TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Service tech salary

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by apacheguy, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,713
    Location:
    So Cal
    I noticed the hourly labor rate is $175 for Tesla Service per my annual service invoice. How much of that actually goes to pay for labor? I'd be pretty happy if the service techs see >= 50% of that, but I doubt this is the case.

    I understand that there's some overhead baked in there like paying for utilities, a service manager/advisor, etc. But IMO that overhead shouldn't exceed 30-40%. Anyone able to provide some insight to justify the $175/hr rate?
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    Utilities, insurance, tools, equipment, real estate, maintenance, training, health care, etc. I think your 30-40% is waaaaay off. (Not to mention that the majority of work done to-date has been warranty work.)
     
  3. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    I would be that they make $40-50k max per year. Tesla pays very poorly, and they get what they pay for.
     
  4. TES-E

    TES-E Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Casa Grande, AZ
    Why do you say that? Everyone I have ever dealt with at Tesla has been top notch.
     
  5. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    Guess you and I have had vastly different service experiences. Sorry for you.
     
  6. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    They are very nice, but nice doesn't get things fixed right.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I have never had an issue with Tesla service. I'd imagine they also get stock options which normal service techs don't get. Not sure about that though.
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    That hasn't been my experience - my Roadster has been well cared for by a great team of people - whether in Menlo Park, Fremont, or now, Rocklin. Obviously your experience is different.
     
  9. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,885
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    BMW pays better! I know several that have left Tesla to work there for pay only!
     
  10. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,713
    Location:
    So Cal
    Yes, those are all valid costs. Except, IMO, insurance and training. Those should be corporate covered through our car purchase prices and service plans and profits made from selling new parts. Take a look here at average mechanic hourly rates:

    https://www.mechaniconduty.com/MapGraphic_email.pdf

    Tesla charges 62% over the average hourly rate for LA. If they pay their techs less than average, yet charge more than average, then that's something concerning to me as it indicates ballooning overhead costs.

    right, they do indeed. So at least that I agree with.
     
  11. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    Just curious Bonnie, what is your tolerance level for having the car go in to service for the same exact issue multiple times? How many times would be acceptable to you for a reoccurring problem? Keep in mind, I'm not talking about nits like creaks and rattles. These are a step below major issues.
     
  12. TES-E

    TES-E Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Casa Grande, AZ
    My definition of top notch includes fixing it right the first time. Very few problems, all small, but all fixed.
     
  13. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    Obviously we've had different experiences. I've not had recurring problems and can't say anything but good about the service experience.
     
  14. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,291
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Most dealerships pay their techs by commission. So they get paid for the work they sell. (This leads to techs pushing things like new tires and brakes, and less ethical techs pushing unneeded repairs). Warranty work is sometimes regarded poorly as the manufacturer sets times for each task and if the task doesn't go to the manufacturer's often optimistic schedule, the tech doesn't get paid for the extra time it takes. The Tesla techs I've spoken with say they much prefer salary to commission as they don't have to worry about showing up and doing 10 hrs work and getting paid for 8, and no need to push any extra services.
     
  15. deonb

    deonb Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,020
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Interesting question. I've certainly had to take my car back to Tesla for the same issue multiple times. But I had to do that with BMW and Mercedes as well.

    Owning a BMW is an especially good way to build up tolerance levels for having to repeat service calls :).

    I was hoping that with the various business model differences, Tesla service would be miles better than dealership service, but it's not really. It still depends on the individual person you get, rather than anything institutional.
     
  16. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    You never did answer my question. The question pertains to any company, not just Tesla. Everybody has different levels of patience.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You are certainly right. Other brands dealerships aren't immune to this. The main difference is that Elon said that Tesla is way better than dealerships. Between refusing to sell parts/support salvage vehicles/enterprise loaners instead of Tesla loaners(another Elon statement), and the very issue we are discussing, Tesla is proving their statement wrong.
     
  17. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    I didn't realize I was obligated :). So again, I haven't had repeat visits to Tesla for service issues.

    I've had similar BMW issues in the past. Probably the worst was an issue with a Volvo 740 wagon that I owned many years ago. All of a sudden it would die, usually in the middle of an intersection (turns out there was a reason for that). And then I'd have it towed to the dealership and they wouldn't find anything wrong, I'd drive it home. And within a day, the problem would reoccur. After the 4th time in for repair, I picked it up and yep, it died again. On the way home from the dealership. In the middle of an intersection. I had it towed back (on #5 here) and told them that I didn't want it back until the mechanic drove it for at least two days as his daily driver. Didn't care that it was 'running fine'. He had my permission to drive it and I wouldn't take it back until he had driven it for at least two days.

    So I was delighted to hear that he'd been stranded on his commute home that night by my Volvo, which had died on him in the middle of an intersection. Turns out the glass lining of the catalytic converter had crumbled & when it was towed, the angle put all the debris at the back and everything worked fine. But the slight stop at an intersection eventually moved it up towards the front, hindering performance, so when leaving the intersection the car would die.

    Did this mean the mechanics were incompetent? No. Everyone felt terrible each and every time I brought it back, but they were truly stumped. It was an odd failure, something they hadn't seen before & not repeatable in the shop. I still kept bringing my vehicle back there and received stellar service.

    So I guess my answer is it's not dependent on just one incident/return visits, but rather the overall history with the repair team. Sorry I'm not going to give you a specific number, but I have no idea how to do something like that. The answer is a little more complex for me than it obviously is for you.
     
  18. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    Fair enough Bonnie. My issues are not intermittent, and I'm 100% confident I could fix the myself on the first try. That's why this is so frustrating.

    If I could do this over again, I either would have not bought a Tesla, or just waited and bought one out of warranty, so I wouldn't have to deal with this frustration.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    I would be equally frustrated in that case.
     
  20. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    4,271
    Location:
    California
    And I'd just fix it myself then if I knew what it was and believed I could do so. That would just seem the most logical to me. *shrug*
     

Share This Page