tesla model y bas de caisse unibody

Model Y has few spare parts: this is how Tesla plans to step up production

To speed up production of its cars, Tesla is drastically reducing the number of spare parts. Here is a good example with the Model Y whose last series, released at the end of 2020, benefit from a giant spare part which replaces 17 parts which fulfill the same function in the Model 3. This giant part is manufactured using an oversized machine.

tesla model y unibody rocker panel

In telephony, the arrival of smartphones and large screens in the early 2010s coincided with a new trend in the telephone industry: unibody chassis. The idea was relatively simple: reduce the number of spare parts to speed up and simplify manufacturing. In addition, the smartphone felt more solid once in hand. The first unibody smartphone is the HTC One, released in 2013.

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Reducing the number of spare parts is an industrial technique adaptable to all sectors which makes it possible to speed up production, reduce the number of weak points and decomplexify parts catalogs for repairs. Here is an example in the automotive sector: the Tesla Model Y, whose standard version, the cheapest, made the news recently. At the start of 2020, Elon Musk shared some information about the manufacture of this car. He said he made a huge part for the Model Y’s rear rocker panel. For comparison, Model 3 uses 17 spare parts in the same location.

A giant industrial machine to create giant parts

To make this part, you need a huge machine. This was installed in the Fremont gigafactory in September 2020. Only three months later, the first Tesla Model Y equipped with the spare part in question were on American roads. One of the car’s buyers posted a photo of the part on Twitter. You can see the bare rear of the Model Y there. And the gray rocker panel, installed in the body slot. The owner confirms that he received his Tesla on December 23, 2020.

So it took three months only between the installation of the machine in Fremont and the leaving the factory of this car. Three months to complete the machine, produce the sill and integrate this part into the manufacturing process. It’s a great performance. And Tesla will certainly strengthen this industrial strategy. On the one hand in all its factories, since the gigafactories in Shanghai, Berlin and Austin. And on the other hand for all these models, including the Model S 2021 recently discovered in a video.