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Tesla service model to switch to Mobile Service as primary means

Spoke with a cool guy at the Dublin Supercharger today (thanks Matt!) who was sitting in a Model S with "Tesla Mobile Service" on the side. I told him about a rattle I was having in what I think is the left rear door panel. He immediately came over to take a look, then offered to pull the panel and inspect for anything loose.

We chatted while he worked, and I asked about the mobile service versus coming to the Dublin site. He said that Tesla was switching over to mobile service as the primary means of getting the car serviced versus bringing your car to the shop. In the not too distant future, you will need a good reason to not accept mobile service since that will be their preferred model.

I mentioned my wife's Model 3 issue with the "phone as key", and he said it's a well known problem with androids, but that he has a fix he can try that has worked for many. He said I could just e-mail him and he'll swing by and take care of it when he has a chance in the next few days. Now that's service!

I prefer the mobile service option, as I don't have to give up my car for an ICE loaner, and I don't have to drive out of my way to get something checked out, so I view this as a very positive improvement going forward.
 

David29

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Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
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DEDHAM, MA
Whether or not it is a good idea depends upon what the scarce commodity is. If service center space and work bays are the scare commodity, then mobile service could be advantageous to the service system. But what if technicians are in short supply? Mobile service "wastes" technician time while they are driving around, so it could reduce the hours available for service compared to providing service at a fixed location.
And it would be interesting to know if mobile service is more or less costly to Tesla compared to the cost of a service bay in a fixed location. It reduces real estate costs, but increases the need for vehicles.
Interesting trade-offs!
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
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Mar 6, 2013
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San Diego
Geez, I wish Tesla would just stick to the same thing! 5 years ago, they had Rangers, and they did a lot of my Model S service either remotely, or they sent two guys down and they drove my S to the service center and back. Then they dropped that service. Now it’s kinda coming back, but the last time I asked for remote service for new tires, they said they don’t do tires remotely.

I do like remote service when it’s available!
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
11,623
9,711
Maine
I live 2 miles from my service center. Never been offered mobile service and I hope I'd never need it.

Its the relation between density thing.

In a high-density setting, hub capacity is met by customers within a short distance from the hub.
It's relatively convenient for the customer to come to the hub, and by having the customer travel to the hub, techs can spend their time being techs, so fewer techs are required.

In a low-density setting, hub capacity serves customers far from the hub.
It's very inconvenient for the customer to come to the hub, so the customer is better served by mobile service. More employees are required, but the numbers of hubs can be reduced.

But, to add to the mix
- there are difficult levels of employee skill required to serve the customer
- there are difficult priorities for the services required by the customer

If the kinds of tasks performed by mobile service involve relatively low skill, and the different service priorities can allow for scheduling that limits employee travel time, a hybrid service could be both convenient for distant customers and be provided at relatively low cost.

Mobile service also has another advantage: by avoiding the time, cost and commitment associated with dedicated locations, it allows a company to expand almost as fast as it can train employees.
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,382
2,031
DEDHAM, MA
Its the relation between density thing.

In a high-density setting, hub capacity is met by customers within a short distance from the hub.
It's relatively convenient for the customer to come to the hub, and by having the customer travel to the hub, techs can spend their time being techs, so fewer techs are required.

In a low-density setting, hub capacity serves customers far from the hub.
It's very inconvenient for the customer to come to the hub, so the customer is better served by mobile service. More employees are required, but the numbers of hubs can be reduced.

But, to add to the mix
- there are difficult levels of employee skill required to serve the customer
- there are difficult priorities for the services required by the customer

If the kinds of tasks performed by mobile service involve relatively low skill, and the different service priorities can allow for scheduling that limits employee travel time, a hybrid service could be both convenient for distant customers and be provided at relatively low cost.

Mobile service also has another advantage: by avoiding the time, cost and commitment associated with dedicated locations, it allows a company to expand almost as fast as it can train employees.

Well said. But another factor is that it takes more skill and possibly more experience to work solo, remotely, than to work in a collegial environment with supervision and peer support. So, not every technician is temperamentally suited to be a roving technician, out of sight of the boss and away from his/her support system.
 
Whether or not it is a good idea depends upon what the scarce commodity is. If service center space and work bays are the scare commodity, then mobile service could be advantageous to the service system. But what if technicians are in short supply? Mobile service "wastes" technician time while they are driving around, so it could reduce the hours available for service compared to providing service at a fixed location.
And it would be interesting to know if mobile service is more or less costly to Tesla compared to the cost of a service bay in a fixed location. It reduces real estate costs, but increases the need for vehicles.
Interesting trade-offs!

Yes--absolutely on the bottleneck point. Given the number of Teslas on the road is about to explode, and investor concerns about cap ex, I have to think the service bays are going to be impossibly swamped. They're pretty well booked already. Fortunately for Tesla, there are a huge number (relatively speaking) of mechanics available to poach from existing dealers. These mechanics are probably easy to train on cars that are generally simpler to work on.

From a customer service perspective, I love this. It saves at least two hours of my time per service visit to a service center that is 25 minutes from my house.
 

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