and I'm genuinely unsure what you intended to say: near 100 cars/day? Or near 600 cars/week?

dstiavnicky | December 11, 2012


- about 13,000 reservations
- about 400 week build building to 600 week by summer
- 100 week new reservations building to 300 week by summer
- 15% cancellation / delay
- 5% new market sales builds

...we would see all deliveries complete by end of May and the factory go to a two shift mix of S and X builds before year end.

Having said that I think the big variable above is that once the cars are truly available everywhere and we take our friends / family for a test drive... they will become newly converted...

mbcaffe | December 11, 2012

Automotive news reports 1063 for november and 2170 ytd. it is a newsletter I receive.

stevenmaifert | December 11, 2012

Their December delivery email said "Our factory is working day and night" which certainly implies two shifts.

ronlitvak | December 11, 2012

dstiavnicky - I don't quarrel with your other assumptions, but your assumption of 100 new reservations per week building to 300 by summer is hard to follow. The reservation thread in this forum reflects that, since October 2012, the reservation rate has been over 75 per pay, or more like 525 per week.

At the current rate that reservations are coming in, the factory isn't going to be catching up any time soon. And this is with European orders just starting to kick up with their Get Amped tour and before anyone has given much of a thought to marketing in Asia.

The real question for Tesla is whether to increase production to meet the demand that may be on the horizon. While they have room to boost production, I think keeping demand ahead of supply might be the best way to go, adding to the allure and je ne sais quois mystique of the company. But it's looking to me like they can crank up production to 30,000/year while keeping a very healthy reservation list. And then, with the Model X, instead of a projected 15,000/year, I could see a similar outcome, where they actually make 20-25,000 per year while maintaining healthy demand.

dstiavnicky | DECEMBER 11, 2012


- about 13,000 reservations
- about 400 week build building to 600 week by summer
- 100 week new reservations building to 300 week by summer
- 15% cancellation / delay
- 5% new market sales builds

GreenMachine13 | December 11, 2012

It's anyone's guess. I'd believe someone who works in the factory. We don't know what their capacity is, if they are working 5,6 or 7 days, how many shifts there are and much more. Their manufacturing boss has likely run plants that ran in excess of 1000 cars/day with more complex assemblies but they're so much more vertically integrated than other manufacturers it adds normally outsourced subassemblies back in. It's been 6 mos since production started so they've likely refined and learned quite a bit to enable higher velocity. I wish I could see the place.

dstiavnicky | December 11, 2012

If there reservation list is that strong (i.e. - 500+/week) then they are crazy to expand beyond North America for the time being. They need the service and supercharging stations here and become an undisputedly cash-flow-positive car company.

My apologies to everyone overseas if I offend, but business is business.

P.S. - I was assuming a much smaller reservations list moving forward simply because not everyone is an early adopter of technology. (same reason Apple can sell millions of iPhones in the first weekend...)

Sudre_ | December 11, 2012

dstiavnicky, This whole early adopter thing is gone IMHO. People are not only buying this car because they want to be the first to own a BEV. They are also buy the car because it's Motor Trends's COTY. They are also buying it because it out preforms almost everything in it's price range according to independent reviews. Most people realize they do not drive 200 miles every day and most people buying this car have an ICE that will need to still be driven or the engine will seize up so when they do have to drive >300 miles they will take that.

Nicu.Mihalache | December 11, 2012

@ Volker.Berlin

I was considering Brian's number of 600 cars / week production (not / day - it was indeed a typo)
in addition to 80-100 new reservations / day we have seen lately

TeslaLABlue | December 30, 2012

Any new feedback ?

Sudre_ | December 30, 2012

Well.. they are at VIN32xx. They had something like 1200 made by the beginning of Dec? I think. The math becomes easy....

2000/4=500 car a week. Probably actually closer to 600 since they weren't at 400 on week one of Dec.

Velo1 | December 30, 2012

I got my VIN 2 days ago, #3270.

jjaeger | December 30, 2012

And Geekgirls over on the Delivery thread reported seeing 342x VINs in final assembly today (12/30) so they are indeed cranked up, even with the holidays.

MB3 | December 31, 2012

It's not enough because they have 100 reservation per day!

mika_ | December 31, 2012

I just got prompted to provide delivery info this morning after getting my "time to build" email earlier this month. When I finalized my configuration, a Feb/March delivery estimate was shown. But now after setting delivery options, I'm being shown a window of Jan 23rd to Feb 6th. This is way faster than I expected, being reservation #11380. If I really do have my S in a month, that'll put my reservation-to-delivery delay at barely over 5 months. I have to assume they're really ramping up production. Prolly also has to do with my options (my understanding is that 85kw packs with air suspension are getting priority).

TeslaLABlue | January 2, 2013

600 a week should be good enough for now. They've got to keep quality top priority.

cprenzl | January 2, 2013

I thought the maximum capacity was 400/week? I would think that 200 more a week would be announced. I think they delivered 1200 in November so that means that they needed to deliver 1800-2000 in December not actually build that many. they may have had 1600 total done by the end of November, and made close to 1600-1700 cars.

Sudre_ | January 2, 2013

The 400 a week number is for first shift only. They can add a second and third shift and the quality will not go down. With three shifts they can make triple the cars at the same steady high quality pace as first shift.

