That darling of the electric car world, Tesla, is idling production at its factory in Fremont, CA, for the first time in order to expand the factory in preparation for its future Model X crossover. The $100-million renovation will add 25 robots and upgrades to the body shop and assembly line to support the new vehicle.

Since it will be offering two models simultaneously, Tesla will need to be able to keep up with the pace of demand. "This represents the single biggest investment in the plant since we really started operations and enables us for higher volumes," said Tesla spokesperson Simon Sproule to Bloomberg. The new robots will be able to boost production by 25 percent and will allow the automaker to build the Model S and Model X on the same assembly line. There won't be too much downtime at the California plant, though. The upgrades will be finished within the next two weeks.

With these factory updates, the Model X may finally get its electrically powered wheels on the road. The CUV has been delayed multiple times since its announcement. It was originally supposed to be on sale in early 2014, then later in the year, but now the latest news from Elon Musk places the crossover's launch in the second quarter of 2015.

Until the Model X is on sale, the renovations should also provide a nice lift in Model S assembly. In the company's first quarter financial report, Tesla said that it expected the sedan's production rate to grow from about 700 cars per week to 1,000 per week by the end of the year, with the expectation of selling a total of 35,000 of them in 2014. That should help quell demand in new markets like the UK and expansion in Europe.


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  • 62 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 5 Months Ago
      UGGGGHHHH... NEW Comment system.
        Joeviocoe
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        And not even an edit feature???!!! I think they did this just to mess with me... because I wrote a kickass script that enables an edit feature. Autoblog Comments Enhancer (ACE) v1.0.0 - bit.ly/Autoblog_Comments So they are just changing things around to break my browser extension.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Exactly. No frickin' edit feature. What's the darned point of this?
      Grendal
      • 5 Months Ago
      Disqus is so much better than this annoying craziness.
      rcavaretti
      • 5 Months Ago
      What just happened to the AB posting system? Ugly.
      Joeviocoe
      • 5 Months Ago
      And not even an edit feature???!!! I think they did this just to mess with me... because I wrote a kickass script that enables an edit feature. Autoblog Comments Enhancer (ACE) . So they are just changing things around to break my browser extension.
        DarylMc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Hi Joeviocoe It's hard to imagine they have done this because of your work to make a better comment system but boy am I hanging out for the Model X release and some interesting information here. Auto Blog/ Green Autoblog is going to see some increased traffic when that vehicle is released.
        MTN RANGER
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        The message duplication feature is working as expected!
      danfred311
      • 5 Months Ago
      btw, this commenting system is way too space wasting. Arrange it so it can be nearly single line so you can see a lot of comments at the same time, not have to scroll a tone and load new comments all the time.
      purrpullberra
      • 5 Months Ago
      This new comment system by Autoblog is great... for me to POOP on! :-)
      purrpullberra
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'm excited that the next big jump in production is just weeks away. No major problems or delays means business as usual at Tesla. It's still astonishing how well they've done to get to this point.
      Avinash Machado
      • 5 Months Ago
      All the best,Tesla.
      Grendal
      • 5 Months Ago
      If you try and buy a Model S right now, you won't get it until October. At 1000 cars per week, there are over 9000 people waiting on their car. There are 17K pre-orders in place for the Model X. Just something to keep in mind when you read comments and articles trying to say that demand has dropped off.
        SublimeKnight
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        Another thought, IF I was trying to mask a drop in demand, I would definitely mess with the estimated delivery date of ordered cars. This is a well known way that people gauge the waiting list, yet isn't something the SEC could get them on if it was false. Plus no one ordering would complain if they got their Model S early.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @SublimeKnight
          So Tesla is into masking something that has to told to everyone every three months? That makes no sense. What for? The bloody stock price? Tesla is in it for the long haul not short term wins and losses. This is the first time Tesla has slowed production in quite a long while. They have been increasing production at a breakneck pace for two years now. But I'm supposed to believe that someone "feeling" that demand is slowing and Tesla needs to cover it up is more credible. Nope. That's as silly as those that were proclaiming Tesla's doom in November of 2012. It didn't happen then, it isn't happening now unless someone has some realistic proof.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @SublimeKnight
          It's as goofy as those people that constantly harp that Tesla is losing money. The clear evidence is that they are not. If you need money then you do things to increase your profit margin. Tesla is doing none of those things and are instead doing things that show that they aren't hurting for money.
          Chris
          • 5 Months Ago
          @SublimeKnight
          Well they probably are trying to fix their engine problem, search for milling. When some people have gone through multiple "engines" there is a problem
          SublimeKnight
          • 5 Months Ago
          @SublimeKnight
          The only way I can figure this doesn't point to a dropping demand, is if it's a battery supply issue. In which case, why not come with that info? Unless their silence about battery supply issues was part of the Panasonic/Gigafactory agreement.
          Val
          • 5 Months Ago
          @SublimeKnight
          How about the SEC catching them on their quarterly sales numbers?
      Eggmania
      • 5 Months Ago
      RIP center dash. giant ipad its your time to shine
      Koenigsegg
      • 5 Months Ago
      Uh oh, now the greatest SUV is about to be made... the industry is shook!
      CruzControl
      • 5 Months Ago
      It's almost time for my shares to skyrocket again ;)
        offib
        • 5 Months Ago
        @CruzControl
        You have TSLA shares? Lucky, vuckin bastard.
          CruzControl
          • 5 Months Ago
          @offib
          yes. I bought in at $77 a share last year. It's been a roller coaster ride every since.
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