THE Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has shaken up management at the Gigafactory, its battery factory outside Reno, Nevada, and is setting new goals for the facility.
Tesla is also traded at B3 via ticker (BOV:TSLA34).
Former Gigafactory VP Chris Lister left Elon Musk’s electric car and clean energy business this summer, and Hrushikesh “Hrushi” Sagar was promoted to manage the Gigafactory, according to audio from Thursday’s meeting and documents. Sagar reports directly to CEO Elon Musk and will also oversee Tesla’s auto assembly plant in Fremont, California, at the same time.
Sagar spoke to a group of hundreds of Gigafactory workers Thursday afternoon about management changes, performance reviews, factory successes and the facility’s new, aggressive goals. He also gave some information about the progress at Tesla’s factories in Austin, Texas, and outside Berlin, Germany.
Sagar briefly addressed Lister’s departure saying, “I really appreciate what Chris Lister has done here, Chris’ contribution. I am very grateful, as is Elon, and Tesla is very grateful for your contribution, but in the meantime we are moving into the next phase.
Gigafactory workers make batteries and powertrains for Tesla’s electric vehicles, as well as large backup batteries, the Powerwall and Megapack, sold by Tesla’s energy division.
During the meeting, Sagar celebrated the fact that Tesla produced about 134,000 cars at its Fremont, California factory in the second quarter of 2022, and said that August was one of the record months for Fremont in terms of production. The Fremont plant now has the capacity to make about 12,000 vehicles a week and is aiming for 14,000 a week, he said.
He also said that the Tesla team in Brandenburg, Germany, recently reached the milestone of being able to produce 1,000 cars in seven consecutive days. Musk recently visited a German factory and the company hopes to ramp up production to crank out 5,000 cars a week by the end of 2022. Previously, Reno had been sending car units to Germany to help with that effort.
Tesla’s new factory in Austin, Texas has also reached a production rate of 1,000 per week.
On the production side of the car unit, the Gigafactory produced 283,473 electric trains in the second quarter of 2022 to “power” the company’s Fremont and Austin plants.
“You all have played a very important role,” Sagar said. “I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” to the Reno team.
New Leaders and Gigafactory Goals
Before joining Tesla in late 2017, Chris Lister spent 22 years in precision manufacturing roles at PepsiCo (PEP, PEPB34). During his tenure at Tesla, the Gigafactory experienced rapid construction and growing pains, including large amounts of scrap, fires and oil spills. But by ramping up production there, he also helped grow Tesla into the best-selling battery-electric car brand in the United States and around the world. Lister and Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Sagar’s new role, according to his LinkedIn profile, is Senior Director of Automotive Operations and Manufacturing Engineering.
Sagar told employees on Thursday that they should think of the Fremont plant as their “customer,” noting that car production there either succeeds or suffers based on the quantity and quality of the Gigafactory’s shipments.
Although Sagar doesn’t plan to spend much of his time in Reno, he plans to work closely with plant leaders, including energy leader Matt Reddick, who joined the company six months ago, and site leader Eric Montgomery, who will rule the day. -Everyday things in Nevada. Other key Gigafactory leaders now include Jeff Jackson, who heads the facility’s infrastructure, and Bert Somsin, the plant’s director of human resources.
At Thursday’s meeting, Montgomery told Gigafactory workers that they need to achieve consistent production of 8,800 high-voltage batteries per week to support Fremont’s new production goals and “further increase in four-wheel models.” He said August 2022 was also the Gigafactory’s second best production month on record, second only to October 2021.
Reddick said Tesla can now produce 42 large Megapack batteries in seven days. The Megapack is the size of a shipping container and is used for utility-scale storage, typically storing excess energy generated from wind or solar.
Tesla aims to produce 442 Megapacks in the third quarter of 2022, representing 85% growth over Megapack production over the past three months.
The Gigafactory also reached and exceeded the production rate of 6,500 Powerwalls per week. Powerwalls are the smallest batteries for home use that CEO Elon Musk recently touted on Twitter amid a massive heat wave in California. The heat wave threatened power outages and prompted the government to urge residents to reduce energy use during peak hours.
Tesla previously required customers who wanted to buy a Powerwall to also buy a solar roof from the company. The Nevada Gigafactory produced 37,600 Powerwalls in the second quarter, Montgomery said, and said installations are on track to increase that by 22% in the third quarter.
As for the facility itself, Jackson suggested a new state-of-the-art water treatment facility that Tesla is building on the site.
“This will eliminate process water runoff from our site, or waste, and allow for the recycling and desalination of 98% of the water,” he said. “It’s a big deal, it’s in line with our mission.”
Jackson also gave an update on the Gigafactory sunroof. “Currently, we have about eight megawatts on the roof that we can use every day, which is very exciting,” said the infrastructure leader.
Tesla also has a new food vendor on site that offers bowls of dial (Hawaiian food), it is building a meditation hall for the workers and improving the roads and installing many electric car chargers along the roads surrounding the facility.
In terms of human resources, employees were encouraged to reduce the number of work hours required to deliver one unit of the product they are building to their teams and to send more “control” notices on how to improve safety and reduce costs. plant
The company is dealing with significant headcount reductions that occurred in the second quarter of this year and is in the process of a thorough performance review, Sagar said.
An employee asked management if their capital contributions would be tied to company milestones this year, and management said no. But HR teams and managers are still figuring out who might be eligible for promotions, raises and bonuses. Sagar said that by the end of September, managers should talk to their teams about their performance reviews.
Workers asked management to discuss if and where Tesla’s next factory could be built. Tesla’s influence in Canada and the company’s investment in the north initially sparked speculation of a Canadian-based factory.
Sagar said, “I have some idea about the candidates, but I don’t think I am at liberty right now to announce these candidates because of the confidentiality of some of these things.” He said, “There is an exciting future for North America and all of America.”
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