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Germans claim paternity over Tesla Model S

Discussion in 'News' started by blanche, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. blanche

    blanche Member

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    Right on the heels of the news that Tesla may have outsold every German luxury car manufacturer in its class last year, I’m now starting to see the Germans take Tesla a bit more seriously. Success has many fathers as the old saying goes, and the Germans are not about to let you forget that. The article is behind a (free to join and view for 30 days) pay wall, so I don't feel good about copying and pasting it all here. I have excerpted some interesting sections here.

    German-Parts-in-the-Tesla-Model-S-01.png

    German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp supplies Tesla with steering columns and control shafts as well as shock absorbers.


    “When it comes to the body, we are involved in all components that we can deliver,” said a spokesperson at ThyssenKrupp’s car components section. The company’s Facebook page shows chief executive Heinrich Hiesinger at the steering wheel of a Model S. The message is clear: Tesla from the outside, ThyssenKrupp from the inside.


    The electronic steering is provided by another German supplier: Bosch Mobility Solutions. Without the component, Tesla’s electronic assistant wouldn’t work. The supplier also developed parking sensors and a radar system for Tesla. Working with the Californians challenged some of the processes at the big German supplier.


    “This cooperation was a great case for the application of agile methods of development,” said Volkmar Denner, Bosch’s boss. With Tesla, the so-called Scrum method was applied – referring to a set play in rugby in which part of the team huddle to gain control of the ball. In car manufacturing, small teams similarly work with a dedicated, independent focus on any given innovation.


    Tesla is a great partner in learning how to adapt to the flexible work flow of Silicon Valley, particularly for large and established corporations. Still, with sales as low as 52,000 units, large profits haven’t yet been attained.


    Nevertheless, working with Tesla is valuable for high-tech companies such as Munich-based Infineon, a producer of semiconductors. The company supplies Tesla with computer chips. An electrical car contains semiconductors worth €6,000 ($6,500), twice as much as one with a combustion engine.


    The German roots of Model S cars run deep. The hydraulic springs in the front and rear compartment doors are delivered by Stabilus in Koblenz; the voice control system is by Peiker in Friedrichsdorf; and the sound system is supplied by Stuttgart-based S1nn, a subsidiary of Kardon.

    After the 2013 International Motor Show in Germany, 20 Dräxlmaier engineers visited Tesla’s Silicon Valley headquarters for detailed discussions. The quality of Tesla’s interiors has risen considerably since then, according to Mr. Musk. As a result, Dräxlmaier has been involved in the creation of Tesla’s new Model X from the start.


    “The sales numbers are still small, but many suppliers hope to profit from Tesla’s good image,” Mr. Bratzel said.


    Coroplast, a cable manufacturer in Wuppertal, supplies Tesla with high-voltage cables.


    “Tesla is extremely fair,” said Natalie Mekelburger, Coroplast’s boss. In front of its headquarters, the mid-sized company displays its own Model S – “powered by Coroplast.”


    Tesla’s suppliers have publicized their roles. When the Eisenmann firm from Böblingen announced in April 2015 that it would deliver two automated coating lines to the Tesla factory, manufacturer Dürr reacted immediately and highlighted its own role as producer of the 174 coating robots used within Eisenmann’s system.
     
  2. Cobbler

    Cobbler Member

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    This is actually good news! Meaning Tesla is not the typical inferior American car-manufacturer, but on a higher European level ;-)
     
  3. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    I'm shocked they left off "Bilstein"
     
  4. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Funny, in that Elon spoke of suppliers several years ago not being very cooperative, as they didn't see this little startup as significant enough to give them guarantees or volume pricing....
     
  5. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    This is an example of the disintermediation going on in the auto industry. Lots of people make auto parts and the car companies have become just "assemblers" of these parts. Makes it easier to get into the auto business.
    I guess we can blame Thyssen-Krupp for the drive unit failures.
     
