The Tesla Fremont factory's expansion project hints at a new Model Y assembly line. According to the public records of the City of Fremont, Tesla filed a planning project named GA4.5 Expansion for its Fremont factory. The current status of Tesla’s GA4.5 expansion project is “Ready to Assign,” which hints that it hasn’t been fully approved yet.
News of the EV automaker’s GA4.5 expansion project in Fremont first broke last year. According to Bloomberg, Tesla had filed a permit application for a new assembly line in its Fremont factory.
Four assembly lines were running in the Fremont factory before Tesla had to temporarily suspend activity due to the pandemic that has spread in the United States. Two of the assembly lines are dedicated to Model 3 production. As such, it would make sense that the new assembly line would be named GA5, however, Tesla’s latest vehicle—the Model Y—shares at least 70% of its parts with the Model 3.
So maybe Tesla didn’t need a whole new assembly line for the Model Y like the EV automaker did when it switched its focus from Models S and X production to the Model 3. This may be the reason the Model Y assembly line was named GA4.5.
It must be noted, however, that Tesla has not confirmed whether the new assembly line will be dedicated to the Model Y. Although there is strong evidence to support the idea.
Tesla’s dedicated Model Y assembly line was mentioned in early 2019 when the company started preparing to produce its all-electric SUV crossover. Elon Musk and Jerome Guillen talked a bit about certain changes Fremont was undergoing for Model Y activity during Tesla’s Q2 2019 Earnings Call as shown in a transcript recorded by The Motley Fool.
“Well, we are reconfiguring the floorspace at Fremont. And there’s quite a lot of factory space that’s probably taken up with the S/X parts warehousing, parts for the S/X line and we don’t really need that, so that’s where we’re putting a lot of the Model Y activity. Jerome, do you want to add?” replied Elon Musk to a question about whether Tesla was planning on reconfiguring the floorspace in Fremont.
Jerome Guillen added: “Yeah, we’re improving the material delivery for S and X just like we have done for Model 3 using some radical improvements. We reduced production part warehousing costs by again 90%, 9-0, since Q3 last year, and so we’re making a lot of room. We have -- we are much more efficient with parts delivery and helps that going in production actually.
"And so that space that we’ve cleared out, I’m looking at it right now in Fremont, which is going to put Model Y stuff in there. So if you visit the factory from, I would say every six months, you’d have a hard time recognizing and finding your way. It’s constantly changing and evolving,” he said.
It appears that Musk and Guillen were talking about Tesla’s GA4.5 Expansion project at the time. If the new assembly line were dedicated to Model Y parts, it would likely increase Tesla Fremont’s efficiency. The quality of the Model Y could improve over time as it becomes more efficient and organized. Tesla started Model Y deliveries last month, which may have contributed to its stellar Q1 2020 results.
Featured Image Credit: TeslaFollow @PurplePanda88