By on June 3, 2019

After claiming, via official channels, that its Nevada Gigafactory would likely become the site of Model Y production, Tesla seems to have changed its mind on where to build its upcoming crossover.

During a weekend podcast, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said production of the vehicle will likely take place where all other Teslas are built. It might not even require a tent.

As reported by Bloomberg, Musk’s remarks came during a recent “Ride the Lightning” podcast hosted by Model 3 owner Ryan McCaffrey. Forgive this writer for avoiding said podcast like the plague.

“Right now our default plan actually is to produce the Y at Fremont,” Musk said. “I was skeptical about whether this made sense at first but my team convinced me the fastest way to get to volume production is to do the Y at Fremont.”

In April, Tesla and battery partner Panasonic froze plans for further spending (and expansion) at the automaker’s Nevada Gigafactory. At Fremont, home of the Model S, X, and 3, Tesla ramped up production of the Model 3 last year by employing an assembly line built in an outdoor tent. It seems the Model Y, which boasts a slightly larger footprint than the Model 3 and slightly reduced range, may avoid a similar fate.

According to current and former employees who spoke with CNBC, Tesla plans to move assembly of the Model S and X to a single line, freeing room for indoor Model Y production. Both models have seen sales crater in the wake of the cheaper Model 3’s release. The same employees claim the company no longer employs nighttime or weekend shifts for the production of these models, adding that Model Y equipment orders have barely begun.

Following last quarter’s dismal deliveries and earnings reports, as well as a share price that dropped precipitously, Tesla claims it will clamp down on unnecessary spending even more. At the same time, the company sought to raise over $2 billion via a sale of stock and convertible notes. Cash raised, Musk reportedly said, will tide the company over for 10 months.

The Model Y is expected to reach production in late 2020.

[Image: Tesla]

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17 Comments on “Forget Nevada? Tesla Looks to Fremont for Model Y Production...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I read somewhere that the 3 and Y will be 70% common parts so it makes sense to build them on a common line and supplement any shortfall of 3 volume from China.

    And before any Musk fanboy swoons at the brilliance of this, remember back in the late 60s GM built full frame big Chevys and subframe Firebirds on the same line at Lordstown

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      It only makes sense to build the Y in Fremont, and it seemed crazy that Nevada was even considered.

      The only plus (and it’s significant) to building cars in Nevada is avoiding the cost of shipping 500+ battery packs to Fremont (4 hours away), *every day*. At 1000+ lbs each, that’s at least a dozen tractor trailers a day.

      But in the end, it also makes no sense to establish an entirely new stamping, assembly, and painting line (with all new workers) in Nevada when those essential elements are already in Fremont.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        I assume by the time Y production begins those shipments will be done by autonomous Tesla semis charged from solar panels making them essentially free.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    The most interesting thing about the Y, to me, is that they’ve switched from a bunch of floorplan parts that have to be stamped and welded as on the 3, to a single cast aluminum piece. Seems they have learned from Sandy Munro’s teardown of the car’s build, just as he has learned from his teardown of their drive system.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      Time to invest in Fremont Tent and Awning stock. Still over 200 X and S models waiting for customers at the local mall.

      Stock hit a new 52-week low this am, $180 and change. Late 2020 for Model Y? It should have came before Model 3.

    • 0 avatar
      EGSE

      Do you have a link with this information? Any damage to that cast aluminum structure and the car is totaled. Nearly all cast aluminum alloys aren’t weldable and aluminum alloys that are will have a HAZ (heat affected zone) that you can’t apply a post-weld heat treatment to if it’s still on the car. This isn’t a body panel like the F-150. Steel can be repaired or pulled back on a frame machine.

      • 0 avatar
        sfredst

        “Nearly all cast aluminum alloys aren’t weldable” – We weld engine blocks, transmission cases and bell housings pretty often. They are typically put back in service with no issues. If the original casting was heat treated, you are correct about the HAZ, but I don’t think a lot of them are. Google “welding aluminum castings”.

