A little dose of reality

A little dose of reality

I took delivery on Jan 3rd, and absolutely LOVE my car, but as I've been reading all the Broder comments (I made some myself), and reading the other threads every day I wonder - this may be heresy - if we need to stop, take a breath and maybe stop smoking the Tesla weed for a little while.

Yes we all love the car; yes Tesla is doing some AMAZING things; yes Elon is an über visionary who is pushing the envelope and delivering on it, but:

they met the June launch date for the Model S but only by hand building a dozen cars, then not releasing another car for months. Marketing stunt by any other name.
many of the signature cars were really release candidate cars that did not have the fit and finish of even the early production cars (confirmed by a TM service tech)
the signature premium paid by signature owners enabled them to get their cars only a few weeks earlier, or in some cases a few weeks LATER than production owners
the signature premium, rather than providing a 'deal' by discounting the optional extras as a reward for dropping $40k on TM did no such thing
TM is consistently underperformed on all delivery date promises since the Founders Cars, the latest being the slip of the 40kWh cars. 5000 cars in year one? Try less than 3000.
I know we are early adopters, but the reality of the fit and finish of the current cars is FAR away from the expectations set by Elon when he was 'personally inspecting' the cars off the line. Body panels don't fit. Chrome isn't aligned. Scratches in paintwork. PPF applied over the top of paint problems...
and handles that don't work, and doors that open on their own! Seriously?
the delivery process has been less than optimal in many circumstances - cars getting lost, cars going into limbo, cars damaged during delivery, wrong cars delivered...
the level of knowledge of TM 'product specialists' leaves A LOT to be desired. The forums are full of stories of owners being given conflicting and flatly wrong information by TM employees. I know this is a startup, but its not that hard to train new employees
we are still waiting for a long list of items that have been promised in writing by TM - seven months after launch and we still don't have a parcel shelf??? Really???
TM has been very quiet about the performance of the car in cold weather, to the extent that it could be considered deliberately misleading.
Overall communication has been less than stellar. Yes GB has stepped into the forums a couple of times, but we shouldn't be comparing TM's communication with old Detroit. We should be comparing it against some of Silicon Valley's best and by that standard they are falling short, especially when their average customer is dropping $100k, not $2.99 in the app store
the whole temporary tag/title process seems to be almost a running joke

I'm not suggesting we don't cut TM a lot of slack. I'm not suggesting they aren't on their way to building the best car in the world. All I'm suggesting is that we need to inject a bit of balance into the conversation, and acknowledge the gaps where they exist. Toning down the hubris on TM's part wouldn't go amiss.

carlk | 25. Februar 2013

That's right. The issues listed in op are all known by TM already. It's not that they want these things to happen but it's likely the best they could achieve under the circumstances. Publicly venting one's grip whether it's justified or not is NOT a positive contribution. Nothing can be achieved other than giving the car/car company a bad name. Direct your concerns to the company officials or the board of directors if you really want to help.

And right again, please do this if you don't like the car/car company. I just find it ironic when you started your op by saying you love your car.

David Dennis | 25. Februar 2013

Tesla has reinvented the car. If you think of it, there's very little of it that's derivative and therefore battle-tested. Everything is fresh and new. When you have a product that has so many new systems, it's normal to have a large number of glitches. Look at our poor friends, the Fisker owners :(. Compared to them, I think it's reasonable to say that Tesla has had a pretty easy time of it.

There are problems, and Tesla needs to fix them. But frankly, I think it's very impressive that the car has had so few problems.

If I were in the market for a $80k car, which unfortunately I am not, I would be comfortable putting my money into a Model S.


JZ13 | 25. Februar 2013

@jk - I only read the OP. I did not take the time to read every post in between the beginning and the end. If he made mentions of the things you reference then I would reconsider my praise of his post. From what I gather nickjhowe has been in this community a LONG time and in good standing. I think tiebreaker may be correct that you are confusing another nick.

I have only had my car for 4 days but I absolutely LOVE it.

Trust me, Elon and the executive committee depend on this public feedback to hold their team accountable and demand that they find resolve on these issues. Putting your head in the sand and sending an email to an executive is not nearly as effective.

andrigtmiller | 25. Februar 2013

I received my car on the 20th of this month, and I was production sequence number 13,269. I picked it up 3 days after my delivery window, which was supposed to end on the 17th, so not bad in terms of delivery based on the original window they gave me.

In terms of the quality of the car itself, I have not had any of the issues reported on the forum, which I have been following for a very long time now.

I also listened recently to the web cast Q&A with analysts for the Q4 earnings. I think the most telling thing that Elon said was about production efficiency and quality at the end of the line. Apparently, in the early production cars, virtually ever car had some problem with it. During December, they reached full production volume, but with averaging 68 work weeks for the assembly plant staff. That will certainly make quality go down.

What he said that was encouraging, is that early in the quarter, January and early February, was that the average work week for full production was now in the 50 hour range, instead of 68, and continues to fall. Also, the percentage of cars with issues at end of the line is now a fraction of what it was. It was unfortunate that he didn't give us a real percentage, but based on my car, which I don't have any issues, it seems like they are on the right track, and it will continue to improve over time.

So the issues have certainly been real, but its starting to already look like things are much improved, and will continue to get better.

JZ13 | 25. Februar 2013

@Carl I think it is very logical to love the car and express HONEST criticism at the same time. The two are not contradictory. In fact, by being honest, you are letting the other party know where they need to improve. Sending an email to a few executives is much less powerful. (Executives have been getting correspondence from the public for centuries. Guess who reads those emails the majority of the time? An assistant. Only those emails that stand out get passed along to the executive. We don't want GB or Elon wasting time sifting through the countless minutiae they receive)

Also, sending an email has no opportunity to gather community criticism or support. Posting in this forum allows Tesla to see if their customers consider the issue major or minor.

Don't get your feelings hurt when you see honest criticism from a Tesla customer. It's not personal.

jk2014 | 25. Februar 2013

JZ --

Cool. I'm not referring to Nickj specifically. If you feel Tesla actually takes what people say in this forum to improve, then give measured perspective... Offer ways to improve... Give this constructive criticism in a tone that doesn't reek of emotional backlash. Again, this suggestion only applies to owners that love the car and want Tesla to succeed. Otherwise, disregard everything I've said and post away...

JZ13 | 25. Februar 2013

jk - I hear ya Tesla brotha!

I can't give Tesla ways to improve because I am not an engineer. I can only report back to them my experience and opinion and it is their job to fix the delivery process, etc. But I see where you are coming from as some are not always so objective.

We all know that in time these issues will sort themselves out. But a little pressure from the customer base is a good thing.

cloroxbb | 25. Februar 2013

nickjhowe a whiner? News to me.