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Is it time for Tesla to do traditional model years?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by SteveW25561, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. SteveW25561

    SteveW25561 Member

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    #1 SteveW25561, Oct 11, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
    I know Tesla does things differently and this is why many of us love them. I also think the idea of continuous improvement is neat but when the item costs north of $100K, it's not like upgrading your iphone or iPad each year (even those have some predictable upgrade cycle).

    I personally think it's time Tesla start marketing their cars by model year. Whenever new features are announced, we have a chorus of "I missed it by 1 day/week/month" and "can it be retrofitted?"

    I'll admit I'm one of them: I missed the parking sensors by 1 week at the delivery time, and obsessed about them until I finally got them retrofitted this summer. And I hold out unreasonable hope that those extra wiring harnesses I know are in the rear of my car means I can somehow be granted a path to add at least some of the autopilot features (and yes, I know the statement is "no, they can't be retrofitted" yet the geek in me still hopes).

    Model year designation would help the resale market considerably for most: less confusion about options and better predictability for pricing. As more Model S are sold and eventually enter the resale market, it becomes more relevant. Right now, mine would be a "2013 August before parking sensor, wiring harness present, retrofitted sensor" model. MS's being delivered now are October 2014 with autopilot hardware, but those that came off the line just before would be "early October 2014 without autopilot hardware".

    Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla doesn't have a large inventory of shipped cars on lots so we won't necessarily see "2014 year blowout" sales. But, having your car in the queue to be made, then waiting a few months for delivery, then having it ship right at the time of a new feature causes great frustration for those buyers.

    For potential buyers, not knowing when a new feature set might come out leads to "I'll wait a few more months just in case" decisions.

    I'll admit the D and autopilot features give me the upgrade itch for a 1 year car, and it makes me worry about resale, since the difference between recently shipped cars and the newest ones is pretty big in terms of feature set, but they still look and price very similarly. Time can only tell if the free market of used cars will be able to grok the subtle difference in model changes, if panic upgrades drop the resale values, major advances make existing cars look like last year's iPhone, or that resale values trend like the resale value guarantee predicts. I think it's far too early for any of us to know, and yes, that's the price of being an early adopter.

    A model year designation would attenuate some of these concerns. It would also help temper expectations. No one expects from other manufacturers that a buyer of a 2013 car get access to 2014 features, and if you buy a 2103 at the end of the model year, you do it with the understanding that the next model may be different than yours.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Continuous improvement let's people get features sooner. It's a superior model to the traditional year model.
     
  3. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    Is it time for them to cave to the dealers too? I think not. I have made my peace with having been left in the dust as a Signature owner. My wife is getting an 85D for Christmas, Birthday, Valentine's day. I can live with her having the cooler car for now. I will catch the next wave in another year or two or three.

    I constantly remind myself that ultimately none of us as individual customers are more important than the movement as a whole. Elon and Tesla have to always move strategically, for the long-term. Fast cycling means more revenue for them that they can reinvest in the next stage of scaling up and of shaming their competition into getting with it.
     
  4. sgblank

    sgblank Member

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    Why Continuous Deployment May Mean Continuous Customer Disappointment

    see Tesla and Adobe: Why Continuous Deployment May Mean Continuous Customer Disappointment

     
  5. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    What's silly is the D is coming out in Dec of 14, and any delivered this year will be '14, one day later on Jan 1, you have a 15--same car.

    You have a year old car within a day...when you go to sell it's a '14 period.

    Taking a full years depreciation for a few days/weeks. Not good.
     
  6. TES-E

    TES-E Member

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    Delay your delivery to January if you are worried about it. It's not a surprise.

    I like the continuous improvement model. I got my S two weeks ago. Does not have the new goodies. So what? I got the car I ordered.
     
  7. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Yes we should totally move to a model year setup... While we're at it we should adopt traditional dealer franchises, internal combustion engines, vinyl roofs, and maybe tail fins....

    The ONLY reason to adopt a traditional model year is to pander to the very vocal minority who are so jealous of other people that they can't stand anyone else ever having something good happen to them. Those who take personal insult if someone else succeeds, even though it doesn't in any way diminish what they got themselves.

    Enjoy your Tesla, and quit wishing bad things on others.
     
