Tesla Motors
is working on a four-figure production total for its six-figure sedan.

Company founder Elon Musk on Sunday Tweeted that Tesla completed production of its 1,000th frame for its all-electric Model S, whose top-of-the-line version retails for more than $100,000.

Musk added that Tesla made more Model S bodies in October than it did in the rest of the year combined. Tesla initially set a goal to make 5,000 Model S vehicles by year-end, though admitted late last month that it was about a month behind schedule for Model S deliveries.

In early October, Tesla said it will get $10 million from the state of California to expand production at its Bay Area plant to gear up for the Model X SUV, which is expected to start production in 2014.


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  • 73 Comments
      ElectricAvenue
      • 2 Years Ago
      There seem to be a lot of commenters complaining that 1000 frames is a useless milestone. Perhaps they think that Tesla is not delivering completed cars? Tesla has delivered hundreds of completed cars - there is plenty of evidence of this from those receiving delivery. No doubt Tesla will tell you the exact number of completed cars and delivered cars at the next quarterly update, which is on November 5. In the meantime, knowing that they have completed 1000 frames at least gives you an idea of their production rate. So what is all the whining about? Do other manufacturers somehow manage to manufacture cars all in one go, so that there are no cars at all in intermediate stages of completion? Of course not. Do other manufacturers provide exact production figures from every factory in real time? Of course not. What exactly is the argument? Tesla is a failure because.... you want it to be? Tesla is providing too much information? Or too little? Which is it? I get the feeling that had Tesla somehow managed to start production at full rate and delivered 10,000 cars in 2012, the complaint would be that they filled orders too fast and will now go bankrupt when sales fail to materialize after they have fulfilled their backlog of orders. Clearly Tesla has not hit the production rate they had hoped to hit, but they are delivering substantial numbers of cars and have a huge backlog of orders. How about we all just chill and see what happens?
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ElectricAvenue
        @ ElectricAvenue I think you are being too defensive ! Most of the criticism is not about Tesla as such, but about celebrating such an odd milestone ! Indeed, your rush to defend Tesla, only serves to heighten suspicions of production problems where none may exist. " knowing that they have completed 1000 frames at least gives you an idea of their production rate." No, it doesn't ! It just tells you how many frames have been made ! " Do other manufacturers provide exact production figures from every factory in real time?" Yes ! Or at least that's the objective. The entire Auto-industry knows that over-production of vulnerable body frames is an indication of inefficient production, and supply chain problems. Given Tesla's limited production, and flexibility, this is probably not a serious problem for Tesla, and is only to be expected with such a new manufacturer, experiencing a shake-down period in it's supply chain logistics. But, advertizing, and celebrating, the over production of frames, displays either amazing naivety, or a very sophisticated spin technique, designed to excite the fans club and head-off criticism.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          "Overproduction of vulnerable body frames"? First, you don't have any way to know that there is "overproduction". Second, in what way are they vulnerable? They're made of aluminum. They're indoors. They're on a specially designed carrier. They are vulnerable exactly how? This is exactly the point I was making. You are jumping to the conclusion that there is a problem, based on a tweet by Elon Musk. By the way, if it is true, as you claim, that other manufacturers provide exact production figures from every factory in real time, then please point me to where I might find that information.
        King Edward VIII
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ElectricAvenue
        @Electric Avenue, just one quick comment: Tesla is nor transparent, nor has ever communicated too much. The contrary. The company gives sometime information not comparable with previously distributed ones and didn't share the sales/orders by region, let alone by country. Furthermore, they spin the information in the direction they like, even implicitly suggesting things not true (e.g. they were screaming "Roadster sold out!!!!!", forgetting to mention that it was sold out in US but in EU/Asia they had lots of them still unsold). That's the main issue here. If they want to communicate, they have to do it consistently and transparently. Otherwise it is just propaganda. It may be the job of PR departments, but we should be careful in taking anything they communicate without some critical approach.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @King Edward VIII
          I think we can all agree that people in marketing do not worry about telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There is a whole lot of appeal to emotion in car marketing. But I, unlike you and MarcoPolo and others, see nothing wrong in celebrating an achievement. If I was working at the factory and they produced the first 1000th whatever-it-is, I would have no problem in posing for a picture. As for Tesla and this particular story, it should be noted that this was just a photograph provided through a link given in a tweet from Elon Musk. It is not official Tesla PR.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, I'm happy for Tesla, but it's odd sort of an odd thing to celebrate. It's not necessarily a good thing for the vulnerable frames to get too far ahead of production. It also sends a mixed message that there could be trouble with other components, or a production bottleneck.
