Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a company-wide meeting earlier this week that the automaker’s Fremont Factory is now the largest automotive plant in North America — reports Electrek.
The publication was able to obtain a recording of Musk’s comments during the meeting.
“We are now the biggest car factory in North America. That’s pretty sick,” the billionaire CEO said during the meeting, which was held at the Fremont facility. “Sometimes people are surprised like ‘Tesla is making cars in the Bay Area?’ – yeah not only we do, but we have the biggest car factory in North America.”
Musk told employees in a Saturday email that the Fremont plant hit a daily production record this week. Fremont currently produces Tesla’s entire selection of electric vehicles — the Model 3, Model Y, Model S, and Model X.
Tesla’s Fremont factory has a long and arduous history. The site started as a General Motors car assembly plant in 1962. It was closed down in 1982, before being reopened as a joint venture between GM and Toyota in 1984. Tesla ultimately bought the factory from Toyota and GM in 2010.
The site, which Toyota and GM called New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) produced over 8 million vehicles between 1984 and 2010. Annual production peaked at 428,633 units in 2006.
Musk added that Fremont has already exceeded production numbers from its tenure under Toyota and GM. What’s more, the Tesla CEO believes it still has room to grow.
“We also recently exceeded the number of cars produced from when it was a Toyota/GM factory and I think we even have the potential to beat that number by 50%.”
Being over half a century old, Fremont was haphazardly put together as it expanded during GM and Toyota’s ownership, and then Tesla’s. The factory was never even designed to produce the 450,000 units per year that Tesla is handily churning out of it. The maximum annual capacity of Fremont is up to 600,000, according to Tesla’s latest Q1 2022 investor slide deck.
Tesla and Musk have repeatedly acknowledged that Fremont is rife with inefficiencies due to its erratic layout and convoluted assembly line. Fremont is maxed out on space and busy at all hours of operation. Newer factories in Austin, Berlin and Shanghai have been built for efficiency, becoming the machines that build the machine, according to Musk.
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