Tesla’s next-generation Model Y from Giga Berlin in Germany may redefine “German engineering.” A Tweet from CEO Elon Musk shows the company aims to improve build quality down to the micron, a unit of measurement that is equivalent to one-thousandth of a millimeter.
“German engineering” is a phrase that has been around for decades and commonly refers to the precision and accuracy that German products are known for. In the automotive industry’s history, German vehicles have highly been regarded as the most luxurious, highest quality cars that money can buy. In the early years of industry and engineering, Germany had the best machines and the most advanced processes for building basically anything, but cars were the specialty. Strict standards and an attitude that aimed toward perfection made German vehicles the cream of the crop in the automotive industry.
This theory still holds true in today’s industry in many ways. While other companies and other regions have highly effective processes for vehicle manufacturing, Germany still has a certain mystique about it. With brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW, three of the most luxurious brands in the automotive market today, German engineering still holds a high standard.
However, Tesla has plans to reinvent the wheel when speaking about the term “German engineering.” In the last 18-or-so months since Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s first European Gigafactory would be in Germany, many developments have hinted toward Giga Berlin being the most advanced and most sophisticated factory that Tesla has in its arsenal. From a new, world-class paint facility to some of the most accurate automated machinery on the planet, Tesla is pulling out all the stops to keep up with Germany’s best brands.
In a Tweet earlier today, Musk said that Tesla is aiming for “extreme precision” with the next-gen Model Y. The company will aim for microns of accuracy, not millimeters, as Tesla aims to continue refining its manufacturing processes to make some of the highest-quality vehicles on Earth.
Aiming for extreme precision with next gen Model Y – microns, not millimeters
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2021
In the past, Tesla has been criticized for poor build quality with some of its vehicles. Some owners have highlighted panel gaps or paint quality issues with their vehicles, which has led to an overwhelming misconception that Tesla produces lackluster vehicles. The truth is that all vehicle manufacturers have issues with build quality from time to time. Things as simple as an increased production rate can affect the quality of a vehicle. Some, however, like automotive veteran Sandy Munro, have stated that Tesla’s build quality has improved significantly over the years. Munro went from highly critical of the Model 3 during a teardown several years ago to overwhelmingly impressed with the new builds of the car.
“This car has improved significantly,” Munro said. “The paint is great; it’s very impressive.”
The accuracy that Tesla is aiming for with the next-gen all-electric Model Y crossover is extremely precise. A micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter, so it’s a unit that is not necessarily visible to the human eye. If Tesla can refine its manufacturing lines in Berlin to reach this level, the definition of German engineering may once again be reconfigured to include Tesla’s near-perfect build quality.