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M3 Tear Down by Munro & Associates. Pictures By Motor Trend

Tomski

Member
Jan 31, 2012
21
69
Ontario, Canada
Great shots of specific technical components. Finally and deep dive into battery pack and other components.

Tesla-Model-3-teardown-5.jpg


Tesla Model 3 Teardown: Deconstructed 3 - Motor Trend

Tesla Model 3 Teardown: Deconstructed 3 - Motor Trend
 

BioSehnsucht

Model 3 LR
Apr 1, 2016
1,794
4,904
DFW, TX
The details revealed by Motor Trend from Munro are enlightening - as in they shed light on some of the things Munro said and why they said it. We now have confirmation that the teardown vehicle was an early vehicle (and per a response from Tesla in the same article, a 2017 built one), so all the complaints about build quality are unsurprising and can be relatively ignored (that's not to say a car coming off the line now is perfect, but there are definite improvements).

Similarly, the "is it profitable" math is making assumptions to get the cost of the base car from the premium car, from an early build that likely was built less efficiently, cost-wise, as Tesla tends to tweak things continuously ... so while it might turn out to be accurate for the car they took apart (and even that is debateable based on what assumptions they made about battery costs for example), it is almost certainly not accurate for cars coming out of the factory now, never mind future vehicles that are actually base models.
 

adaptabl

Banned
Mar 13, 2018
776
702
Canada
The details revealed by Motor Trend from Munro are enlightening - as in they shed light on some of the things Munro said and why they said it. We now have confirmation that the teardown vehicle was an early vehicle (and per a response from Tesla in the same article, a 2017 built one), so all the complaints about build quality are unsurprising and can be relatively ignored (that's not to say a car coming off the line now is perfect, but there are definite improvements).

Similarly, the "is it profitable" math is making assumptions to get the cost of the base car from the premium car, from an early build that likely was built less efficiently, cost-wise, as Tesla tends to tweak things continuously ... so while it might turn out to be accurate for the car they took apart (and even that is debateable based on what assumptions they made about battery costs for example), it is almost certainly not accurate for cars coming out of the factory now, never mind future vehicles that are actually base models.

Maybe the build quality is slightly better now as more people are working on assembly. There will not be any changes to the body structure as a new set of crash test data would be needed. A car manufacturer is not free to start changing body parts without going thru a re-certification process. Now they are removing automation and adding more labour to the cost of the car. I suspect the cost has increased since the early builds.
 

Phrixotrichus

Member
Jul 31, 2017
585
705
Germany
The details revealed by Motor Trend from Munro are enlightening - as in they shed light on some of the things Munro said and why they said it. We now have confirmation that the teardown vehicle was an early vehicle (and per a response from Tesla in the same article, a 2017 built one), so all the complaints about build quality are unsurprising and can be relatively ignored (that's not to say a car coming off the line now is perfect, but there are definite improvements).

Similarly, the "is it profitable" math is making assumptions to get the cost of the base car from the premium car, from an early build that likely was built less efficiently, cost-wise, as Tesla tends to tweak things continuously ... so while it might turn out to be accurate for the car they took apart (and even that is debateable based on what assumptions they made about battery costs for example), it is almost certainly not accurate for cars coming out of the factory now, never mind future vehicles that are actually base models.
As someone with an industrial background I must tell you that you and all other "this is just an early production vehicle" sayers VASTLY overestimate the room for improvements a manufacturer with a running production has......While stuff like the gap dimensions or any modular part of the car can certainly be tweaked or replaced the heavy body frame and basically anything else that stems from design/engineering errors rather than material flaws will stay till the car gets a major overhaul......this is NOT some handmade low volume car!

Hard to say unless they pull apart a more recent one.
........no
 

R-123

Member
Jan 12, 2018
22
42
Europe
I suspect the cost has increased since the early builds.
The cost might have increased vs what was forecast, but not what it cost in 2017 to build Model 3. If automation it was working and cost efficient then it'd stay. It wasn't. So instead of using that failed automation they were putting the cars together manually on a line not prepared for it. No way that cost less than doing it on a line that got adjusted for a more manual assembly (as it supposedly is now).
 
