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Tesla quality control may cost Tesla its lead in the EV market

An opinion:

In a few short years, we will look back and conclude that Tesla squandered their opportunity to maintain the leader role in EV development. No one can dispute that technologically, Tesla was on the leading edge ..... way out in front of all the competition. No other manufacturer was even close. Most everyone loves the appearance, handling and performance of Tesla vehicles ... especially the 3.

Unfortunately, QC did not develop in "lock-step" with the design, innovative engineering and technology. Tesla delivered vehicles that should never have left the factory; so many QC issues surfaced that Service Centers became overwhelmed. Insurance carriers raised the premiums because of long delays in obtaining parts, at the same time that more and more articles were appearing on the Internet revealing quality issues. True, some vehicles were delivered with fewer QC issues, but it was a "crap-shoot" if a buyer got one of the good ones ... or one with QC issues. Few can explain how or why such inconsistence can occur, especially when the basic assembly is performed by robots. But even robot assembled vehicles require Inspectors to observe, measure and identify QC issues. That has to be the area where Tesla "dropped the ball." Too many vehicles are being given a "pass" by the QC inspectors. And, it's not a "Made in America" question. High quality vehicles are being assembled in the Carolinas, Kentucky and elsewhere. it has to be "employee indifference" at the California assembly plant. "Leave it to the Service Centers to correct the defects."

Meanwhile, most other manufacturers are now bringing EV's into the market place, and some with impressive battery, range and charging qualifications. Automotive magazines have examined these offerings, and are praising their design, QC and performance.

Finally, there are reports that Tesla has improved the QC. We all hope so. Tesla still has the game winning edge .... but the opponents are "moving the ball" and could easily "tie" the score.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
16,317
32,073
NC
Meanwhile, most other manufacturers are now bringing EV's into the market place, and some with impressive battery, range and charging qualifications. Automotive magazines have examined these offerings, and are praising their design, QC and performance.

Who is selling an EV today with "impressive battery, range, and charging" compared to Tesla?

And while some auto mags sure praised, say, Jaguars EV...nobody is buying the thing. While Tesla keeps getting orders faster than the can fill them.

Even if you want to compare the Jaguar to the Model X, which beats the Jag in virtually every spec, the Tesla outsells it about 7 to 1.
 
An opinion:

In a few short years, we will look back and conclude that Tesla squandered their opportunity to maintain the leader role in EV development. No one can dispute that technologically, Tesla was on the leading edge ..... way out in front of all the competition. No other manufacturer was even close. Most everyone loves the appearance, handling and performance of Tesla vehicles ... especially the 3.

Unfortunately, QC did not develop in "lock-step" with the design, innovative engineering and technology. Tesla delivered vehicles that should never have left the factory; so many QC issues surfaced that Service Centers became overwhelmed. Insurance carriers raised the premiums because of long delays in obtaining parts, at the same time that more and more articles were appearing on the Internet revealing quality issues. True, some vehicles were delivered with fewer QC issues, but it was a "crap-shoot" if a buyer got one of the good ones ... or one with QC issues. Few can explain how or why such inconsistence can occur, especially when the basic assembly is performed by robots. But even robot assembled vehicles require Inspectors to observe, measure and identify QC issues. That has to be the area where Tesla "dropped the ball." Too many vehicles are being given a "pass" by the QC inspectors. And, it's not a "Made in America" question. High quality vehicles are being assembled in the Carolinas, Kentucky and elsewhere. it has to be "employee indifference" at the California assembly plant. "Leave it to the Service Centers to correct the defects."

Meanwhile, most other manufacturers are now bringing EV's into the market place, and some with impressive battery, range and charging qualifications. Automotive magazines have examined these offerings, and are praising their design, QC and performance.

Finally, there are reports that Tesla has improved the QC. We all hope so. Tesla still has the game winning edge .... but the opponents are "moving the ball" and could easily "tie" the score.
I agree with what you are saying, but it needs to be put in perspective, these other manufacturers have been building cars for 50 to 100 years. I’m not giving the lack of QC a pass, but Tesla is still a start up and needed volume to survive. Hopefully they will correct these issues because if they don’t they will not survive.
 

