Projected Delivery Dates

Projected Delivery Dates

Based on announced 5000 unit production run* from June 2012 to December 2012 (avg. 833 per month): June/July for R & S reservations = first 1,666 cars; Aug rest of 230-300mi packs = 2,500 cars; Sept 160mi packs up to P 833; Oct 160mi packs up to P 1,666; Nov/Dec 160mi packs up to P 2500.

Of course the sequence numbers we all have are bogus since no one knows what the drop out rate will be at the time of delivery (it would be nice if they gave us an ETA delivery date now (based on real data) or did a “re-sequencing” of reservation numbers.

P.S. the fact that the larger packs got moved to the front of the line really burns me since I hold P 469 and this policy was not announced up-front. Still, I can’t wait …


Nicu | October 21, 2011

Boeing and Airbus are pushing the limits of knowledge, manufacturing technologies, simulation and error correcting software and materials. (Almost) Everything that involves research takes 10x longer, cost twice as expected and yields at most 50% of expected results.

Tesla is using rather new tech (robots) but the things they were waiting for (dies) were fairly standard. While few weeks off schedule can happen exceptionally, 6 months is not acceptable by any standard. The proof will come soon enough when they will announce having completed the fist betas 2, built entirely (or almost) at Tesla Factory.

Nicu | October 21, 2011

So it seems my intuition was not that far off regarding the manufacture of the first "sealable" Model S:

"The first production-prototype Model S body shell has been assembled and the completed car will roll off the line next month. The first saleable cars would be built in January or February, Passin said."

Nicu | October 21, 2011

make that "saleable"

Brian H | October 22, 2011

It has occurred to me that the 230/160 buyers might have to wait longer than expected. As soon as the first 300 S/P cars hit the road, Tesla will be flooded with orders for them. If the flow reaches about 1000-1500/mo, that does it for 2012. And the more that are on the road, the more orders will arrive. So It might be the end of 2013 before any 230/160s are produced.

Just sayin'.

Volker.Berlin | October 22, 2011

I said it before, but I'll repeat: Yes, Tesla will start production with the 300s. But they will not hold back production of 230s and 160s until there are no more 300s in the line. That does not make any sense to me. Production of cars with smaller batteries will be delayed compared to those with a 300 mile battery, but in the end they will produce all three in parallel. And that will be no later than Q4 2012.

JoeFee | October 23, 2011

It will be interesting to see if they update their last statement re "a few 160 packs coming at the end of 2012" in this quarter's earnings call on 11/2/11 ( see earlier post above ).

JoeFee | October 23, 2011

FYI … Aug 17 post on Page 1 re the 160 packs.

Vawlkus | October 24, 2011

The cars don't change for ranges, just the batteries.

Once they have data on the options selected by the reservers, they can start building "standard" option cars, and inserting the odd custom job as they come up.

CPM | October 24, 2011

I agree with Volker.Berlin that they will produce the sigs, the 300s and the rest of the 5000-6000 units based on the reservation number and not keep going until ALL the 300s are filled. The right move is to full fill the first 5000-6000 reservation holders with the car they want.

Once they get to production they can produce cars and just install the different battery options. For those that say that the 300s will have the highest gross margin do not understand profitability. Would TM make more money on a plain 300 or a 230 with 10k in upgrades.

Brian H | October 25, 2011

I suspect the 300 mi. purchasers would want Tesla to stick to the promise to get them all out before the others. And that's what they'll do--unless they can get 2 assembly lines going in parallel, perhaps.

Mycroft | October 25, 2011

I don't think there's any way Tesla can afford to open up a second assembly line in the first year or even in the second year.

Timo | October 25, 2011

First year probably not, but second year that might well be possible. Factory is already there and now they know what they need, so it is all about purchasing the equipments. That can't cost much (relatively speaking).

Nicu | October 25, 2011

They have one assembly line that can crank 20 000 cars per year in one shift at full speed. So if there is demand, they could go as high as 60 000 Model S per year (not necessarily during 2013, they may need the whole year to ramp it up).

Mycroft | October 25, 2011

Robots aint cheap! If they do start another line, it'll be for the Model X. I have no idea if they'll be able to Model S & X on the same line.

Somebody inside needs to write a book about Tesla!

Elon, I know you're busy with the Space X stuff and all, but you could hire a writer like Jobs did. Get that book out!

Brian H | October 25, 2011

The second and third shift should take care of any "excess demand" for some time, I guess.

Brian H | October 25, 2011

Although, if the 'X' is to be released in '13, that would require at least a shift by itself, or the equivalent. Interesting!

Brian H | October 25, 2011

Come to think of it, has anyone (Elon, etc.) ever specified that 20,000 is the max one shift on the existing line can handle?

