Suppliers / Outsourcing

Suppliers / Outsourcing

Hi; I'm a business student and car fan researching Tesla Motors. I was wondering if someone could help me find the major suppliers for components of the Model-S. I've found that Panasonic supplies battery cells. Otherwise it's difficult to find specifics suppliers for the Model-S, just that it contains "over 2,000 purchased parts which we source globally from over 200 suppliers." Does anyone have any info on this?

Mark K | 24 février 2013

Well Panasonic is known because they invested, but I can't imagine why TM would want to disclose their supply chain partners. That kind of info touches on the proprietary.

Mark K | 24 février 2013

BTW - we get a lot of "student" requests for surprisingly sensitive data about our products. We don't respond.

Some are clearly shills for competitors.

Even if I knew the names of some of TM's suppliers, I wouldn't share them in public.

Alex K | 24 février 2013
Mark K | 24 février 2013

Well, I guess TM is thrilled about Supplier-Business' detective work.

Simmons_W | 24 février 2013

Thank you, Alex K.

I appoligize for being somewhat vague in my question. I wasn't asking for some Tesla employee to start spilling Tesla's trade secrets or anything like that. It's clear that some info about suppliers and outsourcing is public (Tesla's partnerships with Panasonic and Lotus, for example). I'm just asking the general question; what does Tesla do at it's Freemont factory and what does it contract out?

nickjhowe | 24 février 2013

Sheet aluminium and plastic pellets go in one end of the factory, and cars come out of the other. It Tesla can build it, they pretty much do. Body, power train, motor, battery subsystem and firmware are theirs. Don't know about upholstery. Control modules are probably bought in. Switchgear is bought in (Mercedes). Brakes (Brembo) and tyres (Continential or Michelin) bought in. Vehicle suspension geometry was designed by them (maybe?), but don't know who makes it.

Lotus partnership was for Roadster. Don't know if Lotus still helping with suspension design.

ghillair | 24 février 2013

You ask about the Fremont plant. National Geographic did a 45 minute documentary on the factory.

Here is a link to that thread, it has a link to the NG video.

Simmons_W | 24 février 2013

Thank you, nickjhowe and ghillair.

Amped | 24 février 2013

The steering column is Daimler.

Albert B | 24 février 2013

Upholstery is done by a subcontractor but they're actually housed inside the factory since Tesla has the available space. They talked about it a fair bit on the tour when I picked up my car.

anaimat | 2 octobre 2013

You can get a more complete list including some of Tesla's suppliers and vendors discussed above here:

All the data in the list above is from press releases and other public sources.