  8. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    How awesome for her she's getting three cars! Four more and she'll have one for each day of the week. :wink:

    And to answer the thread's opening question: Um...heck, no!

    - - - Updated - - -

    It does make sense and it's not pointless. It's a reference to a number of other threads where people are complaining, so and so, got such and such, and I didn't.
     
  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    People are complaining, as if something bad happened to them, but it didn't, they got exactly what they ordered, for exactly the price they agreed to pay.
    Instead, they are complaining that someone other than themselves had something good happen to them (got new hardware). I can never accept that as a valid complaint.
    Requesting that this never happens means delaying, or eliminating progress. There's no other way around it.

    For the good of society as a whole, people need to be mature enough to realize that nothing bad happened to them, and that they should be happy for others, not jealous of what they didn't get when they got exactly what they requested, for exactly the price they agreed upon.

    Anyone requesting a delay in introduction of new features is arguing to limit progress. They are arguing to harm society as a whole, and the worst part is, it's not even for selfish gain, because they don't get anything out of it either, all they get is the satisfaction of knowing that nobody else gets anything either. The mindset that you'd rather limit everyone, than allow someone else to have something you don't is shameful, and is normally frowned upon in anyone above preschool age (actually we tend to scold preschoolers for this behaviour too, but we at least expect it there)
     
  10. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    i agree. People like predictability. I was a few weeks from having missed out AWD. I had a unit in the queue, and was able to change it. But I would have been mighty pd off had I ordered a few weeks earlier, and mine had been shipped. Telegraphing intentions and timing is a good thing. It leads to less uncertainty, and customers get what they buy, fully aware that they could have waited to a specific known time to see what upgrades were in the horiZon. The wild uncertainty of when new thing drop - big things - will damage them in the long run.

    this is not equivalent to the issue of dealerships and so on. Different is good. I'm just not sure that ALL differents are good. Customers don't like bad surprises.
     
  11. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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  12. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    I agree with the first part - yes I got exactly what I have ordered. For background: I happened to miss the switch by 1 week. I ordered my car in June, there was no word about auto-pilot features back then. I got it delivered Sept 28th, there were some other people who ordered later than me, but picked up a few days earlier from the factory, while I had to wait for shipping to Toronto. So there is a comparison of customers:
    a) Ordered earlier, not knowing anything about autopilot and got exactly what was ordered -- like myself
    b) Ordered later, not knowing anything about autopilot, but got a some really cool extra features without paying extra for them and delivered earlier.

    When you compare it this way, you cannot say it is fair. I have no problem with rolling out new features when ready and not doing the model-year dance. However, let's stick with the "you get what you ordered" system and then it is fair. I would have no bad feeling if autopilot was available only for people who ordered after the feature was announced. But waiting for the car production for 3.5 months and then missing a feature by 1 week completely outside my control just by sheer bad luck does not make me very happy customer.
     
  13. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    So basically you're saying that humans are incapable of accepting rapid progress, and all progress should be slowed down to accomodate those who can only handle changes once a year.

    That's not a good thing. You're asking a company that has a fully finished improvement ready to go to sit on it just for some arbitrary date. meaning thousands of people who could have benefited from the new feature in the meantime will not be allowed to get it just because you're not comfortable with faster progress.

    By that logic they should also halt all software upgrades, that's also uncertainty, that's also people unsure what they're going to get, in fact it's worse, with the hardware the worst case is that people get exactly what they ordered, with software they're actually getting things they never ordered.

    Of course the real difference is jealousy. You're ok with software updates because it improves YOUR car, you don't like hardware updates because it improves SOMEONE ELSES car. get over it. progress is a fact of life.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Who ever said life was fair? The thing is, this isn't unfair in a way that harms customer a), it's unfair in a way that benefits customer b) (and at nobody's expense I might add)

    Everyone should be happy for customer b, they had a great thing happen to them. But nobody should be sad for customer a, because they got exactly what they ordered, for exactly what they wanted to pay.

    I don't spend my life worrying that every store I walk in to might have a sale the day after I buy something, or get angry that I didn't get the prize for being the 500,000th customer (even if the guy right behind me does). I don't argue that nobody else should ever have good things happen to them.