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Buran

Member
May 14, 2013
31
4
Sweden
Anyone else that find it peculiar that the two side rows with fewer "bricks" of cells seem to be of equal lengh as the inner ones from a pack enclosure poiny of view? The pictures Electrek shared Tesla Model 3: Exclusive first look at Tesla’s new battery pack architecture showed some content here, but in the picture here it looks like a "spacer". If the 23 vs 25 bricks from Electrek is right, and there is space, why not fit 1 or possibly 2 more per side module? Downgrading to not overshoot Model S/X range?
 

bhzmark

Active Member
Jul 21, 2013
3,680
6,223
While stuff like the gap dimensions

That what was most of Munro's criticism in his first video was all about. And he went on about that again in this recent video. His only criticism that is not remediable is the one specific criticism that there were rear body panels that he thought weren't necessary and too heavy. Mostly he just confessed he thought that they weren't necessary. Maybe in actual crash testing, Tesla determined that they were necessary and helpful and worth the cost and weight. But that is very different from him and his goofy panel going on about how they stuck their pinky in a panel gap on that 2017 build.
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,124
5,242
Colorado
That what was most of Munro's criticism in his first video was all about. And he went on about that again in this recent video. His only criticism that is not remediable is the one specific criticism that there were rear body panels that he thought weren't necessary and too heavy. Mostly he just confessed he thought that they weren't necessary. Maybe in actual crash testing, Tesla determined that they were necessary and helpful and worth the cost and weight. But that is very different from him and his goofy panel going on about how they stuck their pinky in a panel gap on that 2017 build.

You are misrepresenting some of what he said.

He specifically said that the Tesla body is at least 200 lbs heavier than it needs to be. He is extremely knowledgeable about how car unibodies are designed and he almost definitely would have mentioned the heavier weight being needed for safety. He didn't. The goal with unibody design is to make the body as light as possible while still having it strong enough to perform superbly in crash testing. Every extra unnecessary pound of weight actually makes your car worse in a crash if it isn't performing a crash absorption specific function.

As others have stated, things like panel gap tolerances can be improved in manufacturing, things like the body being inefficiently designed (13 plates welded together to make a section) and much heavier than it needs to be CANNOT be substantially improved through iterative design changes as they would have to re-submit the car for federal crash testing, etc., if they did that.

Munro said:
Despite aluminum construction of nearly everything aft of the rear bulkhead, the Tesla body structure weighs more than its size peers. That indicates Tesla is trailing the mainstream’s learning curve for stamped and welded/riveted unibody construction. “The strategy for the body is about as bad as could be,” Munro says. “It’s heavy and much more expensive than even the carbon-fiber BMW i3.” A careful study in industry best practices could dramatically slash the body’s cost and weight (benefiting range). One piece of low-hanging fruit: figure out how to assemble the body without an almost unheard-of 165 feet of pumpable body sealant. One flash of brilliance, however, is the instrument panel cross-car beam, an aluminum tube over which the plastic dash mounting structure is molded.
 
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mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
13,513
42,346
Michigan
Anyone else that find it peculiar that the two side rows with fewer "bricks" of cells seem to be of equal lengh as the inner ones from a pack enclosure poiny of view? The pictures Electrek shared Tesla Model 3: Exclusive first look at Tesla’s new battery pack architecture showed some content here, but in the picture here it looks like a "spacer". If the 23 vs 25 bricks from Electrek is right, and there is space, why not fit 1 or possibly 2 more per side module? Downgrading to not overshoot Model S/X range?
23,25,25,23 gives 96 cells in series which matches the voltage/ series cell count of the non-60kWh packs.
 
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voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,124
5,242
Colorado
For those who don't want to read the article, Motor Trend got a nice response from Tesla on Munro criticisms, it's worth noting that they ignored the question of profitability of the car which is probably a smart move on their part;

Tesla Responds
Statement on vehicle age

“The primary car evaluated by Munro was built in 2017. We have significantly refined our production processes since then, and while there’s always room for improvement, our data already shows that Model 3 quality is rapidly getting better.”