Nicu | October 25, 2011

You don't want Elon to feel the pressure to write his bio, believe me :(

Mycroft | October 25, 2011

I don't want his bio. I want the Tesla story. :)

Volker.Berlin | October 25, 2011

I suspect the 300 mi. purchasers would want Tesla to stick to the promise to get them all out before the others. (Brian H)

I am not aware that this has been "promised" anywhere. The first cars will be 300's, but nobody ever said that no other cars would be produced until all 300's are delivered. I cannot understand why you keep repeating this -- it seems nonsense to me. (Note: I am trying hard to be polite.)

BYT | October 25, 2011

I bet the Model X rides on the same base the Model S does which can really expedite it's production, delivery and rush it to market!

Robert.Boston | October 25, 2011

@Brian H:

As Volker.Berlin notes, no such promise has been made; quite the contrary. Here is the relevant transcript section from the Q2 earnings call:

Dan Galves - Deutsche Bank

I guess maybe how long you expect that to last. Just trying to get a sense of whether it will be the first couple of quarters of production that will be the 300 mile vehicle or is that more or like you know the first 500 to a 1,000?

Elon Musk

Well we've indicated that before yearend we would have the 230 mile in 2012.

Deepak Ahuja

Yes, the Signature series, which is the first 1,000, will be the 300 mile range only, because it's kind of like the fully-loaded vehicle. And then thereafter, if you want the option of the 300 or the 230 mile, and at the very end of next year, sort of early December, it's when we'll be able to start making some of the 160 miles (technical difficulty).

David M. | October 25, 2011

All I know is "the sooner, the better" for starting production of the Model S. There are plenty of "Haters" who have taken notice of this car. They are doing everything within their power to try and cripple Tesla before production begins.

Partial Haters List:
- Oil companies and their heavy investors (natural gas too).
- Anti-Green movement (drill baby drill).
- Other established car companies (still offering 1980s tech).
- Journalistic henchmen (who will write anything if the money is right).
- Let's not forget Cramer (who's been telling everyone to sell-sell-sell).

Tesla - Hurry up. No time to waste.

Larry Chanin | October 25, 2011

"As Volker.Berlin notes, no such promise has been made; quite the contrary. Here is the relevant transcript section from the Q2 earnings call:"

Hi Robert,

Thanks, that's very helpful information.

In another thread David expressed the opinion, similiar to Volker's, that Tesla would draw a line where they would cut off additional 2012 300 mile reservations such that some non-300 reservation holders would get their cars before year-end 2012. Its good to see that they are correct and Tesla management intends to be fair about filling reservations.

I think it is likely that both U.S. and Canadian Signature reservations will be filled before the U.S. General Production reservations. So if Tesla hits their stated target of between 5,500 and 6,000 cars in 2012, then I think the line will be drawn between General Production number 4,300 and 4,800 (subtracting out the U.S. & Canadian Signature reservations).


Loek | October 25, 2011

When I was on the factory tour October 2nd, I was talking to one of the production guys on hte main assembly line. He said that the main line capacity is about 20,000 units per year on one shift but they could easily add a shift if needed.

I asked how low it would take to switch tooling from one car model to another. He said that the robots can build two different cars on the same line at the same time. In fact while we were watching some of the robots were switching tools on the fly. They have a tool magazine that they pull from while in action. Many of the stations actually perform more than one operation on hte car with more than one tool.

brianman | October 25, 2011

"I don't want his bio. I want the Tesla story."

You brought up an another interesting thought, whether you intended to or not...

"The story of Tesla" (or whatever they call it) would be a nice sweetener for reservation holders, and the copies could cost only a pittance but be a great PR move.

They could to tell the company story (thus far) or something more specific...
"From configuration to street ready, the story of your Model S"

brianman | October 25, 2011

@David M.
"Tesla - Hurry up. No time to waste."

I'm going to have to disagree with you here. Get the car right. Period.

Granted, they shouldn't dawdle but I don't want them to hurry - at all.

David M. | October 26, 2011

My point is if the government rescinds the loan, there may not even be a car at all.

So Tesla gets a loan which must be paid back. The oil companies get tax breaks which are gifts that don't have to be paid back. Billions in loans to GM. The government even gives tax breaks for purchasing inefficient, three ton vehicles. Yet Tesla is the headline? WOW.

Robert.Boston | October 26, 2011

@David M:

The government can't "rescind the loan." It's a contract, and its repayment terms require Tesla to start paying back the loan within one year of the start of production of the Model S and to complete repayment by 2022, with incentives for early repayment.
Ford and Nissan also received loans under the same Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing plans, for $5.9 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively. Those will need to be paid back, too. Which isn't to say that there aren't other subsidies and tax breaks; of course, Tesla benefits from some of those, too, in particular the $7,500 tax credit. (Yes, it's the buyers who receive those credits in the first instance, but both the buyer and seller benefit.)