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
7,629
8,021
Silicon Valley
An opinion:

In a few short years, we will look back and conclude that Tesla squandered their opportunity to maintain the leader role in EV development. No one can dispute that technologically, Tesla was on the leading edge ..... way out in front of all the competition. No other manufacturer was even close. Most everyone loves the appearance, handling and performance of Tesla vehicles ... especially the 3.

Unfortunately, QC did not develop in "lock-step" with the design, innovative engineering and technology. Tesla delivered vehicles that should never have left the factory; so many QC issues surfaced that Service Centers became overwhelmed.

Insurance carriers raised the premiums because of long delays in obtaining parts, at the same time that more and more articles were appearing on the Internet revealing quality issues. True, some vehicles were delivered with fewer QC issues, but it was a "crap-shoot" if a buyer got one of the good ones ... or one with QC issues. Few can explain how or why such inconsistence can occur, especially when the basic assembly is performed by robots. But even robot assembled vehicles require Inspectors to observe, measure and identify QC issues. That has to be the area where Tesla "dropped the ball." Too many vehicles are being given a "pass" by the QC inspectors. And, it's not a "Made in America" question. High quality vehicles are being assembled in the Carolinas, Kentucky and elsewhere. it has to be "employee indifference" at the California assembly plant. "Leave it to the Service Centers to correct the defects."

Meanwhile, most other manufacturers are now bringing EV's into the market place, and some with impressive battery, range and charging qualifications. Automotive magazines have examined these offerings, and are praising their design, QC and performance.

Finally, there are reports that Tesla has improved the QC. We all hope so. Tesla still has the game winning edge .... but the opponents are "moving the ball" and could easily "tie" the score.

You speak the truth... so sad that Tesla has squandered a competitive product advantage due to poor Quality Control and Service.
 
Thank you FlatSix911, I appreciate your comment.

These forums are interesting. Looking back, I see that I got 3 disagrees on my post. I wonder what they disagreed too?
Is there any dispute that from a technical standpoint, Tesla has been a trend setter. Or that vehicles were delivered that should have been corrected prior to delivery? Can anyone disagree that insurance rates are unreasonable? Perhaps they disagree that recent reports are that QC is improving?

Finally I mentioned rising competition ..... and one writer took off on the Jaguar. First, I wasn't even thinking about the Jaguar, but I think the competition in the EV arena is becoming more worthy .... and will continue to do so. I haven't read much about the Mustang Mach-e, but I'm sure it will be a strong opponent; and for those that can't afford the Tesla, I suspect the VW ID.3 is going to be popular (unless it's priced at or near the 3???)

Time will tell, but I'm not sure the Cybertruck is going to prove to be a winner for Tesla. My brother owned an S ... he looked at the Cybertruck and said it would not fit in his garage. I suppose it is larger than it appears to be in photographs.

You obviously own, or admire the Porsche 911. It has forever been my dream to own one.
 
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I posted a comment on the above and received 4 disagrees, it was that Elon needs to stop spending money on coming up with this cybertruck (I use the term truck loosely) and spend that time and effort on communication and service. I love his vision and has accomplished a lot by producing a beautiful longer range EV. I just want Tesla to survive.
 
Your first, major error was posting an opinion piece in a thread about pictures of the Model 3. Completely off topic, and can't imagine what motivated you to post it in this thread.

I cannot disagree with your point. It was not pertinent to this thread.

I went back and looked at the comments prior to my posting, and found that there was some discussion about the Chinese Tesla. Felling the Chinese version will probably be better assembled that the California version .... I just got carried away.
 
...Can anyone disagree that insurance rates are unreasonable? Perhaps they disagree that recent reports are that QC is improving?

Finally I mentioned rising competition ..... and one writer took off on the Jaguar. First, I wasn't even thinking about the Jaguar, but I think the competition in the EV arena is becoming more worthy .... and will continue to do so. I haven't read much about the Mustang Mach-e, but I'm sure it will be a strong opponent; and for those that can't afford the Tesla, I suspect the VW ID.3 is going to be popular (unless it's priced at or near the 3???)

