Having started making cars only in the 21st century, Tesla’s factories do not have the legacy ‘baggage’ that was from an earlier era of manufacturing. It has been able to start up with equipment and processes for making only electric vehicles, thus optimising investments.
Obviously, state-of-the-art equipment is used at Tesla’s Giga factory and it has been reported that a Model Y can be completed in just 45 seconds. But before you are amazed, Ford – the originator of the assembly line in the auto industry – can make a F-150 pick-up truck in 53 seconds.
‘Most Beautiful Store’
At the new Tesla Giga Lab Concept Store – which the company boasts to be ‘Most Beautiful Store in Chengdu’, a robot shows the process of putting together a car. Though it seems simplified for the purpose of the showcase, the processes actually follow that at the Giga factory in Shanghai which began operations in 2019. Thus it is also possible to complete a unit of the Model 3 within 45 seconds.
The opening of this store does not signal any change in Tesla’s business model which dispensed with franchised dealerships and took the interaction between manufacturer and customer online. The direct sales concept not only saves money for Tesla but also gives it total control over the whole transaction process. With money saved, it has invested in other vital elements to boost its sales, especially the Supercharger network.
Disruptive but influential
That Tesla’s approach, disruptive to the auto industry, have worked well are now encouraging carmakers to also move towards greater involvement in the sales process and using dealers only for the final parts of delivery and aftersales support.