David M. | October 26, 2011

"The government can't "rescind the loan." It's a contract,"

I feel a little bit better. However the next time you are in Washington DC, take a look at the Washington Monument (up close). You'll notice that about 1/3 the way up, the stone is a different color. That's because even though construction companies were under a Gov't contract to build the monument, the contract was cancelled for "other priorities". Years later, work was resumed, probably because it was embarrassing to have a half completed monument front and center.

Gov't contracts and obligations get cancelled, changed, and redirected all the time. I wouldn't hang my hat on any Gov't commitment knowing what I currently know. My largest customer just had a Gov't contract cancelled, even though they had delivered exactly what the Gov't requested. Those "other priorities" can be quite unpredictable.

Mycroft | October 26, 2011

Yes, contracts can be canceled; especially if there is an "out" clause in the contract. But there's always a price to pay.

For a loan, it can only be canceled or "called" as laid out in the contract.

joefee68 | October 26, 2011

Link below mentions one shift and 83 production Model S's per day. If you extended x 5days x 26wks (june to dec) you would hit the announced 20K per year run rate. Having seen the production facility, I can see where they could do 3 shifts x 7days and hit 60K units per year ... TSLA shorts better cover fast!!!


Larry Chanin | October 26, 2011


Aren't we getting a little ahead of ourselves when we start talking about 60k units per year? ;-)

Tesla is bleeding red ink right now. It is important for them to carefully synchronize production with demand. Tesla can't really afford a conventional ad campaign and must rely on less expensive and perhaps less effective means of generating business. Right now reservations have been good, but nevertheless the entire reservation list with no attrition is barely a six month backlong.

Don't get me wrong, I think that after these cars start getting released and get favorable reviews by auto journalists that demand will certainly pick up. However, multiple shifts probably won't be needed for some time. The worst thing that could happen for a startup in the red would be to start building inventory.


Nicu | October 27, 2011

Larry, they have stated during one of the earnings reports that the investment for 20k / y / shift has already been done. It was obviously a bit more expensive to do so, but a risk / payoff analysis told them this is the best way to go. They may not need it. But if they do, they could ramp up production really quickly.

For now, orders are mainly from US. Think what will happen when they will start advertising aggressively in Asia. Those people are still passionate by cars (in opposition to US and Europe), become millionaires by the millions each year, are also fascinated by sci-fi, new tech etc. In many places they want to show their social status even if they have to suffer financially. In Japan, the eco culture is very developed. The buzz will spread like fire and I think in 2014 they will strive to produce those 60k cars with a backlog hard to imagine today (at least by americans and europeans - we forgot the excitement of cars, of a booming economy, we look down on luxury cars for moral and social BS, etc.)

joefee68 | October 27, 2011


I agree they will build to order not to fill inventory ... my point was that at full production they will print money!!!

Larry Chanin | October 27, 2011

Hi Nicu,

So do I understand you correctly, it is your opinion that by 2014 Tesla will be striving to run three shifts mainly to accommodate foreign demand?


Nicu | October 28, 2011

Yes, that's what I think. They will have orders in excess of production capacity of 60k cars per year (probably the capacity is 60k for both Model S and Model X).

It takes however some time (in this case two-three years I think) for the buzz (meme) to spread. They actually spread like virus, with exponential growth for a while, until a wall is hit (size of the market, realization that the buzz was not founded - I think this is not the case with Tesla, deep economic crisis, 50c for a gallon of gas LOL, global cooling etc.).

Vawlkus | October 28, 2011

One error I'm seeing here: The cars take the assembly line, NOT THE BATTERIES.

I'm betting there will be three battery assembly lines, one for each type. When the batteries are assembled, THEN they get installed in the cars.

Cascade is the same: Tesla starts with just the 300 mile packs, then starts building the 230 packs as well, then the 160 packs last.

Mycroft | October 28, 2011

No, they can have inventories of all three batteries and install whichever one is required for the specific VIN. Just like installing either a solid roof or a pano roof. Just another option.

gjunky | October 28, 2011

Why would the assembly of the different battery packs be so different? From what I understand, the 160 and 230 mile packs use the same cells but just different numbers of them. I assume that means you can almost build a 160 mile pack and either leave it a 160 mile pack or just add more cells to make it a 230 mile version. There really is no need to have separate assemblies for them. The 300 mile pack is again build the same way but sourced from another bin.

As I see it, it will be easy to build the battery pack to order based on the cars coming down the line. No need to create any kind of inventory.

As to the topic of building the higher capacity packs first: I still don't understand how they will keep customers happy if they give out reservation numbers without asking for a battery size and then build/sell them in a different order? I for one really can't afford the larger pack but would be really upset if Tesla decided to not produce mine (P#3872) when my number is up.

