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Tesla Gigafactory Nevada meeting audio leak: new executives, targets – Reuters

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James Glover II | Reuters

Tesla has shaken up the management of the Gigafactory, its sprawling battery factory outside of Reno, Nevada, and set new goals for the enterprise.

According to the report, former Gigafactory VP of Operations Chris Lister has left Elon Musk’s electric vehicle and clean energy business, and Hrushikesh “Khrushy” Sagar has been named head of the Gigafactory. people working in a factory. Sagar reports directly to CEO Elon Musk and will simultaneously oversee the Tesla car assembly plant in Fremont, California.

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On Thursday afternoon, Sagar spoke to a group of hundreds of Gigafactory employees about management changes, performance reviews, plant milestones and the enterprise’s ambitious new goals. He also revealed progress at Tesla’s factories in Austin, Texas and outside of Berlin, Germany.

Sagar spoke briefly about Lister’s departure, saying, “I really appreciate what Chris Lister has done here, Chris’ contribution. I am very grateful as Elon and Tesla is very grateful for his contribution, but at the same time we are moving to the next stage.”

Gigafactory workers produce batteries and powertrains for Tesla’s electric vehicles, as well as large Powerwall and Megapack backup batteries, which are sold by Tesla’s energy division.

During the meeting, Sagar noted that Tesla produced about 134,000 vehicles at its Fremont, California plant in the second quarter of 2022, and said August was one of Fremont’s record months in terms of production. The Fremont plant can now produce about 12,000 vehicles a week and plans to produce 14,000 vehicles a week, he said.

He also said that the Tesla team in Brandenburg, Germany, recently reached a milestone by being able to produce 1,000 vehicles within seven days. Musk recently visited the German plant and the company expects he will ramp up production to 5,000 vehicles a week by the end of 2022. Initially, Reno sent training units to Germany to contribute to this effort.

Tesla’s new plant in Austin, Texas, has also reached a capacity of 1,000 vehicles a week.

In terms of powertrain manufacturing, the Gigafactory produced 283,473 powertrains in the second quarter of 2022, supplying the company’s Fremont and Austin plants.

“You all played a very big role,” Sagar said. “I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart” to the Reno team.

New Leaders and Goals of the Gigafactory

Before joining Tesla in late 2017, Lister spent 22 years at PepsiCo in precision manufacturing positions. During his time at Tesla, the Gigafactory faced rapid construction and growth challenges, including high volumes of scrap metal, fires, and oil spills. But ramping up production there has also helped Tesla become the top-selling battery electric vehicle brand in the United States and around the world. Lister and Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sagar’s new position, according to his LinkedIn profile, is Senior Director of Vehicle Operations and Manufacturing Engineering.

Sagar told employees on Thursday that they should consider the Fremont plant to be their “customer,” noting that car production there is successful or difficult depending on the volume and quality of the Gigafactory’s supply.

Although Sagar does not plan to spend most of his time in Reno, he plans to work closely with plant leaders, including energy manager Matt Reddick, who joined the company there at about six months of age, and site supervisor Eric Montgomery, who will handle affairs. day after day in Nevada. Gigafactory’s other senior leaders now include Jeff Jackson, who runs the plant’s infrastructure, and Bert Somsin, plant director of human resources.

In the same meeting on Thursday, Montgomery told Gigafactory employees they needed to achieve a steady production of 8,800 high-voltage batteries per week to support Fremont’s new production targets and “maximize all-wheel drive builds.” He said that August 2022 was also the Gigafactory’s second best month for production right after October 2021.

Reddick said Tesla can now produce 42 giant Megapack batteries over a seven-day period. Megapacks are roughly the size of a shipping container and are used for large-scale energy storage, often to store excess energy generated by wind or solar.

Tesla plans to produce 442 mega-packs in the third quarter of 2022, up 85% from mega-pack production in the previous three months.

The Gigafactory also reached and exceeded 6500 Powerwalls per week. Powerwalls are the smallest home-use backup batteries that CEO Elon Musk recently touted on Twitter amid California heatwaves. The heat wave threatened power outages and prompted the state to urge residents to cut down on electricity consumption during peak hours.

Previously, Tesla required customers who wanted to buy a Powerwall to also buy a solar roof from the company. Nevada Gigafactory produced 37,600 Powerwalls in the second quarter, Montgomery said, and plans to increase that by 22% in the third quarter.

As for the facility itself, Jackson touted a new and improved water treatment plant that Tesla is building on site.

“This will eliminate the release of process water from our facility or wastewater, and allow 98% of the water to be recycled and evaporated,” he said. “It’s a huge thing, it’s in line with our mission.”

Jackson also talked about the Gigafactory’s solar roof. “Now we have about eight megawatts on the roof that we can use on a daily basis, which is very cool,” said the head of infrastructure.

Tesla also has a new local food vendor offering poke bowls, building a meditation room for employees, improving roads, and installing more electric vehicle chargers along the roads around the facility.

In terms of human resources, workers have been urged to reduce the number of man-hours it takes to produce one unit of the products they create in their teams and submit more “takeover” notices on how to improve safety and cut costs around the world. factory.

The company is recovering from a major layoff that occurred in the second quarter of this year and is now in the process of an extensive performance review, Sagar said.

An employee asked management if his equity grants would be tied to company milestones this year, and management said no. But HR departments and managers are still determining who may be eligible for promotions, raises and bonuses. Sagar said that by the end of September, managers should discuss their performance scores with their teams.

Employees asked management to discuss whether and where the next Tesla factory could be built. Tesla’s lobbying activities in Canada and the company’s investments in the north have already sparked rumors of a plant in Canada.

Sagar said, “I have an idea of ​​the candidates, but I don’t think I’m free to reveal those candidates right now because of the confidentiality of some of these things.” He suggested, “An exciting future lies ahead for North America and all of America.”

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