Tesla, who previously ran Google Glass trials in its Fremont factory, is applying to patent an augmented reality application built to make the work of factory workers easier. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories December 11, 2018
Tesla Factory Stories December 5, 2018
Tesla hired Bert Bruggeman, an experienced manufacturing executive from the semiconductor industry, as their new ‘Vice-President of Production at Fremont plant’, but the company wouldn’t elaborate further on his role. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories June 28, 2018
Tesla had a major expansion plan at its Fremont factory called its ‘masterplan’ to enable Model 3 production at the plant.
Today, we take a look at the progress through a report on Tesla’s building permits at the factory. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories September 22, 2017
Tesla’s Fremont factory is already one of the biggest buildings in the world in terms of footprint and yet, the automaker has been expanding it rapidly as it ramps up Model 3 production.
A new drone flyover gives a fresh look at the factory and shows new buildings. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories September 1, 2017
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against Tesla after the United Auto Workers (UAW) made charges against the company over allegations that they were impeding on attempts to promote a unionization effort at their Fremont factory.
Tesla responded with a scathing attack on UAW called the allegation “baseless” and “meant only to generate headlines.” expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories August 1, 2017
It looked like things had calmed down on the unionization front at Tesla’s Fremont factory over the last month as United Auto Workers (UAW) focused its efforts on the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi.
Now a group called ‘Tesla Workers’ Organizing Committee’ have sent a letter to Tesla’s board of directors with demands. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories July 18, 2017
For over a year now, Tesla has been expanding its Fremont factory in preparation for the start of Model 3 production.
The plant, which is already one of the biggest in the world, has changed quite a bit, but there was no new significant large structure like this new one coming up right now. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories July 7, 2017
The very first production Tesla Model 3 is supposed to come off the production line today, according to CEO Elon Musk.
As we wait for an update on the progress, we get a very rare (and small) peek inside Tesla’s secretive Model 3 production line. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories April 29, 2017
While several Model 3 release candidates have been spotted in the wild, Tesla hasn’t shown the Model 3 in any official capacity since launching the production of the release candidates.
We now learn that the company will hold a private showing of the vehicle in June for the winners of a previous referral program. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories August 26, 2016
The Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, is one of the biggest buildings on earth with 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space. Since buying the plant for a mere $42 million in 2010, Tesla has occupied only a fraction of the building, but everything changed over the last year as the automaker increased its production to 2,000 vehicles per week and it is now investing over $1.2 billion in the plant to increase the production rate to 10,000 per week for the Model 3 production.
In order to achieve its goal, Tesla has been hiring at an insane rate and has now over 6,000 employees working in Fremont, which is creating irritating parking problems for the workers. Ironically, the problems are similar to what some Tesla owners are experiencing at Superchargers – like being ICEd. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories August 5, 2016
It’s difficult to overstate the impact Tesla has on Fremont and the East Bay Area. With ~6,000 workers, the automaker is now the city’s biggest employer and that’s without accounting for all its suppliers in the region.
Now we learn of Tesla even convincing manufacturers to come establish new production capacity in the area ahead of its planned production rate increase for the Model 3 program. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories July 20, 2016
A report from the Bay Area News Group Watchdog published in the Mercury News back in May suggested that foreign workers were brought in from Slovenia with nonimmigrant visa for tourism and business, known as a B1, in order to build Tesla’s new paint shop at the Fremont factory in California.
The report was based on a lawsuit filed by Gregor Lesnik, a Slovenian worker injured during his work at the factory, against Tesla and two subcontractors in charge of the paint shop projects, Eisenmann and Vuzem. The report alleged that workers were paid only $5 per hour while Tesla was paying the contractors $55 per hour.
After the report came out, Tesla said that it was going to do the right thing for the injured worker and we now learn that 10 days later, the automaker and contractors settle the suit for $550,000 without specifying the breakdown between companies. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories July 16, 2016
Flashback to when we reported that India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, met with some executives at Tesla, we now have, via the Indian Express, learned that India’s Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, met with Tesla executives on the 15th to talk about introducing and increasing the adoption of “pollution-free road transport” with a focus on commercial and public vehicles i.e trucks, buses and two-wheelers.