VolkerP | October 28, 2011


Agree. Tesla will start making 230 mile packs in fall 2012. From that point on, every reservation holders who's turn it is, has the choice to pick either 300 miles, 230 miles, or to exercise his one-time deferral. GP holders wanting 160 miles will either pull their pockets a bit deeper or decide to wait.
Thus, it cannot be said that reservation holders that want the 300 mile pack automatically go in front of 230ers or 160ers.

SLeser | October 30, 2011

I've got a question about Signature delivery to Europe
. I asked a similar question at the teslamotorsclub forum but didn't get much information there, so I'll try here:

My main question is, when the delivery of the Signature Model S to Europe will start. There is some information in the blog post by George Blankenship:"A Quick Update on Model S", where he says: "a) After the Model S Signature Series, deliveries for North America will continue with the 300 mile batteries, followed by 230 and 160 options later in

b) Delivery of the European left-hand drive Model S is scheduled to begin in late 2012. In mid-2013 we plan to begin delivering the right-hand drive Model S for Europe and Asia."

I always thought this would mean that Signature delivery includes the Model S Signature for Europe followed by the regular productions cars in the U.S.

But then a tesla rep told me, that the Signature Model S in Europe will not be delivered before a substantial part of the regular Model S for the American market have been manufactured.

I have to admit, that I was rather disappointed about this, because I signed up for a Signature reservation only, to be among the first to get a Model S.

He also told me, that they have not decided yet, in which order the queues for the specific countries are going to be delivered. In Europe there are at least 3 different queues: I'm #14 for Model S Signature in Switzerland, but there seems also to be a separate queue for the U.K. and the rest of Europe.

In a worst case scenario this could mean, that my Model S Signature would not be delivered before all other queues are finished.

Does anybody here know more about how many regular Model S will be built before they start manufacturing the Signature Model S for Europe or in which order the queues for the specific countries will be manufactured?

Volker.Berlin | October 30, 2011

sven, I do not have any more information than you have. And I am afraid, nobody has at this time.

But then a tesla rep told me, that the Signature Model S in Europe will not be delivered before a substantial part of the regular Model S for the American market have been manufactured.

This has been my understanding all along. I understand that it is disappointing for you as a European Signature reservation holder, but it does make sense and it will probably serve you well: Tesla wants to ensure that they fix the Kinderkrankheiten before they start delivering to foreign markets. As mentioned in another thread, I suspect that this may also be one reason why they currently focus their new stores in the Bay area. They want to have the first cars they sell as close to the factory/headquarters as possible, so that any problems can be fixed quickly and effortlessly. This approach helps Tesla as well as the customers.

He also told me, that they have not decided yet, in which order the queues for the specific countries are going to be delivered. In Europe there are at least 3 different queues: I'm #14 for Model S Signature in Switzerland, but there seems also to be a separate queue for the U.K. and the rest of Europe.

I did not know that, but it seems so make sense to have left-steering and right-steering countries in different queues. Maybe they also make a distinction between EUR-countries and non-EUR-countries, but that's speculation.

Volker.Berlin | October 30, 2011

distinction between EUR-countries and non-EUR-countries

More likely: EU-countries vs. non-EU-countries.

brianman | October 30, 2011

For those that didn't guess it from the context (I did!)...

ncn | October 30, 2011

"Does anybody here know more about how many regular Model S will be built before they start manufacturing the Signature Model S for Europe or in which order the queues for the specific countries will be manufactured?"

Nobody knows. However, they *have* said that they will get left-hand-drive Signatures to Europe in 2012, so I think you can rely on that. You may not be among the first to get a model S, but you will definitely be among the first in the Old World, and not long after the first, so you'll probably still get the same response from everyone around you. Unless they have just visited California. :-)

David M. | October 30, 2011

From what I saw on Oct. 1st, there will be one assembly line for the Model S. Each of the three batteries will use the SAME battery tray. The 160mi batteries don't fill up the tray. Not sure if the 230s fill it up or not. My point being: when it's time to install the battery, nothing much has to change on the production line. The tray gets installed, and cables connected. Tesla can do 160s and 230s whenever they want.

BUT they need to show profitability sooner than later, and there is more margin in a car with the 300mi battery. More options, higher price, more margin = solid, successful company with a healthy balance sheet. Which means there's money for Model X to stay on schedule, more Tesla stores, charging infrastructure initiatives, and possibly for a second shift for the Model S (to take production to 35,000 cars per year), if demand warrants.

Volker.Berlin | October 30, 2011

Plus they want to show off their top model for the first independent reviews.

brianman | October 30, 2011

@David M
I think your characterization is correct.

Assuming the size and shape of the tray is indeed consistent, installing the battery should be quick. I can't imagine installing the first battery taking much more time than swapping in a second battery.
- 1 minute battery swap capability

Vawlkus | October 31, 2011

Given that Canadian deliveries don't start until 2013, including Sigs, I'd be very surprised if EU got theirs any faster than that.