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Some Model 3 Thoughts

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by mtndrew1, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. mtndrew1

    mtndrew1 Member

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    The car has been shown, the launch features and specs are published, and prices are available.

    I'm a legitimate Model 3 intender and I'm parsing all the teeth gnashing over various elements of the launch. The loudest voices in the last 48 hours seem to be from those who expected a self driving Audi S4 for $34,995 available on September 1st, 2017. Maybe unexpectedly, this gives me great hope for the ultimate success of the Model 3. I'll explain.

    In the past ten years there have been three consumer facing products which have starkly defied the predicted success of the loudest voices at launch. They are the Apple iPhone, the Nest Learning Thermostat, and the Tesla Model S. I see so many parallels with them and the Model 3.

    1. iPhone. Of course the iPhone was famously derided by some very influential people at launch, such as Steve Ballmer and Jim Balsillie. Who would pay $500 for a phone?! You want to store more than the basics, that'll be $600 (long range battery)!! It can't even do MMS (instrument cluster)! It can't shoot video! No 3G! You can buy a RAZR (Bolt) that will match the iPhone spec-for-spec and you can save 50%! Of course we all know how this played out; Ballmer is out on his ass, BlackBerry is kaput, and Apple owns the absolute bulk of profit and mindshare in the smartphone space just ten years later. I personally sacrificed other perks in life and took on extra work in 2007 to be able to afford an iPhone 8GB. No, it wasn't the financially wise thing to do spending so much on what was considered a toy but it's what I did. I stretched to get something I loved and I've now had four or five of them in succession.

    2. Nest Learning Thermostat. Man, when this launched the talking heads were just like the ones for the iPhone (and TM3). Who on earth would pay $250 for a thermostat? For crying out loud you need a smartphone and persistent Internet access to even make the most use of it. That'll drive up your data plan! It doesn't even have any damned buttons! What if the Internet goes out! When I bought my first house (which I still live in) and the original thermostat conked out I stretched to get a Nest. It cost 400% more than the traditional option. In my personal orbit I'd say that in 80% of homes I visit there is an Internet-connected smart thermostat and the bulk of those are Nests.

    3. Tesla Model S. Don't need much backstory here, the pundits were tripping over themselves predicting a few thousand deliveries at most followed by ultimate failure in late 2011. "What LEAF driver can afford a $100,000 car?!" "Don't people know it'll take 4.7 million miles worth of gasoline to offset the cost over a used Honda Accord?" It went on an on. The two families closest to me with a Model S came from a Toyota Prius and a Jetta TDI. These people tried the Model S and loved it so much that they stretched to get it and they don't regret it. They certainly didn't put themselves into financial jeopardy to get the car, but they otherwise wouldn't have gone up that far on the pricing ladder for other comparable models.

    So that brings us to the Model 3. Like any car in its class the price will spike if you want the fun stuff. Has anyone configured a comparably-equipped 340i? Spoiler alert, it costs the same as the Model 3 and can't steer itself down the freeway. You will not get that autonomous S4 for $34,995. Never mind that, if the Model 3 is anywhere near as good as the early experiences claim and customers fall in love with it then the cars will be flying out of Fremont at a rapid clip while the rest of the auto industry will be baffled. Just like the iPhone, Nest, and Model S. It'll be fun to watch.
     
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  2. powertoold

    powertoold Member

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    I don't want to go into a tangent, but apps (and Jobs' ingenious App Store) played a major role in the iPhone's success.

    The Model 3 doesn't have something like the App Store. I'm not sure how many mass-market people care about or would pay a premium for better driving dynamics or a large touchscreen display. Autopilot is still not a mainstream product, since it you need to be vigilant during its use.

    If the Model 3 were around $25,000, sure it's more compelling than a gas car, but a lot of people don't want to worry about the possible inconveniences of electric cars. Of course, Tesla is actively making it more convenient to own an electric car, and at some point, the scales will tip, but as of right now, the Model 3 is still a niche product for tech-savvy people with quite a lot of money.
     
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  3. Stolz25

    Stolz25 Member

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    iPhone got enough backlash on the initial price that they lowered it within 2 months and really hacked off their early adopters.
     
  4. AceSkywalker

    AceSkywalker Member

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    Not to mention their (now) idiotic vision of having purely HTML web apps instead of dedicated native apps.
     
  5. mtndrew1

    mtndrew1 Member

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    Yes, they had to tweak the price and add a features as time went on.

    As it relates to the Model 3 I see this analogous to the launch of the $35k base car for general consumers this Winter and the ability to add unknown or unadvertised abilities over time via their unique vehicle firmware update mechanism. One of my friends' Model S can now move its headrests via the touchscreen whereas it couldn't when she took delivery, for example. Extrapolate that.
     
