Tesla Abandons Advanced ‘Gigacasting’ Manufacturing Process

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Tesla, facing declining sales and rising competition, has dropped its one-piece gigacasting manufacturing approach. Originally intended to transform manufacturing and lower costs, Tesla has reverted to the conventional three-piece method for vehicle underbodies. This move highlights Tesla’s shift in focus towards self-driving technology rather than significant EV sales expansion amid recent layoffs and executive exits. This change follows the cancellation of the Model 2, indicating a cautious stance on production innovation.

Tesla has withdrawn from a bold initiative involving gigacasting, its innovative manufacturing technique. This shift comes amidst declining sales and increasing market competition, suggesting a strategic scaling back by the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Gigacasting is a sophisticated method that involves using massive presses to mold large portions of a vehicle’s underbody in one go, replacing hundreds of separate parts. Despite initially planning to implement this technology to create the entire underbody of a new small-vehicle platform with a single casting, Tesla has now reverted to a more traditional three-piece casting approach. This method, which combines two gigacasted sections with a middle section made of aluminium and steel, has been used in Tesla’s recent models like the Model Y and the Cybertruck.

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The decision to halt the ambitious one-piece gigacasting, which has not been disclosed, indicates Tesla’s broader approach to reduce immediate expenditures in response to softening demand for electric vehicles and stiffening competition, especially from Chinese automaker BYD. Recently, Tesla also reduced its workforce by over 10%, and several top executives have left the company.

This scaling back also underscores a strategic pivot towards focusing on autonomous vehicle technology rather than pushing for a rapid expansion in electric vehicle sales, a growth that many investors had anticipated. Despite the shift away from developing the so-called Model 2, which was expected to be a more affordable vehicle employing one-piece gigacasting, Tesla is not abandoning the underlying platform but will adapt it for an autonomous vehicle project.

Additionally, Tesla’s cautious stance on gigacasting aligns with the views of manufacturing experts who argue that the method, while potentially reducing costs in the long term, demands significant upfront investment and poses challenges in terms of development and perfection. This conservative path is largely a result of the difficulties Tesla has faced historically with launching complex, innovative vehicles within planned timelines and budgets.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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