        Roy_H
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        How do you define "too far ahead of production"? How do you know this is true? Clearly chassis have to be built before the cars can be completed and in Tesla's case they are putting their presses and robots to best use by building in batches. That is a batch of parts are made, then the presses/robots are re-programmed and re-tooled to produce the next batch. In this scenario, larger batches are more efficient. High volume manufacturers do not have to do this because they can have many more presses and robots dedicated to a single function.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Roy_H
          @Roy_H That's the point, I don't know. That's why it's an odd thing to celebrate. Why celebrate something that's fairly meaningless, creates doubt, and has to be defended by earnest Tesla supporters like yourself ? Elsewhere on this thread I have said that the over-production of frames has probably less significance with small manufacturers, but why draw attention ? This sort of news item inevitably excites erroneous speculation that Tesla is desperate to divert attention from it's problems in delivering completed vehicles.
      King Edward VIII
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bottom line of this article: 1. Well done guys! But... who cares of frames? Sounds like an attempt to distract public opinion from your problems. 2. You are late in production plan and in your case this is an issue raising eyebrows in Wall Street: nice to hear you are progressing but the information is worthless when cannot be compared to your plan of frames manufacturing; show us 1.000 cars and depending when we will see them on the road we may have some better opinions 3. We know you are working very hard to make things happening. Kudos to you. However this is probably the most difficult industry in the world and one of the most ruthless, one where money+good ideas+hard work are not enough to survive, let alone succeed (although obviously they help). So good luck and keep pushing, but you are not there yet (and actually you are still a bit far...) 4. Please ask your PR department to stop with this kind of BS: it works with Tesla-fan-boys, but it is like shooting on your foot with everybody else. Wish you success.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Two big thumbs up well done.
      Jon
      • 2 Years Ago
      1000 frames. How many cars? Really cant wait to see cars steadily flowing from this plant. Exciting time for electric cars.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jon
        "How many cars?" That's the big Solyandra / A123 / Aptera-sized question, isn't it?
          kidcharlemgne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @SVX, and to think, you used to have a reasonably enlightened reputation. Avast knave, I call fey trickery on your attempt to cast aspersions based on antithetical analogies! (phew that was a lot of alliteration)
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Oooooooooo, SVX....thou shalt not....
      King Edward VIII
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Marcopolo, regarding your question, I love English culture and I think that you need an immense character, courage and a clear mind to drop a world of privileges and the possibility to transfer them to your sons and daughters in order to follow something that you value above everything, the love of a woman.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congratulations!! Now get back to work, you have 13,000 more customers waiting to get their car. And crank up production to 80 to 100 cars a day while you're at it. Hit full production capacity and then we'll celebrate. The scene from "Star Wars" comes to mind. "Great kid! Don't get cocky."
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unlike Fisker they are taking the time to slowly ramp up. And when they find a problem they stop things to fix it. I am sure a year from now they will be going along much faster. This isn't like an existing car manufacturer launching a new vehicle. This is a whole new car company.
      Anne
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Tesla Model S is NOT a six-figure sedan. Only fully loaded, before the tax credit can you just arrive at a little over $100,000. But in reality, nobody categorizes a vehicle according to the highest possible price for the top-of-the-line model. But of course, in the name of exaggeration, the petrol heads make an exception for EV's.
        AnOutsider
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        To be fair, the first off the line will likely all be 6 figures. The Sig edition isn't cheap (it's actually more expensive than a similarly equipped non-sig car), and when you add in taxes, Tesla's fees and whatnot, you do climb up north of 100k.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AnOutsider
          Signature models are sold out. You and the journo's should stick to the official price list, which starts at $ 50 k. And now you're adding in taxes, registration fee's etc. Since when did that became common practice? Oh wait, since Tesla started selling cars. Silly me.
          pmpjunkie01
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AnOutsider
          Even the Signature series is sub 100k, you were able to get it for $93,000 fully loaded and with a wall charger. The only S sold for six figures was a fully loaded Signature performance with wall charger. So Anne is right, it is not a six figure car and the average price is definitely below six figures. Is it clear now who the hypocrite is?
