Tesla Simplifying Body Shop Procedures For Model 3 - Electrek

Tesla Simplifying Body Shop Procedures For Model 3 - Electrek

Also this little bit:

They concluded the email by teasing news of the Model 3 for the program:

“We will Share more exciting information in the coming weeks regarding Model 3, as well as details of other program improvements that are long overdue. “

akgolf | 24. April 2017

So anyone think the comment above in the email by Tesla means we'll be getting some Model 3 news before July?

KP in NPT | 24. April 2017

re the comment....possibly!? It seems any news they share with them will get out rather quickly - so I'd assume it would be an announcement of some sort for all.

Frank99 | 24. April 2017

I'd guess we'll start getting all kinds of information - service details, supercharger details, financing details, ordering process details, warranty details, detail details, etc. That doesn't mean we'll get a look at the car, or a reveal event, anytime soon. But damn I hope we do!

Tarla's Driver | 24. April 2017

Tesla has been better than most companies about keeping things secret until they're ready to make an announcement. Still, it's hard to keep things under wraps, and Tesla may decide it makes sense to keep the buzz up with a strategic string of leaks leading up to the big reveal event.

Red Sage ca us | 24. April 2017

Seems like a good plan.

pavel | 25. April 2017

Technically speaking a Tesla vehicle should be easier to maintain than an ICe vehicle (less moving parts, simpler motor etc.) but the important part is for the repair team to be educated and to throw all their knowledge about ICE cars out the window. I really hope the education peace of the program is not neglected in the process, because 300 more body shops are great, but 300 more body shops that kinda know what they're doing but not really....not good!

Red Sage ca us | 25. April 2017

I hope that by designing Model 3 to be easy to manufacture, Tesla has also made it easier to repair. Also, by taking into account the hardware most readily available at aluminum body repair shops, Tesla's new program can benefit from knowledge that repair staff already possess. It then just falls to their training and understanding of how/when to assemble and disassemble parts that are unique to Tesla products.

jordanrichard | 25. April 2017

pavel, while what you said is true about the drivetrain aspect of an EV/Tesla, body shops don't generally get involved with drivetrain repairs.

Haggy | 25. April 2017

I think the exciting news about the Model 3 will probably be something along the lines of no special body shop equipment needed (aside from what any well equipped shop would have) or something else related to fixing it. Or it might be drone delivery of parts.

Frank99 | 26. April 2017

I think the big problem that body shops had with the Model S was that all-aluminum construction is a rarity in the car world, especially all-aluminum construction based on aerospace technology (high-tech specific rivet designs, adhesive bonding, etc). I don't think it had anything at all to do with the drivetrain. Fixing one required equipment, training, and expertise that simply wasn't commercially available in automotive body shops.With the switch to more aluminum in e.g. the F-150 among others, I expect body shops to be gaining the expertise and equipment necessary to work on the Model S/X.

My expectation is that the Model 3 will be more conventional in it's construction - more car-based and less rocket-based. Increased use of steel means that common techniques (welding, bending, etc) will be more useful in repair. I expect less use of exotic adhesive bonding and specialty fasteners, and more bolts. I think it will be a case of convergence, where the Model 3 becomes more like a normal car to make it more repairable, along with the repair shops becoming more adept at repairing aluminum and exotic fastening techniques.

Red Sage ca us | 27. April 2017

Frank99: Mmmm... I believe that Tesla's techniques will still be heavily influenced by aerospace innovations. However, by designing the car to be easy to manufacture, assemble, put together... They will also make it easier to repair, disassemble, take apart. I do not believe it will so much involve being 'more like' the construction of an ICE, so much as creating a repair program that features greater insight into the needs of those doing the repairs. It's all about communication. But the mechanicals are still inportant. It does no good for the car to 'look' pristine and perfect after a couple of weeks in the shop if it doesn't run. I mean, unless someone means to put it on display as modern art, or use it as a lawn ornament.

kaffine | 27. April 2017

@Red Sage Making a car easy to assemble does not mean it is easier to work on. Often times making it easier to assemble makes it harder to work on. They take lots of smaller pieces and make large assemblies that get installed in the car however often times you can not remove the smaller pieces without removing the entire assembly from the car.

