Tesla Will Fix Its Cars In-House

Another day, another tweet from Musk. Or three in this case. Tesla will aim to have its post-collision cars repaired within 24 hours. Someone break Twitter down, please.

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The reason this is never going to work is because that type of repair work requires repairmen with specialized skills, and those fellows will, inevitably, end up attempting to do work with Elon Musk barging in and doing that mental-illness thing of pacing about the work station shouting stentorian demands to Go Faster.  How long do you predict it would be before the repair technicians quit, swear at Musk, and walk off the job?  How about eight seconds flat?  

Skilled labor can work wherever it wants. There is no reason to think that highly skilled labor is going to put up with Elon Musk. His own top executives don't put up with him and his craziness.  The salient characteristic of the Musk enterprises is that people quit.  

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Of course it can be done, but the expense would be huge.  In order to do it they would need to have every part in stock, for every model, for every predicted crash and failure, in every color that happens to be cruising through any given region at any given time of day or night.  If they have designed the autos in modules with sub-modules, that could help.  They can utilize regional centers, but they would need to have incredibly fast delivery services 24/7.  Big data can help them get the numbers right, with some expectation of missing the target and compensating the car owners, but it would be a tremendous undertaking.  They would need to keep this entire function separate from production, unless they have reasonable delivery delays built into their contracts, or else production woes will pile up.

Jan is right, this kind of stress is not something the skilled guys/gals want anything to do with, especially if the company wants to make it the new norm.  Is it a gimmick to keep the game going?

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2 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

Of course it can be done, but the expense would be huge.  In order to do it they would need to have every part in stock, for every model, for every predicted crash and failure, in every color that happens to be cruising through any given region at any given time of day or night.

One day? Is this Tesla Prime? Geeze. This would be a huge expense. And i'm guessing  it would only be select Tesla shops / centers. Would this only be in the USA for now?

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1 hour ago, CMOP said:

One day? Is this Tesla Prime? Geeze. This would be a huge expense. And i'm guessing  it would only be select Tesla shops / centers. Would this only be in the USA for now?

I read an article on this after I made that comment and found that the Wizard wants to focus on this after they get their production problems sorted out, and then after they get their deliveries sorted out.  He admits they have a parts shortage problem, especially at non-Tesla service centers, and then he says they will of course focus on their own service centers first. 

In an interview with a private shop, the owner said he doesn't see how they will be able to do it, because you can't go forward with insurance claims until the insurance company has approved the claim (hint: the Wizard knows this and will use it as an excuse as to why it didn't get done in 24 hours.).  His shop has already done a dozen or so Tesla repairs and he said the absolute biggest time factor was getting parts, AND he had to send his people to get them, Tesla doesn't deliver like everybody else.

Hogwash!  Keep drinking the Kool-Aid people.  One day the Wizard will make your dreams come true.  Until then, keep your battery chargers plugged in and ready!

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5 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

 Hogwash!  Keep drinking the Kool-Aid people.  One day the Wizard will make your dreams come true.  Until then, keep your battery chargers plugged in and ready!

And Don't Crash!

I didn't think about the insurance part. 24 hours is now out the window. 

Let's see if they sort out the production issues. I really hope they do. We need more Tesla's on the road! 

7 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

Tesla doesn't deliver like everybody else.

Tesla manages everything in house. From sales to upgrades to repairs. I like their vertical model approach. I'm sure there's a lot of tech that a normal shop worker would be unable to fix. Leaving it to just the aesthetics of the car. 

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5 minutes ago, CMOP said:

I didn't think about the insurance part. 24 hours is now out the window. 

Tesla could decide to take the risk on themselves and front the cost of the repair while waiting for the insurance company to approve the claim.  Again, this would drive up costs, but hey, it's other people's money so who cares!  That could also bite them if an insurance company gets into trouble and decides to not approve a basket of Tesla claims.

Managing everything in house does not come without significant risk, not the least of which is the tendency of humans to monopolize such endeavors, driving costs even higher.  One dedicated Tesla customer went through a list of costs for repairing his car after warranty and one item was a $1500 headlight if done in a Tesla shop (that's what he said, although it would seem he meant the module, but even then....).  I've worked in the car dealership garages and seen it happen when they started putting all those special tools and diagnostics barriers in place to block outside shops.  Costs went up to the customers and when they could not get service elsewhere, they just go down the street to another brand and trade in the car for a more service friendly model.  In house repair shops can also get stacked up and then have nowhere to send their overflow work, thus creating a delay backup that is madness to deal with.  If Tesla will not supply auto parts stores with spare parts, then there would be no option but to go to them, even or especially after warranty.  The only way around this that I know of is through good lease programs, where you drive your car under full warranty until the cars are reaching major service thresholds, and then just turn them in for a new model.  And then you have a bunch of used cars that must be fully serviced before you put them out for auction or resale.  It's a delicate balance.

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15 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

  If Tesla will not supply auto parts stores with spare parts, then there would be no option but to go to them, even or especially after warranty. 

Typically, what happens is that aftermarket parts manufacturers proceed to reverse-engineer the parts and then manufacture and sell them to the aftermarket supply chains.  The problem is that nobody does this for low-volume cars.  Unless there is a major market out there, to assure business for aftermarket parts, nobody will tool up., 

That said, some OEM manufacturers of parts will do an extra run of parts and package them in off-brand boxes, and sell them to the aftermarket as generic spares.  It is a question of who owns the tooling.  In the auto trade, if the tooling is not paid for by the auto company, then hey, it is the molder's tooling, and he can do with it as he pleases.  

In some States there are also "right to repair" laws that require a car company to supply electronic code reader tools to independent shops, so that they can be repaired by anybody.  However, there is nothing to prevent a car company from using special bolt heads, so as to develop a monopoly on the repair tools.  Then some tool outfit like MAC Tools has to go and manufacture those special tools, which they will then sell to any mechanic.  It is a solution, but expensive. Tool trucks are pricey. 

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