Tesla Motors is different from every other automaker in the world in almost every way, the operative word being “almost”. With production of the Tesla Model X slated to begin this fall, the electric automaker has idled its Fremont factory for retooling the next two weeks, reports Forbes.
Once the retooling is done though, not only will Tesla be able to start building the Model X SUV, but it also hopes to increase overall production by some 25%. During this retooling period though, no new cars will be built, which is sad news for recent buyers still waiting on delivery of their cars.
The retooling will cost about $100 millions, which is less than normal thanks to a series of tax cuts passed by California aimed at landing the Gigafactory. With the goal of delivering at least 35,000 vehicles in 2014, Tesla is aiming for more than a 50% increase over last years sales. if you think that’s ambitious though, wait until you see what Elon Musk has planned for 2015 and beyond.
This retooling situation also shows how fragile Tesla, as an automaker, still is though. With just a single production facility, all work has come to a grinding halt, with most workers either taking vacation time or reporting to the plant for maintenance or training sessions. What would happen to Tesla if the NUMMI facility it shares with Toyota were to be damaged in an earthquake, or a fire broke out?
What I’m saying is that I hope Tesla opens a second factory soon. They’ll have to if they hope to meet demand for the Model III sedan, the $35,000 200-mile electric car that me and the rest of America (at least the blue part) has been waiting for.