I am not saying they have done that.

ghillair | January 2, 2013

Sudre: You are correct about adding shifts. However I believe the 400 is also based on a five day week, so by working 7 days (which they did much of Dec) they can add another 40%.

RZitrin1 | January 2, 2013

Wow! They sure have increased production speed since i got mine (#378 Sig.) in late October. Good for them. Exceeding expectations again. Hope I can still contact the service people when I need them!

Brian H | January 2, 2013

The last-week push was over 150/day!

Brian H | January 2, 2013

Oops, sorry that was reservations over 150/day.

rd2 | January 2, 2013

When I took delivery at the factory on 12-29, the rep confirmed there were already running 'more than one shift' so it is entirely possible they are cranking out 500-600/wk.

trynals | January 2, 2013

Stopped by the Menlo Park store over Christmas. They said cars ordered with 85K and air suspension are being made first bc they don't have to retool the line after completing all the Sig cars, which all had 85/air.

Volker.Berlin | January 3, 2013

The 400 a week number is for first shift only. They can add a second and third shift and the quality will not go down. With three shifts they can make triple the cars at the same steady high quality pace as first shift. (Sudre_)

That is, if they can hire three times the staff with comparable qualification, and find the time and the resources to train them to the same level. Elon has stated explicitly that adding shifts is not trivial for this specific reason.

I'm not trying to imply anything about on how many shifts they actually run currently.

DTsea | January 3, 2013

Beyond staffing is supplier capacity. Gotta have parts.

reitmanr | January 3, 2013

Told at the factory they were running 21 out of 24 hours per day as of Dec 30 when we picked up our car. Down time looked like meal breaks. During lunch all was quiet. As staff came back the factory was buzzing! BTW, the factory was amazing! So is the car.

Volker.Berlin | January 3, 2013

Told at the factory they were running 21 out of 24 hours per day as of Dec 30 when we picked up our car. (reitmanr)

Sounds like three shifts with a one-hour break in each. They are really going full tilt, thank you for this update!

One thing to consider: The additional shifts probably offer some leeway in the sense that they don't have to go at 5 cars per hour. If they are still moving a little slower than the full capacity, they could be running at, e.g., 30 cars per shift instead of the maximum 40, thus producing, e.g., a total of 450 cars per week while keeping quality up. As staff gets more routine and robot adjustments are further improved, they can slowly get to the full 600 weekly (which would be 150% above the originally targeted 20k/y, assuming that demand keeps up).

Well, I guess I'm just being swept away with speculation here... Great news in any event!

stephen.kamichik | January 3, 2013

If demand for the model S does not keep three shifts busy, the model X and Gen3 will.

MB3 | January 3, 2013

600 per week is not enough! Supply is still the problem, but if you have to have a problem it isn't the worst one to have

dborn | January 3, 2013

One wonders why right hand drive has been pushed back 6 months if they are producing that many cars.
I expect that with the Merc steering column they are also using Merc front axles, and so other than the dashboard itself, there really is very little engineering to build the the right hand drive - OK, they need to change the floor pan a bit to accommodate the pedals. Just a different die. Robots still build the same way.

It is not as though conditions for business in the USA have been so great that suppliers wouldn't be clamouring to get on the bandwagon with a rising star. So, I think that supply issues should rapidly become a thing of the past.

DTsea | January 3, 2013

dborn- they have only been producing at peak rate for a month or two. They spent a long time preparing their supply base. If they expand it further and demand declines they would see a sharp increase in cost to cover that investment. So I would expect them to be thoughtful and careful about further rate increase investment.

Remember that on the way up in rate, there is heavy capital investment- negative cash flow. Stable production is when the returns happen. They can't keep investing without taking a breather to accumulate some money or getting incremental financing; which right now would look to the markets like 'cash burning never will make a profit.'

petero | January 3, 2013

I can understand the push to build cars for the end of the year. Manufacturing 3,000+ cars was a promise/goal etched in stone. A determining factor for rate of production will be rate of new orders and supplier ability to meet demand.

I would rather see 400 cars built with very high quality than 600 built to a lower standard. Of course, this is easy for me to say, my car is scheduled to be delivered in 2-4 weeks.

Brian H | January 3, 2013

Your figures for optimum production are low by about ½. Single shift full production is 400/wk, not 200. ONE shift can produce 20,000/yr., or about 1700/mo. Daily 3-shift maximum is about 240.

DTsea | January 3, 2013

BrianH, can you share where you found the information on optimum rates per shift, etc?


Volker.Berlin | January 4, 2013

Brian H, your're right. At full production, a single shift should yield 80 cars, which is 400 per week and 20k per year. Thank you for checking! Thus running full tilt on three shifts would produce 60k vehicles per year, which is 300% above the original target. Sorry to everybody for the confusion.

DTsea, I cannot point you to it, but Elon was explicit that Tesla can produce 20k units/year on a single shift, and that production can be cranked up to 60k units/year without adding a second production line to the factory. All other numbers you see here are derived from those statements.

As a side-note, "units" may be Model S or Model X. They are designed to be built on the same production line, so both models can be interleaved on the same line to match demand.