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AnOutsider
          @ Anne, you're just another hypocrite, eh? Tesla shouldn't be held to industry norms for reporting, and someone accounting for the actual average price isn't right, either. Whatever happened to fact-based reality and information?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Well, until they actually start selling cheaper versions, it is limited to being a six-figure sedan for now.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          No it isn't. You can order any model you want, also the $50 k version. It won't be built until next summer, but that's a different story.
        King Edward VIII
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Anne... it's an exaggeration also to communicate frames and not cars, don't you think? Considering the issues TSLA is facing in this period (totally expected byt many outsiders but definitely not unsurmountable), communicating the number of frames when they have issues in producing the cars sound a bit like trying to focus people's attention to something that doesn't really matter... It's not about being a petrolhead, it's about being objective.
          Sean
          • 2 Years Ago
          @King Edward VIII
          If they said they had built 1000 cars that would be an exaggeration. Calling 1000 frames 1000 frames is not an exaggeration. Perhaps the word you are looking for is 'distracting' (though even that is a stretch in my opinion).
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        The entire point of this article is the first 1000 sedans. The first 1000 are all Signature models. So in the context of this article, it is not an exaggeration to call them six figure sedans and it is far more accurate then calling them $50,000 sedans.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Uh . . . OK. That is an odd milestone to celebrate. How about finishing them up?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I am glad you said that spec, I was wondering the same thing. I mean, good for them, but if GM, for example, said the had enough tires for 100,000 Volts....well... My excitement level would be muted.... Hope you are well today. Anyone out there from the north east? Good luck to those who are! Even Ford... ;)
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @ EZEE I'd like to second your sentiments in relation to those suffering in the North Eastern US.
        pmpjunkie01
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I think they are trying to beat GM with the Volt in the category "press releases per car sold" :-)
        SublimeKnight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I hear its too late to cancel the cake for the 3,000th sun visor, but they're considering cancelling the celebration for the 5,000th side view mirror.
      chechnya
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sure are a lot of robots for 1,000 cars. We keep giving Tesla money.. might be time to audit where the money is going.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chechnya
        The government loaned Tesla $465 million. The $10 million grant was given by the California Energy Comission as a grant to promote the electrification of transportation. We are no longer giving Tesla any more money unless some other government agency decides to do so. That would be their choice to do so. Each program has it's own auditing built into it. This article is about the production rate. On the TMC they are speculating that this week they reached 250 cars. The posters there think that Tesla is on track to hit full production of 400 to 450 cars per week by the end of the year. We shall see. They have 200 more Canadian Signatures to make, then 500 Roadster owners Model S's, then they begin general production which has 12,000+ cars still to go. They are selling about 50 cars a day currently.
        ElectricAvenue
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chechnya
        So if Tesla continues to produce cars, as naturally they would with a backlog of over 10,000 orders, will you be back here in a few months to say "Sure are a lot of robots for 10,000 cars" ?
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      In the past i have been supportive of various governments providing loan guarantees, to companies producing new technology. But this latest $10 million is part of a $51,000,000, 'gift' to Tesla Motors ! Tesla Motors is a commercial enterprise, the creation of a very rich billionaire, and operates for the future profit of Elon Musk and his shareholders. If the State of California purchased $50 million dollars worth of shares in Tesla, provided a loan guarantee, or invested in charging infrastucture, I could understand the rationale. This $51,000,000 is a non-recoverable grant or 'gift' ! California's finances are not that prosperous that it can afford 'gift's' of $51,000,000, to billionaires ! Even more disturbing is that the State of California will have to borrow this $51,000,000 ! I'm not sure that the patients enduring third world conditions in Californian public hospitals, the desperately underpaid emergency services people, the poor, the homeless, underprivileged, the children who are dying for a lack of adequate public spending on life saving medical equipment and technology, teachers in schools that Guatemala would consider substandard, and a hundred other urgent demands on public investment, will feel good to know that the the State government would rather spend borrowed money on rewarding billionaires! (no matter if some people consider Elon a Candidate for Sainthood). I wonder if the elderly poor, in cruelly deprived conditions, but who spent their entire lives building the State of California, (including to veterans who defended it), are content to spend their twilight years in poverty so that the State they spent all their lives working for can 'give' a billionaire, $51,000,000 to build a $100,000 dollar automobile ? This grant is reprehensible ! It's not an incentive, it's little more than a bribe or payoff. ! No amount of excuse about 'employment' or 'environment' can justify such a waste of public money ! Lend, invest, sure, ..but just donate ?
