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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 …


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.

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."

make that "saleable"

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'.

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.

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 ).

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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).

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!

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

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

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?

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

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

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.)

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!

@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).

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.

"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).


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.

"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"

@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.

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.

@David M:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)

"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.

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