Statement on panel gaps and offsets

“Since we began shipping Model 3 last year, we have been very focused on refining and tuning both part and body manufacturing processes. The result being that the standard deviation of all gaps and offsets across the entire car has improved, on average, by nearly 40%, with particular gap improvements visible in the area of the trunk, rear lamps and rear quarter panel. Today, Model 3 panel gaps are competitive with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes models, but in the spirit of relentless improvement, we are working to make them even tighter.”

Statement on body weight/complexity

“The U.S. government found Model S and Model X to have the lowest probability of injury of any cars it had ever tested, and Model 3 was designed with the same commitment to safety. While there’s always room for refinement of cost and mass, which we are already improving, electric cars have unique safety requirements to prevent intrusion into the battery, and Model 3 was also designed to meet the latest small overlap front crash requirements that other reference vehicles may not have. We stand behind our physical crash testing and our computer simulations of it, which have been remarkably accurate, and the safety that they demonstrate. The safety of our customers is more important than any other metric.”
 

mtndrew1

Active Member
May 12, 2015
1,371
3,884
Gardena, CA
My takeaway from the Munro video (watch all the way to the end!) is that the Model 3’s drivetrain, suspension, battery pack, electronics, and autonomy chipsets are all two or three generations ahead of everyone else in the industry.

Simultaneously Tesla’s coachwork (stampings, body assembly, efficiency of materials allocation) is two generations behind everyone else. Not really a surprise here.

One of these is much easier to fix than the other and Tesla is known to redesign and improve parts from one week to the next on S and X. If the strengths were reversed and the tech was a kludge with stunning coachwork I’d be scared for the viability of the company.

Incidentally I rented a December 2017 build Model 3 in early February and it had a number of wonky panel fits and uneven gaps. Nothing I would have made a stink about, but it was assembled about as precisely as my 2012 Volt. Not fantastic but tolerable.

I took delivery of my April 2018 build Model 3 last Friday and it’s...perfect? At least very close to perfect. I’d put its build precision up against a BMW or Audi without shame, it’s really that good. The amount of improvement from December to April took me by surprise.
 
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jsmay311

Active Member
Apr 22, 2016
1,198
1,772
Chicago suburbs
For those who don't want to read the article, Motor Trend got a nice response from Tesla on Munro criticisms, it's worth noting that they ignored the question of profitability of the car which is probably a smart move on their part;

Tesla Responds
Statement on vehicle age

“The primary car evaluated by Munro was built in 2017. We have significantly refined our production processes since then, and while there’s always room for improvement, our data already shows that Model 3 quality is rapidly getting better.”

Statement on panel gaps and offsets

“Since we began shipping Model 3 last year, we have been very focused on refining and tuning both part and body manufacturing processes. The result being that the standard deviation of all gaps and offsets across the entire car has improved, on average, by nearly 40%, with particular gap improvements visible in the area of the trunk, rear lamps and rear quarter panel. Today, Model 3 panel gaps are competitive with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes models, but in the spirit of relentless improvement, we are working to make them even tighter.”

Statement on body weight/complexity

“The U.S. government found Model S and Model X to have the lowest probability of injury of any cars it had ever tested, and Model 3 was designed with the same commitment to safety. While there’s always room for refinement of cost and mass, which we are already improving, electric cars have unique safety requirements to prevent intrusion into the battery, and Model 3 was also designed to meet the latest small overlap front crash requirements that other reference vehicles may not have. We stand behind our physical crash testing and our computer simulations of it, which have been remarkably accurate, and the safety that they demonstrate. The safety of our customers is more important than any other metric.”

Seems like an uncharacteristically measured response to criticism for Tesla. :D

I was half expecting them to call Munro and Associates an "extremist organization". :rolleyes:
 

omgwtfbyobbq

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,450
1,661
Southern California
You are misrepresenting some of what he said.

