"Gigapresse" for Brandenburg: Tesla relies on a one-piece body

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The major corporation Tesla is hoping for a leap in efficiency: In the production of the Model Y, the company is probably relying on a "gigapress" in its new plant in Brandenburg. A possible safety risk for the automobile should be excluded by the casting process.

The new Tesla factory in Brandenburg should do without the usual madness of robots in the assembly of the Model Y and thus create a leap in efficiency in production. Hundreds of robots will be superfluous when giant die-casting machines cast the car bodies from aluminum in a few large parts instead of dozen of smaller parts, said a source for the Reuters news agency.

Company boss Elon Musk wanted to build the car shell from as few modules as possible. On the blog "Tesmanian" it was said that eight of these "gigapresses" were coming to the factory near Berlin. In mid-August, Musk had already raved about the largest casting machine of all time on Twitter. The "Gigapresse" is supposed to have the size of a small house and is being built by IDRA Srl in Italy. The company did not want to comment, but had previously announced that it had delivered the first machine of its kind to a North American automaker.

"It's just spectacular"

Two years ago, the US electric car pioneer was struggling with the complexity of high-tech production at its plant in Nevada and flew in machines from Germany. But now, according to Musk, the underbody body will in future only consist of one part instead of 70 pieces that would have to be laboriously assembled. An insider explained that the front or rear parts should also be manufactured in this way.

The fact that cars have so far consisted of many individual parts is a question of safety, because they create a crumple zone in the event of a collision. Aluminum is also more difficult to shape than steel. Since welding deforms the light metal, aluminum parts must be glued or riveted. By casting, Tesla could avoid several work steps.

The consultant Sandy Munro had criticized the US automaker in the past for poor processing. "There were terrible gaps, weld spatter everywhere, nothing fitted," he said recently in an online presentation at a Frost & Sullivan consultancy conference. But from the Tesla Model 3 to the new Model Y, there has been a leap in quality. Now Tesla has cast the largest part for the underbody that it has seen in 30 years of automotive manufacturing analysis. "It's just spectacular," he said.

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