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Model 3 Design Speculation Thread

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by SteveG3, Mar 25, 2017.

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  1. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    Elon's tweets yesterday created a lot of conversation. Thought it would be useful to have one place for this discussion from an investor's perspective.
     
  2. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    #2 SteveG3, Mar 25, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
    As to having the one display we've already seen and nothing else for driver info, I don't know if Elon was being coy or not in his tweets yesterday.

    If he was not being coy, I don't find this concerning. It's not that I'm decided on how consumers will react, but, rather, if it's an unpopular decision, it would seem far easier to deal with than what happened with the Model X and the seat configurations.

    Consider,

    1) the first Model 3s to go anyone outside Tesla or SpaceX are probably 8 to 9 months away from being delivered (i.e., there is time to make a design change, quite possibly before general public deliveries),

    2) the relative ease and low cost of designing and adding a basic HUD (or another relatively cheap and easy solution that may exist) vs. adding entirely new seat configuration options to the X design

    3) Tesla has rethought decisions on the fly many times (revising battery option and paint color option offerings within a week or so of a prior decisions on these offerings, among others).

    4) Tesla has shown a willingness not to let ego/pride get in the way of quickly recognizing that the design choice the customer wants means more than what Elon and/or Tesla found near and dear. Elon likened the Model X seats to a work of art before the X launch. If my memory is correct, right in the midst of the launch Tesla just plugged in the 6 seat configuration as an option, and roughly a year later added the folding bench seat option (which likely required a decision to add many months earlier). I speak here of things the bulk of customer readily is aware of, I realize there have been people disappointed with Tesla's responsiveness to design decisions that were not obvious (i.e. actual HP).

    We can discuss whether that one screen in the prototype is really going to be the only source of driver information, and how well or it will do the job or not... but, I find it very improbable that this will be a challenging design issue to revise if market demand indicates that's needed.
     
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  3. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    I think the lack of a HUD would affect Model 3 sales the same as it has affected Model S and X sales, i.e., basically not at all. It is one new feature some people were focusing on, but I don't think many customers will make a "buy" "no buy" decision based on it. The Model 3 should have amazing handling and performance, it looks fantastic and it is a clean, efficient EV. Also, for technology buffs, the kinks seem to be getting worked out quickly on AP2 and that should be far more dazzling than a HUD, while providing far more benefit to customers as far as convenience, driving ease, etc.
     
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  4. azred

    azred Member

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    Eight or nine months before anyone but an employee gets a car? I think your math is wrong but time will tell.
     
  5. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    I hope you're right. I'd estimate 20K to 30K deliveries this year, based on 30K to 40K produced. If all goes well and they do start in July, I think at best a few thousand will be produced before October, which already would be a much faster ramp than the Model S. I realize there were tons of supplier issues with the S and Tesla is taken more seriously now, but I strongly suspect there are other issues in ramping up production that are just inherent in the process (stopping production and adjusting equipment, reworking defects on cars off the line...) contributing to the very slow going the first few months. This may be how it is for all manufacturers, it's just way more transparent with Tesla's ordering, sales and distribution process.
     
  6. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    I agree it's a great car and people will be happy with it. More than not an HUD, what may possibly lead to an impact on consumers is having only one screen. I'd agree that will be minimal, but, there is likely to be much media trying to convince the public it is some kind of massive gaff. We may see some of that media effort beginning by Monday. But, again, if this becomes a challenge, it seems it would be one they could readily resolve.
     
  7. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    My thoughts reposted from an investor thread:


    Weekend musings after the recent EM model 3 tweet storm:

    Now that EM has let us all in on some model 3 news we are all trying to read the tea leaves on what the model 3 Configuration Page and the model 3 itself will be like at launch.

    What we know (or I think we know) now to be priorities at launch.
    1. Have a base price vehicle be what EM said it would be: base of $35k
    2. Have it be easy to make, thus easy to ramp (learned from model X ramp issues)
    3. Similar to #2: Don't offer everything that will eventually be available at launch (again, learned from model X where too much was offered
    from the beginning.
    4. Make sure there is a clear delineation between the S and the '3', at least at launch.

    Given the above what will the configuration page look initially?

    1. Very few options:
    a. paint: one standard (white) and 3 metallic (upgrade)
    b. interior: Two seat colors: black or tan (leatherette standard); leather (upgrade)
    c. battery: two choices standard 55; upgrade 75
    2. No HUD
    3. Probably NO mention of AWD. If they do have it on the Config Page they indicate it is available in mid 2018

    Simplifying the design page/choices simplifies the production process and if people want 'S amenities' they buy an S. The early model 3s will have negative (or very low) margins and the ramp has to be fast to take advantage of the 60-90 day supplier bills. In addition, keeping the S and 3 very different will push some people that don't want to wait till 2018 for an AWD 3 into an S (or X). Selling as many higher margin Ss during the ramp is going to help overall GMs.

    Moving forward. Once they have gauged demand and had a successful ramp it is time to put the HUD and interior upgrades into the S and X. I think early 2018 (late 2017 if demand for S seems to be a problem). Then later in 2018, maybe even when they open up AWD 3s, the HUD shows up on the 3 design page. At this point the margins should be very good with faster production rates and high margin upgrades.
     
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  8. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    Since Tesla has to make design choices, it is inevitable that some in the media and some potential customers will be unhappy about something. When I have passengers in my Model S who have never been in a Tesla, they universally rave about the interior design and screen, yet the boards have many complaints about people wanting more buttons, different materials, etc. You can't please everyone with every feature and design element.

    As far as the Model 3 center display, I think a lot turns on how the Autopilot images are depicted and how the overall screenspace is managed and displayed with those additional images. From the reveal event video, it seems straightforward to add AP images readily visible to the driver to the left side of the center screen in landscape mode. If Tesla's designers and engineers do a good job with that and avoid making the screen too "busy," I expect most customers will be happy. Will be interesting to see how they handle this in the final design.

    But at the end of the day, I agree that if the lack of a HUD turns out to be a big stumbling block for customers, it should be pretty easy to resolve the problem by adding a HUD at some point after the kinks have been worked out with production (probably to the S and X first).
     
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