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Tesla is considering a significant expansion of its Fremont Factory

The Tesla Fremont factory. (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla’s Fremont Factory could have its production capacity increased, according to CEO Elon Musk. Tesla is “considering expanding [Fremont] significantly,” Musk said in a Tweet last night.

Following Musk’s heavily publicized jab at President Joe Biden on Tuesday night for not mentioning Tesla in the State of the Union Speech with the likes of Ford and GM, who received Biden’s praise for electric vehicle projects resulting in employment opportunities. While Biden commended Ford for $11 billion invested and 11,000 new jobs and GM for $7 billion and 4,000 new employment opportunities in Michigan, Musk hit back with a valid point.

“Tesla has created over 50,000 US jobs building electric vehicles & is investing more than double GM + Ford combined,” he said, alerting “the person running this account” to give Tesla more credit.

While Biden finally gave Tesla its praise last month, more public figures are called for the President to give the automaker credit. Former Kiss bassist and co-lead singer Gene Simmons said, “Actually, @elonmusk makes a solid point to Pres @JoeBiden. The President doesn’t mention Tesla, perhaps because Tesla is non-union and moved to Texas, a “right to work” state. Give Elon Musk/Tesla its due. They are game changers and should be heralded.”

Musk clarified Simmons’ comment, stating that Tesla still operates its Fremont facility in Northern California. Tesla did move its headquarters from Palo Alto to Austin, Texas, late last year. In California, Tesla produces all four of its current vehicles, and the plant has been responsible for handling all demand in North America for several years. The Model S and Model X are also shipped from this plant globally, as Gigafactory Shanghai in China, Tesla’s other active manufacturing plant only produces builds of the Model 3 and Model Y.

Musk said that Tesla is considering an expansion of the Fremont Facility, which has 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space already. However, Fremont is responsible for such a substantial piece of Tesla’s manufacturing footprint, that the automaker may need to expand operations at the plant to keep up with demand. While the Texas factory is set to begin deliveries soon and Gigafactory Berlin is rumored to be receiving final approval tomorrow, production at both factories could begin before the end of the quarter. Gigafactory Shanghai is also expected to have its capacity doubled, adding to Tesla’s considerable additions to its manufacturing output

Tesla says its current production output for Fremont is 600,000 vehicles annually: 500,000 Model 3 and Model Y with 100,000 Model S and Model X.

Nevertheless, Tesla will still need more facilities and more manufacturing space. In Fremont over the past several years, Tesla has expanded production lines and made some temporary manufacturing spaces permanent. Tesla’s Sprung Structure, which contained General Assembly line 4.5, was made permanent last Summer, according to filings found by Teslarati.

“This is the final straw,” or is it?

In May 2020, Musk stated that Tesla will move its Headquarters to Texas and its future programs to Texas and Nevada immediately. Unhappy with the treatment at the time, Tesla was working to reopen the factory when the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting businesses nationwide. Musk stated a potential lawsuit against Alameda County would be filed if Tesla’s Northern California facility was not allowed to reopen. Musk said Tesla would move its operations. “If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all,” Musk said, “it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”

Several months later, Musk said that Tesla’s headquarters would remain in California “for the short term.” About fifteen months later, Tesla moved its HQ to Austin.

Evidently, Musk plans to keep Fremont in Tesla’s manufacturing plans and may expand the factory altogether. Interestingly, although Fremont has been a ramped factory for several years and produces all four vehicle models, it contributed less to Tesla’s 2021 delivery figures. Gigafactory Shanghai was responsible for 51.7 percent of all deliveries for Tesla last year, outpacing the Fremont factory.

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Tesla is considering a significant expansion of its Fremont Factory
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