Nitin hopes to accomplish this by having Tesla settle in India to create an “Asian manufacturing and assembly hub”. Gadkari goes on to state:
“the Indian government is committed to encouraging alternate pollution-free transport in the country by providing incentives to bio-fuel, CNG, ethanol and electric vehicles.”
Further, in his meeting with the Tesla team, he “offered up land near major Indian ports to facilitate export of their vehicles to South and South East Asian countries.”
Tesla Factory Stories June 27, 2016
Earlier this month, Bloomberg came out with a report claiming that signed a “non-binding memorandum of understanding” with Jinqiao Group, a Shanghai government-owned company, to invest in a $9 billion electric vehicle factory in the region. At the time, Tesla didn’t comment on the report, but now CEO Elon Musk denies that a deal was signed:
Earlier this year, Musk confirmed that the automaker plans on securing a location and a local partner for a manufacturing facility in China by the middle of the 2016, but now we learn that there’s a possibility that Tesla will not have to create a partnership as the government is exploring the a lift of the cap on joint-ventures for automakers. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories June 20, 2016
There’s no doubt that Tesla likes big factories. Its Fremont Factory is one of the biggest buildings on earth with 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space – pictured above. The Gigafactory is set to be the biggest building on earth by footprint with 13 million square feet of space. The automaker also operates several other smaller but still fairly big facilities, like its final assembly line in Tilburg, Netherlands, which covers 840,000 square feet.
Now the company is about to invest in a factory in China. While the plans have yet to be unveiled, earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the automaker plans on securing a location and a local partner for a manufacturing facility in China by the middle of the 2016, and it looks like it will be huge.
We learn that Shanghai could now be the front-runner as Tesla reportedly signed a “non-binding memorandum of understanding” to invest in a $9 billion electric vehicle factory in the region. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories June 16, 2016
A few weeks ago, Tesla closed an important $1.7 billion stock offering to finance its new build plan for the Model 3. The capital raise was needed for Tesla to accelerate its production and achieve a rate of 500,000 cars in 2018 – two years earlier than previously planned.
The new plan is in response to the higher than expected demand for the Model 3. Tesla’s management was expecting 100,000 to 200,000 reservations at best, but the automaker already received over 373,000 reservations.
While Tesla already confirmed that some of the capital would be used for its operations, the company made it clear that most of the money would be put toward an expansion of the Fremont factory to increase production. Now we get a specific number for the expansion as Tesla is applying for a $106 million tax break with the state to help the project. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories June 13, 2016
Only three years ago in 2013, Tesla Model S’ first full year of production, the automaker built just over 20,000 vehicles or around 400 per week. Now we learn that Tesla recently achieved for the first time a production rate of 2,000 vehicles per week for an annualized rate of 104,000 cars.
In its last shareholders letter, the company announced that it aimed to exit the second quarter with a production rate of 2,000 vehicles per week – meaning that the company achieved its goal two weeks ahead of schedule. The achievement was crucial for Tesla to reach its delivery goal of 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles in 2016. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories June 8, 2016
Analyst Brad Erickson from Pacific Crest issued a new note to clients today following a visit of the Tesla Fremont Factory. The analyst noted that Tesla appears to be on track to exit the second quarter at the a production rate of 2,000 cars per week (Model S and X combined) and it is tracking toward its annual delivery target of 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles.
Tesla Factory Stories May 27, 2016
Tesla officials have been discussing the possibility to establish a first factory in Europe for a while now. I say a “first factory”, but Tesla already has a plant in Europe – in Tilburg – but only for final assembly processes.
Earlier this year during a special event for Tesla owners at the automaker’s French headquarters in Chambourcy, CEO Elon Musk reiterated that in the near future Tesla will need to establish some manufacturing capacity in Europe – referring to a full-fledged factory to manufacture cars.
