He's been a relentless Tesla critic for years. Nice to see even he can be wowed.
Wow and of all things the compliment is about fit, finish and company leadership. I expected it to be about battery engineering.
VERY cool to see Bob Lutz writing this. He is 87 and still a true leader.
I almost didn't read the article when I saw who the author was. I was pleasantly surprised as heck when I read the article being how hypercritical Bob Lutz has seemed to be of Tesla over the years.
Nice and I have been happy with the build quality of my Sept 2018 model 3. A coworker got his model 3 a couple of weeks ago and often parks next to me and the panel gaps do look a tad more consistent.
Lutz is a putz.
My March 2019 M3 had fit and finish issues. But these were resolved by the authorized body shop. I believe Tesla made the conscious decision to rush the M3 production process by ignoring QC checks. Has factory QC improved dramatically in the last three months?
I have a question for Bob Lutz. Is the M3 he found in the wild with perfect fit and finish attributable to improved QC at the factory, or by the superior remedial work at an authorized body shop?
Bob Lutz certainly has the ability to be rational. Years ago he appeared on an episode of Charlie Rose with Elon Musk. I think he was genuinely surprised by the respect Elon had for him at the time. He may have wanted to have or been prepared to have a very adversarial meeting.
Also, he wrote an article in 2012 about the Chevrolet VOLT, that inadvertently made points that entirely dismantled the whole of FUD theories regarding Tesla.
Forbes | The Real Story On GM's Volt Costs
by Bob Lutz
Lonestar10_1999: One of my co-workers was once humiliated by the Branch Manager for being 'only' 99.7% efficient. Thing is, on further review of the details, it turned out he was inaccurate in his assessment. Turned out she was actually 99.9% efficient instead. What is your threshold for acceptable performance?
First Sandy Munro does a flip, now Bob Lutz. The more these Detroit guys start studying the car, the more they are impressed.
Sad to say, the Lutz revelation will get 5% of the press exposure of a sensationalized story about a driver pressing the wrong pedal on their Model X and running into a laundromat.
Lutz is a dinosaur , all the bad things he said over the past years about Tesla and Elon were stupid, out of touch, and he had no clue what was really going on. At one time decades ago he was relevant, now he is so out of it. He said Tesla would never survive, never make the model 3, no battery advantage, no software advantage, etc. or any advantage over GM or the rest, on and on.
We have NEVER seen anyone on the planet that comes close to what Elon has done so far, and against the most difficult companies to compete with.
@Red- there were three obvious fit and finish issues with my M3 at time of delivery;
Paint chip on the front driver side door
Rear bumper fitment issue
Trunk misalignment issue
I applaud Tesla for agreeing to remediate these items and provide an Enterprise car rental (ICE) for the two week repair. I am disappointed that the car was allowed to be delivered to the customer like that.
I am optimistic that Tesla will improve their QC practices so when factory fit and finish defects occur, the customer is never a party to the repair.
minervo.florida: Well, Bob Lutz has been plenty wrong on a whole bunch of subjects related to Tesla. He offers no apologies or walkbacks of any of that in this latest article. I would certainly ridicule him if he tried.
However, the point of the article is that in the Great State of Michigan, where he knows potential owners of Tesla products must jump through extra hoops to acquire them, he came across a Tesla Model 3 in the wild, not at a showroom, not at a car show, not at any other type of exhibition, that he found no fault with upon his own personal inspection.
He essentially dismissed all the feigned 'concerns' of those who routinely intimate about fit & finish being rampant and unacceptable as being so much hogwash. He noted that from 35-to-40 years ago fit & finish tight, uniform body panel gaps, were of no concern to Detroit automobile manufacturers. He related that as recently as 15 years ago, even after dozens of years of experience and excellent examples from European and Japanese brands, no one at GM had 'got it'. And he explained that while he thought this was primarily a design, engineering, and tooling concern, he was surprised to learn that this could literally be fixed at the grassroots, ground floor level simply by telling their assembly workers it was a concern. Then he concluded that Tesla learned and implemented in less than twenty years, a victiry he attributes to the strong leadership he has panned in times past.
So, all those people who claim the slightest misallignment of a trim piece is somehow 'a sign' of probable underlying issues and stuff...? Can SUCK IT! I applaud Bob Lutz for taking a,"'Let's see for myself."
approach to all the allegations waged by industry contemporaries, instead of simply co-signing without direct experience.
