At today's unveiling of the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was open about the gruelling task ahead of the company in the chase of over 500,000 units per year.
Musk predicts the task of the next six months of production will be hell. He says the company plans to be in a position to produce 10,000 Model 3 units per month by December, scaling upwards thereafter.
“The biggest challenge we face here is… that S-curve, it’s us going through hell. I have confidence that we’ll get to the end of the S-curve, but it’s impossible to predict it in the interim period,” Musk told media, guests and staff.
“We were told we’d never get to 20,000 units per year with Model S [after producing 600 Roadsters per year], well we’re now at 50,000 units per year of Model S. And with Model X combined it’s at around 100,000 units [per year]. We’re confident we can go from a production rate of 50,000 units per year with Model S to 500,000 units per year with Model 3.”
“By end of the year, getting to that rate appears to be quite lengthy [10,000 units per month], because there are manufacturers beyond my control. By the end of next year, getting to 10,000 a week looks likely - but it’s hard to predict,” Musk said.
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With over 10,000 companies supplying parts for the all-new Model 3, Musk says it all comes down to the slowest or weakest manufacturer in the chain, and that process is beyond his control.
"There’s 10,000 unique components in the car and production will move as fast as the slowest one.”
Around 60 per cent of the Model 3 is produced using parts sourced from the United States, with another 10 per cent coming from Mexico and Canada, while the remaining 30 per cent comes from other parts of the world.
There's even an Australian supplier from Melbourne — but we're unsure which part they supply, with Tesla not revealing supplier information.
With over 500,000 pre-orders in the bank, Musk is happy with the brand's ability to market without advertising. If you place an order for one today, you aren't likely to see it until 2019, especially if you place an order for an Australian vehicle.
The earlybirds we spoke to last year, however, won't be waiting.