Tesla is still deciding between California and Nevada for a location to produce Model Y, which is just over a year away from production, according to the automaker.
When Tesla launched the Model Y last month, the company started taking pre-orders and it said that the first deliveries would start as early as ‘Fall 2020’.
At the time, the automaker didn’t disclose its production plans for the new electric vehicles.
Now a month later, CEO Elon Musk addressed the plan to produce Model Y during Tesla’s Q1 2019 earnings call:
“For Model Y production, we are right now trying to decide whether Model Y vehicle production should be in California or Nevada and we expect to make a final decision on that very soon.”
The news has been surprising to some since the timeline to production is extremely aggressive for a vehicle program without a confirmed production location.
But when Musk says California or Nevada, he means Fremont factory or Gigafactory 1 – meaning that Tesla at least already has facilities there to help them get started.
That said, they still need to build massive production lines to build Model Y.
Musk added that they are not waiting for a production location to start ordering the tooling and other manufacturing equipment:
“But in the meantime, we have ordered all of the tooling and equipment required for Model Y. So, we don’t expect this in any way to delay production of Model Y, but it’s a very close call between Nevada and California as to whether we do the Model Y at Giga or at Fremont, but those are the two options […]”
The CEO says that they are aiming to make a final decision “in the next few weeks.”
That’s pretty incredible. They have a major electric vehicle program that they hope to bring to production in just over a year and yet, they are not exactly sure where it will happen.
It sounds completely crazy, but Model Y has a few things going for it that make the whole situation a little less crazy.
First off, It’s built on the Model 3 platform and shares around 70% of the parts with Model 3. Therefore, it’s mainly about increasing the production of those existing parts.
Secondly, and as Elon stated, they already have the final design of Model Y and they are ordering the appropriate tooling and equipment for it already without a final destination.
However, they still need to make a decision very soon if they want to have a chance at making their timeline work.
Elon said that Tesla’s team apparently found a way to squeeze in Model Y production at the already quite busy Fremont factory.
That’s interesting, but there are already over 10,000 people working at the Fremont factory. If they plan to almost double production with Model Y, is it realistic to increase the workforce at the plant accordingly?
Gigafactory 1 would likely more easily support that, but it would also be harder to find a full workforce in the Nevada desert.
It’s quite a complex situation.
What do you think? let us know in the comment section below.
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