Published on October 26, 201
by Zachary Shahan
26. October 2019 by Zachary Shahan
I remember a quarterly Tesla conference call a few years ago where that time CFO Deepak Ahuja emphasized quite strongly and clearly that he had worked for many years with another major automaker ( Ford) and had never seen it or any other car manufacturer focus as obsessed or efficient at improving capital efficiency as Tesla does.
Speaking to Tesla President of Automotive Jerome Guillen earlier this year at Tesla's Fremont plant, he discussed for several minutes Tesla's focus on making almost uninterrupted step-by-step improvements in the manufacturing process. Top executives in the company's unique seat factory told CleanTechnica about their efforts to shave milliseconds of certain production processes as part of a continuous effort to become more efficient. Recently, when talking to a Tesla insider, I was told that Jerome was demanding two production improvements a week from employees (at least in previous years, but probably still today). To close out these examples (for the time being), Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke last year about the "game of penny" Tesla was engaged in to bring down production costs for each Model 3 company produced.
I think you get the picture. Capital efficiency is not the sexiest phrase in the industry, but it must be one of the most important. What is noteworthy for Tesla supporters as well as critics is that the company seems to be continuously improving in this matter. Tesla's third-quarter shareholder letter highlighted capital efficiency in several places, but unless you were looking for information on this topic, or you just closely follow producing lingo like this, it might not have jumped out for you. So I thought I had spent some time showing how much Tesla was actually highlighting this topic:
- “We have also dramatically improved the execution rate and capital efficiency of new production lines. Gigafactory Shanghai was built in 10 months and is ready for production, while it was ~ 65% cheaper (capsule per unit unit) than our Model 3 production system in the United States . ”
- “ Model Y equipment installation is underway ahead of the planned launch next year. We move faster than originally planned, using the lessons learned and efficiency gained from our Gigafactory Shanghai factory design. Capex per unit of capacity is predicted to be about 50% lower than our current Model 3 production system in the United States. "
- " While total volumes are expected to grow by about 50% in 2019, this year our focus has been cost control and prepared for our next phase of growth. "
- " … we returned to GAAP profitability in Q3 while generating positive free cash flow. This was possible by removing significant costs from our business . ”
- “ GAAP Automotive gross margin improved by 393bp QoQ to 22.8% (improved by 366bp QoQ excluding regulatory credits). The margin was affected in part due to fundamental improvements in operational efficiency, including higher fixed absorption, reductions in production and material costs and continued improvements in vehicle quality and partly due to Smart Summon-related deferred revenue recognition, currency and other disposable items. . ”
Any other favorite examples of Tesla that improve capital efficiency?
If you want to buy a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X and want 1000 miles of free supercharging, feel free to use my referral code: https: // ts. la / zachary63404 – or use someone else's if you have a friend or family member with a Tesla. I'm not crying. You can also use the code to get a discount on Tesla solar if it interests you.
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Zachary Shahan Zach is trying to help the community to help themselves one word at a time. He spends most of his time here at CleanTechnica as director and chief editor. He is also the CEO of major media . Zach is globally recognized as an electric vehicle, solar energy and energy storage expert. He has presented on cleantech at conferences in India, UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, Canada and Curaçao.
Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] – after many years of coverage of solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he offers no investment advice and do not recommend investing in Tesla or any other company.