Tesla Searches for Model S Production Site, In Race Against Time

· · 10 years ago

Tesla is holding firm to its plan to produce the Model S electric sedan by 2012—despite not yet having chosen a production site. "I'm not denying it's aggressive," said Tesla spokesperson Ricardo ReyesReyes, in an interview with Edmunds.com. "But it's within our plans. We still think it's doable."

The company has been looking at properties for its 51-acre Model S production plant, two of them in California—Downey and Long Beach—and another in another undisclosed location outside California.

Wired recently found a report by the Downey Patriot that emphasizes the time sensitivity of Tesla's situation. The report postulates that Tesla will need to have two 10-hour shifts five days a week to get the job done on schedule. However, Reyes said that that schedule was a worst-case scenario.

Traditional automakers would have difficult producing a new ground-up vehicle in 18 months—but experts believe that Tesla could pull it off, if they use a turn-key approach, if a lot of the vehicle is pre-assembled before reaching Tesla, if they use mostly aluminum instead of steel, and if they are comfortable with very low-volume production.

Photo: Tesla Model S.

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