In June 2012, at a newly acquired factory in Fremont, Tesla began production of Model S. The beginning of mass production is the most difficult stage a company needs to overcome in order to survive and continue development. At the beginning of Q3 2012, Tesla was able to reach a production capacity of five vehicles per week. However, this was only the beginning. By the end of the quarter, the company was able to produce 100 vehicles per week.
"The third quarter was a fundamental turning point for Tesla as we successfully transitioned to a mass-production car company, growing from manufacturing 5 cars per week at the beginning of the quarter to 100 cars per week by the end."
With each new day, Tesla developed and increased production. In Q3 2012, the company produced less than 350 cars, but after one year, in Q3 2013, the company was able to produce about 5,500 units, approximately 1,470% more than the year before.
In subsequent years, Tesla's production numbers continued to rise. In Q3 2014, the company produced 7,075 cars, and in Q3 2015, which included the launch of Model X production, Tesla produced 13,091.
In July 2017, Tesla began production and sales of Model 3. Over the year, the company was able to significantly increase its production capacity, and already in Q3 2018, the company produced an incredibly large number of vehicles for the first time, 80,142, compared to 25,336 in Q3 2017. This is approximately 6,200 cars per week, which was a huge achievement for the manufacturer.
After 11 years in the market, Tesla ranked as the world's best-selling plug-in and battery electric passenger car manufacturer in 2019, with a market share of 17% in the plug-in segment and 23% in the electric vehicle segment. Tesla's global vehicle sales rose 50% from 245,240 units in 2018 to 367,849 units in 2019.
In 2020, the company surpassed the 1 million electric vehicle production mark and its Model 3 became the world's best-selling plug-in electric vehicle.
Tesla produced 145,036 vehicles in Q3 2020, which equates a production capacity of approximately 11,150 vehicles per week. This is also the first time that made-in-Giga Shanghai vehicles have been included in Q3 results.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has gone through the entire process from prototyping to mass production, knows very well what it really means to achieve mass production.
"Prototypes are a piece of cake, but high volume production of a new technology is extremely hard. Takes much longer than people think to climb the production S-curve. I can't emphasize enough that production is by * far * the hard part.
"Bringing a new product to volume production is 1% inspiration & 99% perspiration. You do still need that critical seed of inspiration, but it's fun & takes ~ 100 people. Production takes> 10,000 people & hurts like hell until the gigantic cybernetic collective runs smoothly."
© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.