  • avatar
    gasser

    With falling volume of sales, it makes sense to consolidate production at Fremont. It seems to me that Tesla’s biggest problem is that almost all of the “early adopters” have adopted. Here in Los Angeles, new cars get a paper registration number until the metal plates arrive. I have seen many Model 3 that are brand new, but I haven’t seen any new Model S or X in weeks. I wonder how those sales are going?? With very limited refresh to Model S and the fact that most were purchased (not leased, due to banks’ inability to forecast resale values), why buy a new one after 3 or 4 years? As to the Model X, I have two acquaintances who have dumped theirs, due to disgust with the gull wing doors, both problems with closure and problems with passengers whacking their heads on entrance and egress.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Model X and S sales each averaged about 2160 units per month in 2018.

      In 2019, they are each averaging about 1170 units per month.

      https://insideevs.com/news/344006/monthly-plug-in-report-card-archive/

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      “why buy a new one after 3 or 4 years?”

      Answer: Perhaps because the batteries burst into flames and consume the entire car and surrounding area when they get old?

  • avatar
    EGSE

    Off-topic but may be of interest to a few here. An acquaintance with a Model S P90D made some runs at the local strip last month. Three passes all 12.43 to 12.45 for 1/4 mile.. No info on trap speed. Each pass drained ~2% from the battery. For reference a Dodge Viper turned a best of 12.9 at the same strip and with times much less consistent between runs.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      Yeah, that’s why everybody buys an EV, to take it to the track. I’ll agree and call that off-topic. Each pass only took 2% of the battery life. That’s freaking amazing.

      I heard that Sir Musk lost $5-6 billion this year while the stock heads to the toilet. Yet he’s decided to let everyone know today that he’ll be building EV trucks that can tow 300,000 pounds for $49,999. No, that’s not a typo, 300,000 pounds. Like Larry the Cable Guy says, “I don’t care what you think, that’s some funny stuff”.

      For reference, there might be a few other cars that could have beat that time, but who’s counting? The WHO reminds us constantly how much ICE cars are killing folks and costing the world $5 trillion per year.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      So 10% of the battery to drive 1.25 miles? And since you are only supposed to use the middle 60% of the battery to extend its life, that means less than 10 miles of full throttle range. I suspect the Viper does better than that.

      • 0 avatar
        EGSE

        Guys, you’re reading too much into this. I’m not saying drag racing is a preferred use of the car (it is not), just sharing some information, that’s all. A street-legal car on street tires and with zero prep that can turn mid-12s is no slouch. A car that can haul your family when it’s not hauling a$$ AND be composed and comfortable when it’s doing so is notable. I suspect, no I know, the Viper can’t do that. They are completely different types of car.

        Don’t worry, no more posts you don’t approve of. Is that better?

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          As a Viper owner, I would legitimately fear a dual motor Tesla from a stoplight (not from a roll). The acceleration of those cars is truly impressive, even if I think the rest of it is a bit half-baked. I will admit the Viper is not a good family hauler although my 2 year old son loves riding in it.

          It’s not surprising the Viper owner turned in worse times with less consistency; managing a clutch, shifter, and 13 inch wide rear tires for a clean launch is quite a bit harder than enabling Ludicrous Mode and slamming a single pedal. That said, 12.9 means it was either a 20+ year old model or an inexperienced driver or both. Every Viper made since 2003 has been an 11 second car or better in capable hands.

          @stingray65, FYI consumption on a road course is about 5 mpg, so 80 miles of range at mostly full throttle.

          • 0 avatar
            EGSE

            @jack4x There was no word on the Viper’s age, condition or the skill of the driver. It was a test and tune day and a lot of folks just show up to get a few timing slips. If I was given a choice between a Tesla or Viper to make a few 1/4 runs it’d be the Viper for the grin factor, no question.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      A Jag XF can do the 1/4 in around 12.2 @115 mph on street tires. So you can have a conventional 4 door sedan that can take your family in comfort and be faster than a Tesla.


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