  6. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Australian seat and interiors firm Futuris that built a facility next to Fremont to supply Tesla should be feeling nervous.

    They lost Next Gen seat contract to Recaro. They lost Model X 3rd row seat contract. "Upgraded interiors since 2013" sounds a lot like upgraded from Futuris.
     
  7. Gerasimental

    Gerasimental Member

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    Come on, they're businesses. If Tesla came along and asked for something of course the suppliers would do whatever they could to get the most advantageous conditions. That may have meant saying 'hey, look. you're only little tesla. yeah you're cool and all but we can't give you the same guarantees we give Benz or VW. It's just not in our interest'. Par for the course.
     
  8. DJung

    DJung Member

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    Thyssen-Krupp doesn't make drive units. Tesla manufactures their own drive units in house at their Fremont plant. When it says that Thyssen-Krupp makes Tesla's "Gear and Drive tech", they're talking about the steering wheel and gear selector stalk which comes from Thyssen-Krupp (which was previously Mercedes, but Mercedes sold that division to Thyssen-Krupp).

    [video=vimeo;109168998]https://vimeo.com/109168998[/video]
     
  9. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I'm not claiming it wasn't what they felt was a good business decision, I just find it amusing now how some companies are now so eager to be associated with them.
     
  10. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    This is the opposite of disintermediation, and nothing new.
     
  11. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Nothing new but not the opposite of disintermediation.

    The opposite of disintermediation would be vertical integration.
     
  12. hobbes

    hobbes Active Member

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    This info might be a good advertisement for prospective German Tesla customers!

    Also interesting how it seems like in the beginning, the suppliers didn´t talk much about their involvement, which is changing now. Maybe they felt like cheating on the German car manufacturers.
     
  13. AxelM

    AxelM New Member

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    Hi, as I'm new to this forum, let me first say hello to everyone, great community here!

    The article resonated a lot in Germany (I'm german). It's a good selling point, making the brand Tesla less abstract/unknown. People here always asked themselves why German manufacturers don't offer competive electric cars and where the catch is with Tesla. Now they realize that there's none, and Tesla cars are made out of state-of-the art components from international suppliers, so they must be good cars.

    The pressure on German car makers to build competitive cars is rising. Press coverage about Tesla is positive overall, and I beleive sales numbers will go up in 2016 over here.
     
  14. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    That explains it. I had heard that Tesla has a Mercedes steering wheel. I wondered why Mercedes would sell to Tesla but I see now that it's not Mercedes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Wrong word. Tesla has disintermediated wholesale and retail but that's not what's going on here. The diversity of suppliers allows Tesla to easily buy parts such as the steering column.
     
  15. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    This is amusing. Whatever Tesla does is the best strategy.

    Also, I was responding to a previous poster's misuse of the term disintermediation in the context of this thread topic. Obviously Tesla using many tier 1 auto suppliers is not disintermediation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I expect it is just that no reporter had asked these companies for a quote. Tesla's non-U.S. vendors are probably publically available from import and/or export documents.
     
  16. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    There's a lot of stories in specialist press that's really just modified press releases and promotional material. What he's saying is that in the past they wouldn't have gone to the trouble of putting out press releases or promotional material about their relationship with Tesla, but now they do.
     
  17. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I was the previous poster who misused the term disintermediation and I was trying to fix my incorrect posting. Yes, this is not disintermediation.
    Don't know what this has to do with "Whatever Tesla does is the best strategy".
     
  18. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    Check the reliability ratings for Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and VW. They're generally worse than American brands.
     
  19. EternalChampion

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    Well between the suppliers list and Tesla's patent release, the Chinese have absolutely no reason to not put out a killer knock-off at cut rate prices.

    If they source their aluminum from the Chernobyl region, they could probably nearly give them away.
     
  20. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Since German buyers in general like to buy from German companies then this German content should ease the pain that Tesla is an American company. So hopefully we'll see more sales coming out of Germany.
     

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