    I mentioned this in another thread, but there was a study a while back among toddlers, they gave them the choice of getting 1 cookie, and another toddler getting none, or getting 2 cookies, but the other toddler would get 3. The surprising result is that the kids overwhelmingly preferred the first situation to the second, even though everyone is better off in the second scenario. This is EXACTLY what's happening here. Only as adults we are expected to be above such pettiness. Society as a whole benefits when we are happy for other people's triumphs, rather than sad that we didn't get the same.
     
  14. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    I don't care if there is a model year or not. That is one possible solution to the problem. The other is to simply have a pre-announcement, with orders that get new features are the ones that had it advertised to them (included on the design studio page when they ordered). If you're in queue for a delivery when that feature is announced you have the option of canceling your order (and losing the deposit) or keeping your place in line.

    @green1, you're entirely misrepresenting the opposing viewpoint. None of us want to prevent forward progress. We just want a choice. Ironically, Tesla has been providing that precise choice to people with respect to the AWD feature. People are canceling orders and converting them to AWD right and left. Tesla has even been transferring the deposit for these people, something it doesn't have to do.

    I don't think they need to do this for every tiny improvement. There are all sorts of tiny tweaks that they can simply roll into production. For example they made the cargo net for the frunk standard, improved seats (and I'm not talking about the D seats), an improved visor, and some other minor things. But for an improvement that provides for a major portion of their presentation, yes they should have a cut point with a pre-announcement.

    I fully support the way they handled AWD. I think the way they handled the autopilot sensor rollout to be poor. I happened to have missed out on the sensors. I've complained to Tesla in the hope that they improve their process for future owners, but have no expectation that they'll do anything for me at all. I realize that Tesla was fully entitled to do what they did. That doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.
     
  15. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    You missed the part where I said I was one of the lucky ones. Very lucky in fact. Dropping 100k for a dream car is big to a lot of folks, and a decision that is not to be taken lightly. I'd be okay with a faster update cycle. Maybe 6 months. It's the randomness that's the issue. Say what you want, Tesla upset a lot of customers. Judging the to be unjustified in being upset doesn't make the issue go away. You will have a whole lot of people out there looking at their newcar with some disappointment today. And this is when they should be grinning every time that they see it.

    lecturing people won't solve the problem. The OPs suggestion would... Or some variation thereof.
     
  16. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    Baloney, nobody is saying Tesla needs to hold back a fully finished improvement. Tesla knew that autopilot functionality was coming, they had plenty of opportunity to adjust their ordering process and inform customers. They chose to hold back the announcement so they could combine it with the D announcement.

    Announcing a feature in advance does not have to delay the release of the future.
     
  17. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    Agree. Everybody who is interested knows a lot about most every upcoming model of most cars well in advance. Leaks to auto mags are not always unintentional. It avoids exactly this problem.
     
  18. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    And there have been dozens (probably more) of exactly that around the D and the autopilot features as well. None of the announcement was a surprise. Elon has bragged about the auto-pilot features before, he's talked about AWD before, the press has discussed both at length, and both were assumed to be coming near the end of this year. There's a reason most media outlets guessed what the announcement was from Elon's tweet, it's because it wasn't in any way a surprise.
    So apparently those leaks that you claim avoid this problem, didn't in fact avoid this problem, even though they were both more of them, and higher profile, than leaks made about future tech by any other manufacturer on the planet.
     
  19. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    You have aver a lot of unhappy customers right now. That is quite simply -undebatably - bad. You insist on simply telling those customers that they are idiots. I'm sorry you feel that way. There is a better way. I'd be very surprised if Tesla wasn't having some serious discussions about this right now.
     
  20. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    Autopilot was guessed because the sensors were visible on cars. Not because people were expecting Autopilot to be released now. There were discussions of a partnership with Mobile Eye, but everything I saw expected 2-3 years for the fruits of that partnership to come to market. Elon even said they got things to market much faster than they expected to be able to during the announcement.

    The AWD was guessed because of several reasons. The Model X has been announced to have AWD and is being built on the S platform. Telsa updated the VIN decoding filing with the NHTSA in January to note the possibility of a dual motor Model S. Employees were telling some people that AWD was coming. So yes I'll agree there was plenty of hints that AWD was coming. Don't care about AWD, they handled that fine in my opinion.
     

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