He specifically said that the Tesla body is at least 200 lbs heavier than it needs to be. He is extremely knowledgeable about how car unibodies are designed and he almost definitely would have mentioned the heavier weight being needed for safety. He didn't. The goal with unibody design is to make the body as light as possible while still having it strong enough to perform superbly in crash testing. Every extra unnecessary pound of weight actually makes your car worse in a crash if it isn't performing a crash absorption specific function.

As others have stated, things like panel gap tolerances can be improved in manufacturing, things like the body being inefficiently designed (13 plates welded together to make a section) and much heavier than it needs to be CANNOT be substantially improved through iterative design changes as they would have to re-submit the car for federal crash testing, etc., if they did that.
They would?

NHTSA said:
10. How does NHTSA choose vehicles to rate?

If NHTSA didn’t rate my vehicle, how do I know it’s safe? Each year, NHTSA rates a sample of new vehicles that are predicted to have high sales volume, those that have been structurally redesigned, or those with improved safety equipment. Tested vehicles are purchased from dealerships across the country; the vehicles are not supplied directly to NHTSA by the manufacturer, a common misperception. For the 2011 model year, NHTSA estimates 60 percent of the light vehicle fleet will be rated. Though NHTSA is unable to rate every car, all vehicles sold in the U.S. must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

https://www.safercar.gov/FAQ

The Bolt was optimized for weight, but that's straightforward because it's the only car on it's platform. If Tesla's going to build the P-series and/or Model Y with a portion of the 3's BIW, odds are they'll have to beef up some parts of the 3 compared to if the 3 were the only car they were selling to use some or all of it's BIW.
 
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slipnslider

Member
Apr 13, 2016
787
1,150
los angeles, ca
From their analysis, the problem with the model 3 is hubris.
The mechanical and manufacturing problems come from the fact the tesla thought they could ignore centuries of coachbuilding experience and do it their own way. They apparently were infected by the silicon valley mentality of "new = better!" and "high tech > low tech" ignoring that many times things have been done the same way for a long time for a reason, and more tech often creates more problems (cough cough PHONE KEY!)
Elon has admitted this to some degree with his confession that they were assuming robots would be better than they are.

This engineer's conclusion is that if they had built the drivetrain and suspension and electronics the way they are now, but used traditional means for the mechanics and manufacturing, they would have wiped the floor with even toyota. He was unsure if it was fixable at this point.
 

mtndrew1

Active Member
May 12, 2015
1,371
3,884
Gardena, CA
From their analysis, the problem with the model 3 is hubris.
The mechanical and manufacturing problems come from the fact the tesla thought they could ignore centuries of coachbuilding experience and do it their own way. They apparently were infected by the silicon valley mentality of "new = better!" and "high tech > low tech" ignoring that many times things have been done the same way for a long time for a reason, and more tech often creates more problems (cough cough PHONE KEY!)
Elon has admitted this to some degree with his confession that they were assuming robots would be better than they are.

This engineer's conclusion is that if they had built the drivetrain and suspension and electronics the way they are now, but used traditional means for the mechanics and manufacturing, they would have wiped the floor with even toyota. He was unsure if it was fixable at this point.

In other news, a company with over one hundred years of auto building experience is struggling to launch two utterly conventional products...

Ram, Maserati Levante Launches Disappoint Outspoken FCA CEO - Motor Trend
 

Brando

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
3,009
2,245
Bainbridge Island, WA
Maybe the build quality is slightly better now as more people are working on assembly. There will not be any changes to the body structure as a new set of crash test data would be needed. A car manufacturer is not free to start changing body parts without going thru a re-certification process. Now they are removing automation and adding more labour to the cost of the car. I suspect the cost has increased since the early builds.
I suspect buyers are worried about what they PAY.

I suspect buyers are NOT worried if Tesla made money on their particular car.

Volume (quantity produced per month or quarter) is always a factor.
(IF there is a break even number, it must be at some volume point, right?)
(anyway, Tesla problem how many or how few people they use. SEC filed documents are public - those really interested in the details should read - it may take a little practise, looking up some terminology - but all of you can certainly quickly master - it will add to your understanding, I think)
 

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