Time will tell, but I'm not sure the Cybertruck is going to prove to be a winner for Tesla. My brother owned an S ... he looked at the Cybertruck and said it would not fit in his garage. I suppose it is larger than it appears to be in photographs.

You obviously own, or admire the Porsche 911. It has forever been my dream to own one.
Thank you FlatSix911, I appreciate your comment.

These forums are interesting. Looking back, I see that I got 3 disagrees on my post. I wonder what they disagreed too?
Is there any dispute that from a technical standpoint, Tesla has been a trend setter. Or that vehicles were delivered that should have been corrected prior to delivery? Can anyone disagree that insurance rates are unreasonable? Perhaps they disagree that recent reports are that QC is improving?

Finally I mentioned rising competition ..... and one writer took off on the Jaguar. First, I wasn't even thinking about the Jaguar, but I think the competition in the EV arena is becoming more worthy .... and will continue to do so. I haven't read much about the Mustang Mach-e, but I'm sure it will be a strong opponent; and for those that can't afford the Tesla, I suspect the VW ID.3 is going to be popular (unless it's priced at or near the 3???)

Time will tell, but I'm not sure the Cybertruck is going to prove to be a winner for Tesla. My brother owned an S ... he looked at the Cybertruck and said it would not fit in his garage. I suppose it is larger than it appears to be in photographs.

You obviously own, or admire the Porsche 911. It has forever been my dream to own one.
Insurance rates seem pretty reasonable for me. $124 a month for highest coverage, $100 deductibles, new car replacement, etc. $10 less a month than the car I’m trading in.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
16,317
32,073
NC
Finally I mentioned rising competition ..... and one writer took off on the Jaguar. First, I wasn't even thinking about the Jaguar, but I think the competition in the EV arena is becoming more worthy ....

Is it?

Jaguar can barely give theirs away.

Through end of October total sales are a barely more than 2000 total sales for all of 2019.

Not much more than Tesla sells of Model X in a single month... less than they sell in two by a fair bit.

Audis doing a bit better- but had to cut production targets by 20% due to battery shortages and sales remain way behind the more expensive Model X.

haven't read much about the Mustang Mach-e, but I'm sure it will be a strong opponent;

Ford only has enough batteries to produce 50,000 of them in first full year of production... and the majority of those cars are going to Europe, not the US, to help Ford hit EU fleet fuel standards...

And once they run out of full tax credits the specs are moderately similar to the Model Y, but at a significantly higher price.

it certainly appears to be a competent EV, but I don't expect it'll in any way prevent Tesla from continuing to sell as many 3s and Ys as they can build as fast as they can build em.


and for those that can't afford the Tesla, I suspect the VW ID.3 is going to be popular (unless it's priced at or near the 3???)

Volkswagen unveils the ID.3, its first ‘electric car for the masses’

Base model will be "under" about $33,180... that one has a range of 205 miles (EU standards, so likely noticably under 200 miles EPA standards) with max charging at 50kW... the mid-range and top end models will have faster charging (100kw and 125kw respectively but no pricing has been given yet.

Also it's not being sold in the US, so there's that...


Time will tell, but I'm not sure the Cybertruck is going to prove to be a winner for Tesla.

It's got similar or better specs to Rivians trucks for $20,000-$30,000 less money, so there's that too....

250,000+ pre-orders in the first week.

Even if 50% of em cancel (which would be over 2x the cancellation rate on the 3) it'd still make it the best selling EV in the world after the Model 3 by a large margin. (well, presumably 3rd behind Y and 3 by that point)


he looked at the Cybertruck and said it would not fit in his garage. I suppose it is larger than it appears to be in photographs.

It's about halfway between the shortest and longest Ford F-150 version.

Ford sold over 900,000 F-150s last year. I think it'll be ok.




Don't get me wrong, I absolutely think "real" competition is coming... the Mach E as I say is a very credible offering, but they're seriously production limited for the next couple years at least... VW is investing a ton but mostly they still haven't offered anything in the US but vaporware and the very meh E-Golf.

and everybody is still pretty clearly a generation or two behind Tesla on both battery and motor efficiency.

Meanwhile, demand continues to exceed supply for actual good EVs.... batteries are a huge supply constraint (even for Tesla- just to an order of magnitude less degree than everyone else).