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        TSLA will use this money to hire more employees and they will pay income taxes, sales taxes and gas taxes(until they can afford their own model S). The state will also collects 7.25% sales tax on every roadster sold in the state. The state of California will make millions off of a successful TSLA so giving them a little money now to grow their business will literally pay for itself.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I'm as pro Tesla as it gets but I get where you're coming from on this. I understand your frustration and the only thing I have to say here is that it isn't Tesla's fault. As far as I know, the California government is going to give this money to someone since it is earmarked. In a weird way I'm glad that it's going to help Tesla succeed and I want them to succeed so I think the money isn't wasted. But you're right that there are plenty of other programs that could use the money for other more important things than assisting Tesla to make their third car. This is definitely where financial conservatives have the right to point fingers at governmental wasteful spending. Though where did the extra $41 million come from? You didn't explain that and I hadn't heard of it before.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal, Damn ! How embarrassing, now I can't find where I got the 51 million from ! (Hmmmm..... see, Elon Musk's PR team got to it first...! conspiracy,.. rant, snort, rant,) Still, $ 20 or $50, it's this kind of wasteful spending that provides critics with valid ammunition to curtail all government support programs. It also gives right wing troglodytes, the opportunity to attack genuine grants for things like medical research, legal aid, and other worthy non-profit causes. I'm surprised that Romney's campaign didn't focus on instances like this to embarrass the incumbent, rather than more easily defended government actions. Had I been Romney, I would have had myself filmed standing in a derelict, overcrowded, old veterans home, asking the President why he feels , young, healthy billionaires need $20 million of the taxpayers money, more than the men and women who served their nation so valiantly, only to be forgotten by a feckless young President who cares more about his young, and rich friends ? It would be hard for opponents to attack Romney's wealth, given the Romney family's long term major charitable donations to aged care facilities. (old people vote too ! and their relatives) Ah, politics ! :)
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          I agree that this is much better fodder for the wasteful spending crowd to harp on. It wouldn't work for Romney since it was a state program and not a federal one. It did come from stimulus money but it's too far removed to be useful for accusations at that level. Speaking of veterans, I personally think it's shameful that our federal government couldn't get a damn bill passed that would allow military training to be used toward getting a civilian job. Hopefully the government steps up in that area. I would have much rather this money go to help those veterans be able to get a job.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          I still only saw the $10 million as part of the grant. A bunch of others businesses get money to help buy some propane trucks. The most realistic expenditure/gift was for a bunch of propane powered school buses. It did seem like $20 million, the overall grant program, in government wasteful spending. It was part of the overall national stimulus package of which $500 million was given to the CEC.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal I agree, if the State of California wants to donate to Tesla, the Tesla board of directors would be very irresponsible to refuse ! The fault lies with a wasteful and irresponsible government. If you click on the blue highlighted words " it will get $10 million" it will take you to the total Tesla grant reference. The full article makes much of how responsible the government agency is to insist on matching private funds as a condition. Hey, I'll match California with investment funds if I get to keep the entire investment ! There is also the issue of California ''guaranteeing" one business a profit, at the expense of others.
        Maddoxx
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        That's what I've been saying all along, this government money shouldn't be used to prop up private companies, it should be used on community services and education.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Maddoxx
          @ Maddoxx Not quite what I'm saying ! I support governments sponsoring development, or providing incentives for emerging industry. My dispute is the method of support, not the principle !
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Maddoxx
          @Maddoxx If you're talking about the whole "winners and losers" argument then watch the following which deconstructs that very nicely: http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-october-25-2012-nancy-pelosi
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Disingenuous at best. California will spend less than half a billion on business, transportation and housing, but will spend 25 billion on Health and Human services. If there is a problem for the people of California the best way fix that is to go after the graft in Health and Human services, which likely amounts to way more than 51 million. They spend 38 billion on education. So of their 91 billion dollar budget they spend 70% on health and human services and education. Adding 51 million to that total would not change that by even 1%. But you paint a very emotional picture for the weak minded.
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