This summer Tesla’s Fremont factory shut down for several weeks to perform a series of tooling upgrades to allow for expanded production. With those upgrades completed and production of the upgraded 2014 Model S underway, the electric automaker has detailed the production facility upgrades, as well as the X-Men comic character names they assigned to their favorite robots.
Though the Tesla Model S has quickly become one of the most popular plug-in cars you can buy, and it should come close to selling 35,000 vehicles in 2014, it still represents just a tiny fraction of new car sales. In order to become a global force for change in the auto industry, the electric automaker will have to build hundreds of thousands more vehicles (which it plans to do in short order). Tesla says its new equipment will help increase production by another 50% in 2015, which should put Tesla over 50,000 sales for the year though short of their 75,000 unit goal (most likely due to delays with the Model X).
Once again demonstrating some true nerd credentials, the Tesla blog post reveals that workers assigned famous X-Men names like Wolverine, Storm, and Beast to heavy-lifting robots while Professor X stands at the head of the assembly line. Tesla also increased the efficiency of its production line to allow about 1,000 cars a week to come together, claiming that with a few minor adjustments there’s capacity for even more production.
A section of the factory has even been cordoned off specifically for production of the Dual Motor all-wheel drive Model S, which the automaker apparently expects to make up a decent chunk of business. Meanwhile Tesla continues to have the highest revenue-per-employee in the auto industry, demonstrating to the rest of the world that you can indeed make money off of electric cars.
Beyond the practical updates, Tesla also installed new skylights and LED lighting systems, as well as painting the previously-grey walls a bright white color to liven things up. There’s even a wall covered in illustrations showing the various looks the Fremont factory Tesla currently inhabits, as a reminder of both the factory’s past and its bright future.
The future is certainly looking good for the world’s pre-eminent electric automaker.