New hires and suppliers: Elon Musk preps for Tesla Model 3 production ramp [Video]

Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] is planning to deliver 500,000 Tesla Model 3 vehicles by 2018. In order to accomplish this aggressive timeline, CEO Elon Musk had promised that Tesla has some, "exciting announcements coming in the next few weeks." Already, Tesla is, "adding world-class aces in production with each passing week." How is he attracting such talent? He explained, "Model 3 is the most compelling product program on earth." So who will be part of this new team that Tesla hires in order to prep for the Model 3 production ramp? Thus far, some impressive new hires have been announced.

According to Electrek, one of the new hires was just announced: "the company confirmed the hire of Peter Hochholdinger, Audi’s Senior Director of Production... Peter joins Tesla from Audi where he has spent the last 22 years working across the entire production chain. He is currently responsible for leading the production of Audi’s A4, A5 and Q5 vehicles, including 14 derivatives of those models, at Audi’s flagship production facility for volume and technology. In total, Peter is responsible for the production of about 400,000 vehicles annually at Audi while managing thousands of employees."

But how can Tesla ready itself for the massive growth associated with the Tesla Model 3? "Tesla hired former Facebook’s Growth Product Manager, Praveen Arichandran... [and his] former colleague at Facebook, Sisun Lee." It turns out that Lee also worked on Uber's growth team as well. Tesla explains, "We’re building a Growth Team from scratch to design, build and optimize scalable solutions."

In addition, some other key new hires will likely be finalizing the Model 3 interior. It's reported that Tesla hired, "Félix Godard [who] is a young car designer who has been working for Porsche for the last three years... [and] is listed as an inventor on several patents for new instrument clusters and heads-up/holographic displays." Tesla also hired, "Milan Kovac [who] was Principal Engineer at SKULLY, the maker of the first augmented reality motorcycle helmet equipped with a built-in HUD... [and] worked on the implementation of several augmented reality, 3D gesture-control and HUD technologies for different applications – some of which [were] for the automotive industry." Check out this informative video for an update on the Tesla Model 3 (see 2 min 13 sec for more on Kovac).

Youtube: Thomas Davik

And massive hiring continues, Teslarati reports, "hiring great managers won’t be enough. The company is going to need hundreds of new workers to staff the production line and build the cars... [so] Tesla kicked off its hiring spree by holding a job fair in the San Francisco Bay Area. Managed by West Valley Staffing Group, the event sought employees to work in human resources, sales, and design." In addition, Tesla recently snapped up another one million square feet of space in Silicon Valley signaling its fast-track growth.

And suppliers are also being confirmed. It's also reported that, "Hankook Tire, South Korea's leading tire maker, has been selected as the main supplier for Tesla's recently unveiled Model 3, industry sources said Thursday… Hankook Tire is known for its expertise in producing tires tailored to electric vehicles. It currently supplies tires for the Ioniq EV of Hyundai Motor and the C-Class hybrid of Mercedes-Benz." Also reported: "South Korean operator KT will partner with electric vehicle maker Tesla to develop telematics technology services. 'KT is highly likely to partner with Tesla to work in this field', an unnamed source told The Korea Herald."

And more suppliers are being brought up-to-speed on the Tesla Model 3 as CleanTechnica reports, "Tesla is aiming to very quickly ramp up its production capacity, and a big part of that is its suppliers and their own production capacity... Yesterday marked an important day in that process, reportedly being 'supplier test drive day,'" at the Fremont, California Tesla Factory location. Spy shots of the supplier Model 3 test drives were captured (see above and below).

Although many on Wall Street are challenging Tesla's fast-paced production ramp, this past week, Evercore ISI's George Gallier raised his TSLA price target to 320 from 310 showing confidence that, "certain Chinese OEMs’ (original equipment manufacturers’) production growth is not that dissimilar to what Tesla is looking to achieve.” And, "Galliers added that Ford had built as many vehicles [as Tesla plans to] in year one of some product launches, such as the Ford Focus and the F-150." In any event, it's clear from the new hires, suppliers and actions recently taken that Tesla Motors is moving swiftly to prep for its Tesla Model 3 production ramp.