Tesla engineering boss Lars Moravy said the Model 3 “landed us in production hell” with various delays and obstacles throughout the construction process hampering the crucial saloon’s roll-out.
But now new methods of vehicle production – first explored during development of the angular, unpainted Cybertruck – are touted as allowing a 40% reduction in factory footprint, cost savings of up to 50% and a drastic reduction in risk of delays at each stage of the production line.
Fundamentally, Tesla will look to minimise the amount of work needed at each stage of the process. For example, the seats will be mounted directly to the underfloor battery pack, with the entire unit then raised up into a bodyshell that has been painted in sections to avoid the need for door removal and reinstallation.
The new process is essentially centred on “only doing things that are necessary”, which is to say avoiding any unnecessary movement or disassembly of the car or its components during its journey down the production line.
All in, Tesla estimates that its new platform will reduce construction cost per vehicle by around $1000 (£830).
Moravy explained that today’s established mass-production processes are based on those pioneered by Henry Ford. “It’s hard to change the car production process after 100 years,” he explained.