  6. Stolz25

    Stolz25 Member

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    Actually, on that I think they may have just been way ahead of their time. It's on the cutting edge now to develop progressive web apps, which is just that idiotic vision finally realized.
     
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  7. Brando

    Brando Member

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    #7 Brando, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
    Enhanced AutoPilot $5,000; Full Self Driving $3,000 great future revenue stream.
    I doubt you could spend anywhere near $3,000 for Apple Apps.
    Software updates are worthy even if owners don't pay for each update (yet?). Car keeps improving!
    Tesla can get a higher selling price.

    "inconveniences" such as
    -full fuel tank every morning?
    -refuel where ever you can find electricity (time not a problem when you sleep/work)

    I don't get what you are trying to suggest. That is OK, I'm not all that bright.

    PS- I suspect in the near future Tesla will offer non-metallic (standard mono-colors such as white, blue, etc.) at perhaps $500? And of course, Tesla can offer "special" pricing packages to spur demand if ever needed. So far production (and not demand) continues to be the problem.

    PPS- Perhaps Model Y will offer/target super efficiency or lowest cost version.
    I don't have the knowledge for cost/benefit but some thoughts such as
    - low rolling resistant tires
    - low top speed say 85 mph? slower acceleration such as 8 seconds to 60 (faster than my turbo Saab)
    - 210 range seems to be minimum expected
    - plastic panels less weight/cheaper than aluminium (is that even possible?)
    - cheaper seats/interior
    It could well be that these ideas don't make economic sense (not significant savings).

    Elon has said, that efforts to improve the factory (machine that builds the machine) vs the product design has much more potential for product improvement. For example IF you can double the speed of the production line you nealy cut in half the labor costs per car. You get the idea.
     
  8. eloder

    eloder Active Member

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    Yup, this is definitely an iPhone moment.

    Just like the smartphone revolution, people will ridicule it until they give it a try themselves, or see many of their friends/families adopting it or after seeing vast amounts of strangers adopt it on the road.

    The best part about this revolution is it actually will cost cheaper than the old technology and pretty quickly. Right now it's pretty much on-par with the old tech if you factor in total cost of ownership, but that'll change in ~5-7 years for upfront costs too. Imagine how much faster smartphones would have happened if they didn't cost 3-10x as much as flip phones.

    The people who are disappointed by the Model 3 are the same ones who preferred their Blackberry because it had a physical keyboard. "Oh no, I have to manually move my seat!" --as if that somehow is on-par with an electric drivetrain versus a gas drivetrain.
     
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  9. sweter

    sweter New Member

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    Trivia, but it wasn't Jobs' App Store. He was actually very very against opening up the iPhone for 3rd party apps and had to be persuaded really hard to do it (I think his biography elaborates on this).

    Anyway, I hope one day to see an App Store for Tesla. I've been tweeting to Musk regularly about it :p But not sure if it will make sense (economically, for Tesla margins and developers' earnings) until there are several million Teslas on the road. Also not sure if there aren't very strict legal requirements varying in different markets, so might be a legal hell to do it. And safety.
     
  10. kbM3

    kbM3 Member

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    For every successful product launch example in the face of widespread derision, I'm sure there are at least 10 examples of product failures.
     
  11. Joe Donovan

    Joe Donovan New Member

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    I'm a reservation holder and the owner of an Audi S5. The Audi is the best car I have ever owned, by far. Fantastic design, elegance and performance. I thought I would pass on the Model 3, but now that I've seen the reviews, I'm sold. It is indeed THE FUTURE!

    And for those of you who diss Elon Musk, how about trying to leap the barriers to entry in the US automotive market yourselves???? He's a friggin' genius.
     
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  12. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    It is close to $25K in some states with incentives. People keep forgetting about the $7500 tax credit when they talk about the Model 3 price.
     
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  13. mtndrew1

    mtndrew1 Member

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    I think part of this is that EV manufacturers have been advertising prices after tax credit for some time now as if it were MSRP and consumers are somewhat conditioned to expect that. Tesla at times in the past has been particularly guilty of this.
     
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  14. Brando

    Brando Member

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    examples of GM failures?
    Former GM automotive brands include McLaughlin, Oakland, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Hummer, Saab,Saturn, as well as Vauxhall, and Opel, which were bought by Groupe PSA in 2017. Corvair, EV1, straight 6 pony cars (seemed to work fine in Jags, 240z even some Mercedes) Buick now imported from China. Well we could not doubt ad many more. How long will they make the Bolt?
     

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