Tesla Fremont Plant Idled for Model X Retooling

Tesla Model X prototype 1 photo
Photo: Tesla
As Tesla looks to increase output of the Model S and introduce its third model ever, the Model X SUV, the automaker has idled its Fremont, CA assembly plant to allow for a $100 million upgrade, according to Bloomberg. During the two-week shutdown, the plant will receive 25 new assembly robots as well as updates to the body shop and assembly lines.
All automakers experience shutdowns during retooling, and Tesla’s work staff of more than 6,000 can either opt to take vacation time or show up to the factory to complete training. The $100 million investment in the factory is more than twice what Tesla paid for the property from Toyota in 2010, and it was necessary to keep up with growing customer demands.

Tesla spokesan Simon Sproule told Bloomberg: “This represents the single biggest investment in the plant since we really started operations and enables us for higher volumes. It gets us ready to build X and to do it on the same line as the S.”

When it’s back online, Tesla’s plant will have a greater production capacity as well as the flexibility to build two models simultaneously. Earlier this year, Tesla was producing about 700 Model S sedans each week, and production was closer to 800 units per week just before the shutdown. Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants the plant producing 1,000 cars per week as the automaker spreads into new markets, which include China and the U.K. Later this year, Tesla will start shipping cars to Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.

There is still no word as to when production of the Model X will begin or how much it will cost, but it would appear that it could still be launched early next year despite a number of delays. Following the launch of the Model X, Tesla will continue the development of its next car, the Tesla Model 3, as well as the Gigafactory, which has yet to be finalized.
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