Lonestar10_1999: Cool. I suspect that some reported 'issues' are a lot less common, a lot less serious, a lot less inconvenient than reported. When it comes to irate customers, they don't give a flaming [FIG] about how often you get it right, or how quickly you can 'make it' right. From their perspective you had ONE job, that was getting it right for THEM, and them alone. To some, that one failure out of 100, 1 out of 1,000, 1 out of 10,000 counts as their own whole world view and equals 100% failure in practice, if not actuality.
I used to work for an e-commerce company. My bosses drove home the point that the great majority of orders went without a hitch, even reaching customers sooner than expected in most cases. But, in the real world, $#!+ happens. And sometimes a particularly irate Customer will feel as if you, personally, are putting them through [HECK]. That being the case, they choose to return the favor. They feel your company has wasted their time, so darnit, they are determined to waste your time to by offerin no cooperation whatsoever. Yay?
Even those people in most interactions in the Real World are probably quite reasonable, kind, loving, caring, sharing individuals. But everyone has a breaking point. And once someone is truly irate, there isn't much you can do or offer beyond being as empathetic and understanding of their plight as possible.
So they call without an Account number, without an Order number, without an Item number. They didn't even buy it, it was their Wife, they don't even have her e-mail address. But, dammit, it should have been there YESTERDAY, so where the [FOUL] is it? You guys are making my life miserable. Doesn't anyone there know anything, or are you all just a bunch of seasonal temps? No wonder your company's stock is in decline. You guys can't do anything right. You suck.
Then you manage to confirm their address. And you find the order. It was not placed until yesterday, after 5:00 pm local time, and Shipped this morning via Standard Shipping, not via an overnight carrier. It is due to arrive next week, certainly not today. And it is being sent to her place of business, because that is what she chose. Anything else? Ah, you'll tell everyone you know how rude and horrible and unprofessional and useless our service was. Anything else? And you'll NEVER buy from us again? Fine. Shall I close your account? Hello? Is anyone there?
Sometimes that 2% of disgruntled, irate, angry 'customers' can be a real [CHORE] to deal with. You just have to remember it isn't actually personal. Even when a guy opens a call by saying he'd like to kill everyone in the office with an Uzi, or a Woman suspects her husband has a secret Family and is using their joint credit card to send gifts to his Mistress at work, or someone lies outright that they have been on hold over an hour when the display shows their call began less than fifteen minutes ago. Joy.
"I have a question for Bob Lutz. Is the M3 he found in the wild with perfect fit and finish attributable to improved QC at the factory, or by the superior remedial work at an authorized body shop?"
Here's a May 16, 2019 car. Fit looks pretty good out of the box so probably improved mfg.
Paint finish was good also. The body shop did not do the "paint correction" for the ceramic coating, said the paint and finish were perfect.
Lutz is a legend. Having him come around now to say nice things is a huge, huge plus for Tesla.
Did anyone else double check the byline and the date on the article? It seemed so out of character.
The only problem I have with fit-and-finish on my M3P is the stupid flies who keep pasting my car with their entrails. Even a strong wash doesn’t eliminate them completely. I blame Elon Musk for that. He should have a bug-resistant car. For the love of God, we shouldn’t have to be subjected to bug guts all over our cars! Fix it, Mr. Musk!
Bought May 4, 2019. I love this car.
Bill Cosby was a legend too. The fact that Putz was relevant 35 years ago doesn't mean his words mean anything today.
He's spent the past 5 years being the resident go-to guy for CNBC whenever they want to bring in "an industry expert" to talk crap about Tesla. "Tesla's going bankrupt. Their cars are ordinary and any OEM can beat them at their own game if they ever decide to try. Tesla quality is poor", etc.
So it turns out that throughout this entire time, he never even looked at an actual Tesla car. It was all drivel in his head. The jealous workings of the guy who designed the Volt and tried and failed to build a fool cell truck. What a pathetic, petty old man.
(Now that he's pulled an Andrew Left, I wonder how quickly the TeslaQ morons abandon him as a senile old loony?)
Don't let the Tesla short gang hear about this **serious** flaw on every car they've made!
@BuffaloBill, if you care to do it paint protection (film or ceramic coating) greatly helps with the bugs issue. Mostly rinses off with a strong water hose, let alone a full wash. The car stays shiny too, as it acts as a (semi) permanent wax.
Regardless of Lutz the Putz actually using his eyes and brains this solitary time . . . He’s still a shitbag FUD spewing clown.
Make a list of every ridiculously stupid thing Lutz has ever written or said about Tesla (and climate change) and then a list of everything he got right.
Shun this turd.
SamO, without a doubt, he has been a real negative force.
A force for stupid. And evil.