I'm not fast enough to do a full transcript, but I did take some notes. Sharing them, in case it's of interest to others.
Delivered 10 in the quarter. Produced a few more. Focus was for test drives, etc.
Made a total of 40 production vehicles so far. Production is ramping quite well. Steps up in geometric or exponential fashion, not linear.
100 [powertrain] units, start of ramp
About 130-140 Roadsters left to sell. Expect sell out by EOY.
It is normal in auto industry for exponential growth in production.
About 97-98% components are new for Model S.
Personally inspecting the cars whenever I can.
I changed the production ramp to slow it down at the beginning and ramp up faster towards the end.
Deliberately up-front planned for 500 units [in Q3].
I think it's probably that we will produce more than 500 units [in Q3].
Imagine the production ramp as a quite sharp S curve.
One of the things that I've been really emphatic about is that in 2013 we'll produce at least 20,000 units and the gross margin will exceed 25% [and a
third thing but I type too slow]....
[Regarding production slow-down]
100 little things...
- Chrome plating of the door handles had tiny pits, so switched to a different plating supplier
- Banana leaf interior trim sample looked good, but car didn't look good
Decisions are made w/r/t ensuring the product is the best possible product.
We do not have a demand problem.
One of the biggest reasons people don't put down a reservation is because you have to wait a year... 10 months.
["Who from the competitive standpoint is closest to Tesla, and how far behind are they?"]
Next best are the powertrains we provide to our partners.
After that you fall a long way... Leaf I guess. Range issues. Not as fun to drive.
Nissan should double-down on EV investments, and improve the product.
People are buying our car because it's the best car, when you look at the characteristics - aesthetics, safety, handling, performance, user interface,
functionality, technology, fit and finish.... Evaluating the car as a product.
["10 cars a week now... average 40 a week in 3Q... and then ramp average to 375 in 4Q... more of a switch than ramp. That vertical portion of the S curve
would have to happen early in 4Q, which would imply way over rate of 20k a year at the end of the year...exit rate in 3rd or entry rate in 4Q?"]
You're right... we will be at a higher production rate than 20k at the end of the year.
Anticipating a September event.... I'm really excited about that announcement. Way cooler than anyone realizes. I think it's going to have a profound
effect on how the public sees electric vehicles. There will be a few surprises.
For the battery... similar language to Nissan... warrantied for 8 years and mileage depending on version.
We're expecting the packs to have a usable life somewhere around double the warranty level.
Once you put a new pack in the car it will be better than new.
[What type of flexibility for additional personnel, overtime, etc. in production line to meet production goals.]
Could comfortably have a production great that's 50% greater than 20k.
At the end of next year, pretty good likelihood we'll have a 30k run rate.
We have flexibility. Overtime. Second shift. Depending on the demand, we have flexibility.
["When do you expect starting to pay back DOE loan?"]
We are required to pay it back no later than December.
Quarterly payments thereafter.
Our goal with the stores is try to address some new markets. Northeast corridor.
This year... hitting the hottest spots we have demand already.
Focusing on places where we know there is existing demand, and build more.
Traffic in the stores has been incredible. Over a million people through the new design stores.
I have a goal to have a million people go through our stores in December alone.
Tesla is not a demand constrained company. Production constrained... Address that, but not at the expense of quality.
[more on the production ramp]
There are several thousand unique parts are fine. ~97% are fine.
A couple dozen suppliers where we have some challenges. Fix the supplier, bring it internal, or get a different supplier.
Not big things. Ridiculously silly things. Piece of carpet. Piece of molding on the dash doesn't intersect properly with another piece.
Little things that are extremely annoying.
Almost all of them are interior, soft trimmish.
Keep refining to make sure that the gaps and fit are as close to perfection as physics will allow.
Beefed up our interior trim engineering group.
The gaps. How well things shut. Want to set a new industry standard how things fit.
[regarding capital raising]
We probably shouldn't comment at this time.
But...we will not be raising money in the immediate future.
["How are reservations converting into final order numbers?"]
~1,000 fully configured, finalized, locked in
Invited Sig in U.S. only.
About 10 days ago, first group of general production U.S.
This week, next traunch of general production U.S.
Then Canada Sig, Canada general production.
["commentary with low reservation numbers...October...Q1... What do you make of it?"]
I wouldn't read too much into the message boards.
I monitor them, watch them on a daily basis.
[200 founder series rumor] I responded, and shut it down.
In April, the paperwork and system spit out a date as if it was a firm date. We're correcting that.
[on the topic of what "sold out" means or would mean for 2013]
We never plan to have inventory.
Our goal is to have 3-4 months of reservations at any given time.
[incremental demand from ongoing nationwide tour?]
We're seeing demand acceleration without trying.
We don't have a Model S at all in Europe or Asia... and we're sold out of Signature in EU.
Certainly *not* demand issues with the Model S.