Scaling is hard

Most of the design tolerances of the Model 3 are already better than any other car in the world. Soon, they will all be better. This is not enough. We will keep going until the Model 3 build precision is a factor of ten better than any other car in the world. I am not kidding.

Our car needs to be designed and built with such accuracy and precision that, if an owner measures dimensions, panel gaps and flushness, and their measurements don’t match the Model 3 specs, it just means that their measuring tape is wrong.

I’m quoting a quote of Eldon Musk by John Gruber.

But after reading the article and memo I can’t suppress the feeling that people waiting in line (after forking over cash to enter the cue) would be happy with clear delivery times1 and quite satisfied with tolerances on par with current electric cars that are already build at scale2.

In my opinion the real challenge for Tesla (or any car manufacture for that matter) isn’t reaching near perfect build precision but getting to a good enough level at scale.

Tesla taking on the challenge to build 350.000+ model 3’s currently in backorder3 is a marvel on it’s own.

This will play out to be the greatest achievement in automotive history or Tesla being overtaken by the traditional manufactures moving to full electric.

  1. Tesla halts Model 3 production second time this year [return]
  2. In Europe you could have a full electric VW e-Golf on your driveway, two months after you place an order. [return]
  3. Based on quick calculation on numbers provided by Bloomberg [return]