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2013-07-12 10:34

ONE STEP AHEAD: Electric-car maker Tesla says it won't miss its production target in 2013 as its already building 400 Model S units a week. Image: Wheels24

DETROIT, Michigan - Tesla Motors is on a new roll after missing a production deadline in 2012, now the automaker is building more than 400 cars a week as demand for the Model S grows.

The Detroit News has reported that CEO Elon Musk said: "We’re above 400 a week at current manpower... and not trivially above it. In late 2014 the pace is going to be 800 a week. I’m very confident we’ll get there."

the DetNews also reported that Tesla missed a 5000-unit delivery goal for 2012, causing huge fourth-quarter losses after the company had to add temporary workers and resolve supplier snags.

This time around, the battery-car maker says, the company will reach an output goal of 21 000 for 2013 as deliveries to Europe and Asia started July.


Shares of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla have tripled this year as the popularity of its R690 900 Model S sedan helped bring a 2013 first-quarter profit, the company’s first. Tesla hasn’t yet said when it will release second-quarter results.

Bloomberg analysts estimate the automaker may report a second-quarter loss of 17c/share, excluding some items.

Musk said the Tesla factory had 3000 employees, 2000 of them assembly-line workers, with two daily production shifts.

Tesla’s only plant is a 45 000 square-metre factory and it’s had multiple lives. It opened in the early 1960's as a facility for the predecessor of General Motors and closed in 1982. From 1984-09 it operated as a joint-venture plant for GM and Toyota .

Tesla bought the idled factory in 2010 and started building cars there in 2012.


Musk said the company hoped one day to reach a production level of 500 000 vehicles a year as the model range increases. “We're going to have every kind of car you could possibly imagine. If it moves, we’ll make it."

Additions include the Model X sport bakkie due in late 2014 and a sedan to be introduced later that’s smaller and cheaper than the Model S, and a compact SUV.

Under Musk’s direction, Tesla repaid a US Energy Department loan nine years ahead of schedule to the equivalent of R4.6-billion. Tesla also said in May its first-quarter profit was aided by an equivalent of R679-million in California zero-emission vehicle credits to companies it didn’t name.

Musk said in a May 2013 conference call that Tesla was projecting such credit sales would drop in the second quarter and could disappear in 2013’s second half.

Read more on:    tesla  |  elon musk  |  detroit

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