At the time, he nonchalantly brought up the possibility to build its first European electric car factory in Alsace, a northeastern French region on the Rhine River plain bordering Germany and Switzerland. It didn’t take long for French Energy Minister Ségolène Royal to suggest a site and meet with executives.
Now Spain wants to throw its hat in the ring and launches a campaign to attract Tesla’s first European factory. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories May 22, 2016
Tesla’s factory in Fremont is the only U.S. car assembly plant owned by an American automaker that is not represented by a union, but that’s just one of many things Tesla does unlike any other American (or otherwise) automaker.
Following the announcement of Tesla’s updated plans to increase its annual vehicle production at the factory to 500,000 cars by 2018 – 2 years earlier than previously planned, the United Auto Workers (UAW) expressed interest in unionizing Tesla’s workforce at the factory. One could look at the move as being opportunistic by the UAW to significantly increase its numbers or as a move to help protect workers it perceives being exploited by Tesla’s ever-expanding needs.
UAW President Dennis Williams said that up until now, the union was respecting Tesla’s startup status, but the new production rate would quickly make the electric automaker one of the largest car manufacturer in the nation and bigger than more established luxury automakers like BMW and Mercedes.
Williams is right that Tesla plans to quickly become as big as other automakers, but does higher volume alone justify the implementation of a union? expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories May 16, 2016
A report from the Bay Area News Group Watchdog published in the Mercury News this weekend suggests that foreign workers were brought in from Slovenia with nonimmigrant visa for tourism and business, known as a B1, in order to build Tesla’s new paint shop at the Fremont factory in California.
The report described an unfortunately common practice in the construction industry of importing a workforce to do manual labor for low wages. Tesla was used as an example in the article because of the fact that most of the information is coming from a lawsuit between one of those workers, Tesla and their subcontractors following an accident while under their employment.
Now Tesla issued a response to the claims made in the article. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories May 13, 2016
Earlier this year, we reported on a new proposed bill in California to eliminate the sales tax on new cars manufactured in the state for out-of-state buyers. The bill aims to spur “industrial tourism” and encourage people to come pick up their new Teslas at the automaker’s Fremont factory without having to pay California’s sales tax.
The bill, which was proposed by Tesla and is sponsored by Sen. Bob Wieckowski whose district is home to Tesla’s Fremont factory, is now facing strong opposition as some legislators suggest it only aims at offering tax breaks to rich people able to afford luxury vehicles. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories May 5, 2016
Following Tesla’s announcement that it plans to double its total production output to 500,000 vehicles in 2018 and 1 million in 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was asked by analysts how and where he plans to manufacture those vehicles.
While the company has been talking about plans to build more vehicle factories in Europe and China, Tesla’s Fremont factory remains its only full-fledged car manufacturing facility. Company officials have always referred to the Fremont plant’s total capacity to be around 500,000 cars per year once optimized, which is what Toyota and GM were producing when they owned the factory, until now. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories May 2, 2016
The World Energy Innovation Forum (WEIF) managed to secure not only an impressive lineup of industry leaders to speak at the event, but also quite a venue for this year’s conference. The forum will take place Wednesday and Thursday at the Tesla Fremont Factory in Fremont, California. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories April 28, 2016
Tesla Factory Stories March 27, 2016
Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the automaker plans on securing a location and a local partner for a manufacturing facility in China by the middle of the 2016. A foreign company needs a local partner in order to establish a manufacturing capacity in China.
Now we learn through a recent report from Chinese media that the California-based automaker is reportedly considering a factory location in Suzhou near Shanghai (see map above).
According to the report, the Suzhou government held a meeting on March 13 to discuss a project related to Tesla and executives from the company visited the region during the following week. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories February 26, 2016
Goldman Sachs analyst Patrick Archambault and his team recently met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Autopilot Program Director Sterling Anderson and CFO Jason Wheeler to visit Tesla’s Fremont factory. Today the team released a report of their visit (via Valuewalk) and reiterated a “Neutral” rating on the company’s stock after the share price increased by ~12% this week.
