Tesla Ramps Up Model S Production

By · September 19, 2012

Model S Body

This week, Elon Musk tweeted an image of Model S number 396, claiming Tesla is currently cranking out 100 vehicle bodies per week.

As impressive as the critical response to Tesla’s Model S has been, the company has much bigger plans on the horizon, reaching beyond its newest vehicle or even the three new models Tesla it has confirmed for the coming years.

On September 24, the carmaker will unveil its supercharger network, reportedly capable of charging a Model S to 90 percent capacity in just 45 minutes. Last week, major Tesla investor and ally Tim Draper joked that Detroit automakers should give up on competing with the Silicon Valley start-up and start working on flying cars instead. “You’ve lost the electric-car battle,” quipped Draper. “See if you can win another.”

As ambitious as Tesla’s plans for automotive domination are, the Model S remains an all-important lynchpin to achieving them. As I previously speculated in July, Tesla will have to significantly ramp up production of the car very soon in order to remain on sound financial footing moving forward. Up to this point Tesla has failed do that, producing just a trickle of cars over the last two months, with CEO Elon Musk still personally inspecting every unit that rolls off the line to ensure quality.

Thankfully, it looks like Tesla is moving closer to its goal of 5,000 deliveries by year’s end. As noted by Green Car Reports yesterday, the carmaker plans to bump up production to 80 units this week according to an interview Musk did with Fox Business recently. (Musk says 40 cars were completed last week.) What’s more, the CEO tweeted an image of vehicle number 396, claiming Tesla is currently cranking out 100 vehicle bodies per week.

There is much work to be done before Tesla reaches the 80 unit-per-day production target it’s shooting for by the end of the year. Still, these are very encouraging signs for the company and Tesla’s stock has jumped by more than 10 percent in the last week.

In the Fox Business interview, Musk predicted a “tsunami of hurt” for those who have been shorting Tesla’s stock of late. If the company is able to even come close to hitting its delivery target for the 2012, that tsunami may be approaching shore.

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