Competition is coming, but it's not here. And won't be in a way that really matters to Tesla for at least a couple more years until a MAJOR jump in battery production capacity comes around.
 
While I do think the QC isn't top notch, I think that a lot of poor engineering choices are what has killed the service/reliability of these cars. I would love to know the numbers but I feel like these few things alone contribute to a lot of the headaches:

  • Non-framed windows
  • Electronic door latches
  • Door handle complexity
  • FWD on the X
  • Air suspension
Sure there are some failed motors and battery packs but those seem to get resolved quickly. I think they are quick to revise parts rather than do thorough testing so this leads to a ton of different SKUs for parts (basically Agile for manufacturing which is biting them in the behind). I bet they would be in a much better spot if they had gone without some of the complicated diversions from regular vehicles.
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,751
1,824
TX
An opinion:

In a few short years, we will look back and conclude that Tesla squandered their opportunity to maintain the leader role in EV development. No one can dispute that technologically, Tesla was on the leading edge ..... way out in front of all the competition. No other manufacturer was even close. Most everyone loves the appearance, handling and performance of Tesla vehicles ... especially the 3.

Unfortunately, QC did not develop in "lock-step" with the design, innovative engineering and technology. Tesla delivered vehicles that should never have left the factory; so many QC issues surfaced that Service Centers became overwhelmed. Insurance carriers raised the premiums because of long delays in obtaining parts, at the same time that more and more articles were appearing on the Internet revealing quality issues. True, some vehicles were delivered with fewer QC issues, but it was a "crap-shoot" if a buyer got one of the good ones ... or one with QC issues. Few can explain how or why such inconsistence can occur, especially when the basic assembly is performed by robots. But even robot assembled vehicles require Inspectors to observe, measure and identify QC issues. That has to be the area where Tesla "dropped the ball." Too many vehicles are being given a "pass" by the QC inspectors. And, it's not a "Made in America" question. High quality vehicles are being assembled in the Carolinas, Kentucky and elsewhere. it has to be "employee indifference" at the California assembly plant. "Leave it to the Service Centers to correct the defects."

Meanwhile, most other manufacturers are now bringing EV's into the market place, and some with impressive battery, range and charging qualifications. Automotive magazines have examined these offerings, and are praising their design, QC and performance.

Finally, there are reports that Tesla has improved the QC. We all hope so. Tesla still has the game winning edge .... but the opponents are "moving the ball" and could easily "tie" the score.

While not the popular opinion popular around here, I do share your view completely.
So much so that I am getting a Tesla now with the clear intention of selling it in a few years and moving over to the first good any-other-than-Tesla EV that comes out.

I think those saying the competition is still far away, are wrong. My feeling is in 2 (3 at most) years, it will be very different on the EV scene.
 
I agree with what you are saying, but it needs to be put in perspective, these other manufacturers have been building cars for 50 to 100 years. I’m not giving the lack of QC a pass, but Tesla is still a start up and needed volume to survive. Hopefully they will correct these issues because if they don’t they will not survive.
Not EVs though, which is a whole different animal tbh. But on the flip side, Tesla has also had the advantage/ability to research 50-100 years of production and customer service techniques to emulate for themselves. The problem for them is they've actually moved away from physical customer support to an online model, one which to many makes them come across as impersonal and uninterested (just read the tons of posts on lack of updates, callbacks, rescheduled appts., etc). Granted, if none of these other manufacturers were interested in EVs then Tesla would be fine, but the moment they offer the same range and charging infrastructure Tesla will have a lot of trouble matching their assembly line quality and customer service IMHO. There are signs they have improved build quality, let's hope the same can be said for customer service going forward!
 

JRP3

Hyperactive Member
Aug 20, 2007
22,748
60,095
Central New York
I think those saying the competition is still far away, are wrong. My feeling is in 2 (3 at most) years, it will be very different on the EV scene.
2-3 years is far away, and the competition is chasing a moving target. Yes Tesla has serious communication and service issues which are doing some damage to the brand, but they do have time to get it right. The QC issues seem to have improved greatly so Tesla does have the ability to improve.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
16,317
32,073
NC
I think those saying the competition is still far away, are wrong. My feeling is in 2 (3 at most) years, it will be very different on the EV scene.

