During a conference call with financial analysts, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed some of the most important details of the production plan for the Model 3. Most interestingly, he said that Tesla set a deadline for Model 3 internal parts and supplier parts for July 1st, 2017.
Musk called the date an “impossible date” and therefore it doesn’t mean that Tesla will start shipping in the weeks following this deadline, but Musk added that he estimates Tesla could manufacture as many as 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3 vehicles during the second half of 2017.
The updated timeline is part of Tesla’s new Build Plan of advancing its guidance of 500,000 unit per year by two years to 2018.
Musk said that the automaker plans to finalize tooling designs by next month and added that it should leave 9 months to build them:
“You can make a human in 9 months, you can make a tool in 9 months,” – Musk said.
Tesla CTO JB Straubel said the Model 3 was designed to facilitate the manufacturing, but we are still talking about 6,000 to 7,000 unique components in the car. Yet, Musk said during the call:
“The Model 3 is Tesla’s first car that is designed to be easy to make.”
The company still expects to go further into vertical integration. Tesla is reportedly about 80% vertically integrated, which is rare in the automotive industry where companies are focusing on the assembly process and engine manufacturing.
But the focus of the call was mostly about its supplier program for the Model 3. Musk said
“It’s the most compelling product program on earth from a manufacture standpoint. We are seeing a lot of interest from suppliers.”
The CEO also added that the company made some significant hires for the manufacturing and supply chain teams. He said that the company will soon make an announcement. Coincidentally (or not), Tesla confirmed today that two top manufacturing executives are leaving the company.
Musk said that someone ordering a Model 3 today would have a chance of having it delivered by the end of 2018.