I remember working on the dash of a truck and trying to figure out how they put it together in the factory because I couldn't figure out how they got some of the bolts in as it was so I asked our trainer that had been to the factory. He said at the factory they firewall is laying flat on the ground and they walk all of the interior in and build the dash while standing on the firewall then they fold the firewall up and weld it in place.

Hopefully Tesla will keep in mind that the car has to be worked on but my experience is that engineers hate mechanics and what to make their job as difficult as possible. Ok not really they are just looking at saving a minute on the assembly line multiplied by the 500k cars they will make saves money even if it means it takes a mechanic an extra hour to service that part on the few failures they have.

Red Sage ca us | 28. April 2017

I think it highly unlikely that the Tesla Model 3 will be designed to be assembled with one way press-fit permanent connectors. Engineers are often given a mandate to make sure products cannot be serviced/repaired by end users. Anything that makes life easier for Customers has a strong tendency to aid fraudulent activities by criminals as well.

stevenmaifert | 28. April 2017

Simplify - Okay. Lack of Spare parts - Not Okay, and could potentially be the Achilles heal in the early going if all of Tesla's production goes to filling those 400K reservations.

jordanrichard | 28. April 2017

kaffine +1. Ever try to replace a heating core in a car................ Most cars are comprised of sub-assemblies that arrive on the line to be put into the car. It is all about efficiency (speed) and packaging.

kaffine | 28. April 2017

jordanrichard : I used to make really good money changing heater cores in cars. I was a mechanic for 4 years. Very time consuming have to pull the entire dash and then HVAC unit. A small access panel would have made it a 30 minute job instead of a 10 hour job.

stevenmaifert : Unfortunately that is an issue with all new models. Even a bigger issue if there is a problem with a part as they don't want to stop production while working on an updated part so they keep using the defective parts until the new one can be made. Then the new ones go into production cars and then when they have enough they start repairing the earlier cars. I've had to pull parts off new cars on the lot to get a customer car working again. Then we had pulled parts off too many of the new cars on the lot so we had to stop so we still had cars that we could sell while waiting on parts.

Frank99 | 28. April 2017

OMG yes - had an Explorer with a broken heater blend door. There's a really nice access panel to remove the blend door - but it's on TOP of the ductwork, not on the bottom where you could access it. Step 1 of the service manual says "1. Remove Dash". Any thought at all of maintenance would have placed the access panel on the BOTTOM of the ductwork; remove four screws and presto!. Instead, a five hour job to remove the dash, to spend 5 minutes removing four screws, replacing the blend door, and putting four screws back in place, then 5 hours to reassemble the dash.

Anything that makes the interior simpler so these kinds of design complexities aren't overlooked is great.

Red Sage ca us | 28. April 2017

As is the case with the push toward Hybrids or HFCEVs, the mandate is to maximize service billing, not to increase throughput in the Service Department.

Make it too easy to fix something, and people will choose to do it themselves and never go to an authorized service center at an 'independent franchised dealership' for repairs.

I understand that modularized assembly processes may make it easy to build a car, but hard to remove a specific component within the modular assembly.

I believe the plan would be to make sure the quality and precision of each component be practically bulletproof and log lasting rather than cutting corners.

Therefore the likelihood of ever needing to service any included component would be reduced to nil.

Of course, after a collision, all bets are off. You may well be better off replacing the entire modular assembly than individual components. Because some hidden part might be damaged, but partially functional still, a time bomb just waiting to turn a repaired car into a virtual lemon. And considering the expense of such remove & replace operations in labor alone, never mind the cost of the assembly itself, it is no wonder that insurance adjusters may sometimes declare Tesla vehicles a 'total loss' even when they 'look fine'.

brando | 12. Juni 2017

autonomous - fewer wrecks, smaller problem - downside? may take a decade