Most notably, Archambault writes in his report that they see Tesla as now being about 80% vertically integrated, which is rare in the automotive industry where companies are focusing on the assembly process and engine manufacturing. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories October 6, 2015
Tesla Factory Stories September 25, 2015
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was in the Netherlands today for the opening ceremony of Tesla’s second plant in Tilburg. The company already had a ‘final assembly factory’ in the city (see picture below), where the company completes the assembly of the Model S’s going to the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. expand full story
Tesla Factory Stories November 20, 2014
To prepare for Model X production, Tesla this past July halted production at its Fremont facility for two weeks in order to upgrade its assembly lines, modernize its production floor, and of course, ultimately increase overall production.
“This represents the single biggest investment in the plant since we really started operations and enables us for higher volumes,” Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule told Bloomberg earlier this summer. Indeed, the total cost of the enhancements reportedly checked in at a cool $100 million.
Earlier this week, Tesla put up blog post detailing all of the nitty gritty details regarding its somewhat recent factory upgrade.
During the pause in production, we upgraded the assembly line, added capacity to the body shop, enhanced powertrain assembly, and revamped facilities for our employees. The result of this retooling phase, which complemented ongoing upgrade work, is a much-expanded operation that allows us to produce more cars, faster, while increasing automation and providing a more inviting work environment.
In the powertrain department, we’ve added conveyors and advanced robots that have given us the capacity to process 1 million battery cells per day, up from 800,000. In body-in-white, we’ve added new welding equipment and improved our production uptime by 5 to 10 percent, thanks in part to a 13-car buffer that guards against bottlenecks. We’ve also added 24 new tire and export docks to the perimeter of the main building, increasing the speed with which we can deliver cars overseas.
Of particular interest is Tesla’s investment in advanced robots, some of which, the blog post notes, will soon be able to install battery packs on cars. Interestingly, Tesla notes that over the summer, it installed 10 of the largest robots in the world.
What’s more, Tesla has taken to affectionately naming its new in-house robots after X-Men characters.
Rather than refer to these robots by technical descriptions, we named them after X-Men characters. Xavier stands at the entrance to the trim line, lifting cars down to the floor from an electrified rail, while Iceman, Wolverine, and Beast do more heavy lifting nearby. Storm and Colossus can be found at the end of the chassis line, and Vulcan and Havok work as a team to lift cars back onto the rail. To us, these robots are like superheroes, so we figured they deserved superhero names.
Having seen what some of Tesla’s beloved robots can do on various YouTube videos, it’s hard to disagree with that. Interestingly, Musk noted during Tesla’s most recent earnings conference call that it’s often “way harder to make the machine that makes the machine than it is to make the machine in the first place.”
The entire post is well worth a read and is chock full of interesting information (and videos!) about Tesla’s recent factory upgrade.
Tesla Factory Stories October 22, 2013
Great find from @mgillet onTwitter. This appears to be a Tesla dashboard at the headquarters showing significant growth in charging over the past few months. More importantly, we some highly anticipated charging stations ‘coming soon’. Probably most exciting for Tesla is the Oregon and northern California stations that will close the I5 corridor meaning the West Coast will be covered. Also two stations on the California/Arizona border will allow trips to/from Phoenix and LA/San Diego.
You’ll notice that two stations, one in Colorado and one in Texas, are lit up even though Tesla hasn’t pushed to the Supercharger Station website Map, below.
Texans will get two more Supercharger stations in Eastern Texas linking them to Arkansas and Louisiana. East coasters will get a couple in Northern New Jersey as well as Virginia and North Carolina allowing folks in Vermont/New Hampshire to travel to the Carolinas and vice versa.
Some fun facts:
- Fremont (Tesla Factory) and Hawthorn in SoCal seem to be far and away the busiest Superchargers with Gilroy coming in third over the last 30 days.
- Unsurprisingly, most people put 20-40kWh into their Teslas during a stop.
- 1576 cars visited superchargers in the last week
- Almost 4 million miles have been charged at Supercharging stations…
- That equates to 14,000 MWh…
- Which has saved nearly 160,000 gallons of gas.
Compare with the current map as of today, 10/21/2013: