One of the things Tesla is doing differently to all other established automakers is how it creates the structure for its vehicles. Instead of having multiple smaller pieces assembled together, Tesla has instead opted for fewer much bigger parts to be used and thus dramatically reduce complexity (and cost in the long run), as well as weight.
Tesla only started using the so-called Giga Press this year and it incorporated the big rear cast piece for the Model Y into a production vehicle last month. However, it seems it’s not just Tesla that considers this to be a good idea, which has sparked interest with six other (unnamed Chinese) automakers, according to a report published by the New York Times.
The source article quotes Liu Siong Song who works for LK Technology, one of the companies that co-developed the new casting method. He points out that
In addition to Tesla, LK will supply similar giant casting machines to six Chinese companies by early 2022 as more automakers adopt Tesla’s way of making cars.
At the same time, he didn’t seem all that convinced that these other manufacturers would have an easy time implementing this technique. He explained that
For all China’s progress, it still has a long way to go. LK hopes to deliver the same types of casting machines to many Chinese companies in the next two years. But some of those companies are struggling to find car designers of the type and talent that Tesla has aplenty. Without the designs, LK can’t deliver the machines.
In other words, even if LK can provide the know-how, it can’t actually make the machines that do the casting. Automakers looking to implement their own version of Giga Casting will have to have in-house engineers to make everything work, and Mr. Liu seems worried that the interested companies may not be able to pull it off.
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