From whom?

AFAIK none of the EVs even announced as being on sale in the US within the next 2 years have announced production numbers much more than 1/10th the number of cars Tesla plans to sell this year.

Fords Mach E for example is launching late 2020 and hopes in the first full year of production (so that'd get you to the end of your 2 years) to produce 50,000 total cars. About 60% of which are going to Europe not the US.

VWs ID.3 isn't coming to the US at all based on current announced plans...The ID.4 is, but given they haven't even shown a production version yet their "coming in 2020" likely means they might start producing them by the very end of 2020 with "some" US deliveries sometime in 2021... and again in numbers much lower than what Tesla produces... (IIRC they're targeting 150k total EVs by then, most of which will likely be non-US ID.3s)

Audi has a couple more e-tron versions coming in the next year or two... but they already had to cut back production by 20% (to again barely more than 10% Teslas production) due to battery shortages on the one E-tron they sell today.

Jaguar has another EV coming but they can barely give away their first one....

Porsche has a nice Model S competitor if you don't mind paying 2x for it- but again production is at least an order of magnitude lower than the # of cars Tesla is putting out.


Everybody is super battery constrained and that's not likely to change in 2 years... Even Tesla is but much less so than everyone else.

VW appears to be the only folks investing seriously to try and fix that- but said fix is more than 2 years away from really making a huge difference.... (for example in 2020 they're hoping to START building a factory as a joint venture they've got for batteries that might eventually produce up to a little less than half GF1s intended capacity)


I suppose maybe if all of them (plus the more fringe suspects) ALL manage to get something decent on the market 2 years from now they might be producing them in numbers, combined, to what Tesla is outputting now but GF3 (and maybe even 4?) will be producing hundreds of thousands more cars by then.

And by then Tesla will be selling cars with plaid powertrains and maxwell-boosted batteries too.
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,751
1,824
TX
From whom?

AFAIK none of the EVs even announced as being on sale in the US within the next 2 years have announced production numbers much more than 1/10th the number of cars Tesla plans to sell this year.

Fords Mach E for example is launching late 2020 and hopes in the first full year of production (so that'd get you to the end of your 2 years) to produce 50,000 total cars. About 60% of which are going to Europe not the US.

VWs ID.3 isn't coming to the US at all based on current announced plans...The ID.4 is, but given they haven't even shown a production version yet their "coming in 2020" likely means they might start producing them by the very end of 2020 with "some" US deliveries sometime in 2021... and again in numbers much lower than what Tesla produces... (IIRC they're targeting 150k total EVs by then, most of which will likely be non-US ID.3s)

Audi has a couple more e-tron versions coming in the next year or two... but they already had to cut back production by 20% (to again barely more than 10% Teslas production) due to battery shortages on the one E-tron they sell today.

Jaguar has another EV coming but they can barely give away their first one....

Porsche has a nice Model S competitor if you don't mind paying 2x for it- but again production is at least an order of magnitude lower than the # of cars Tesla is putting out.


Everybody is super battery constrained and that's not likely to change in 2 years... Even Tesla is but much less so than everyone else.

VW appears to be the only folks investing seriously to try and fix that- but said fix is more than 2 years away from really making a huge difference.... (for example in 2020 they're hoping to START building a factory as a joint venture they've got for batteries that might eventually produce up to a little less than half GF1s intended capacity)


I suppose maybe if all of them (plus the more fringe suspects) ALL manage to get something decent on the market 2 years from now they might be producing them in numbers, combined, to what Tesla is outputting now but GF3 (and maybe even 4?) will be producing hundreds of thousands more cars by then.

And by then Tesla will be selling cars with plaid powertrains and maxwell-boosted batteries too.


I guess you're not wrong but in this case, the situation doesn't look good.
Tesla surely knows this too and most likely they see no reason to improve their customer support and QA fast. Something has to happen down the line, something has to change.

It's not normal in any way to have to wait for a month to buy a used car from a manufacturer (I have my delivery date exactly one month from placing the order).

I do have high hopes for a smaller /hatch/sportback e-tron.
 

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