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Tesla will never stop innovating. Major revisions every 12-18 months.

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by Az_Rael, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    IMG_0311.jpg

    Interesting confirmation that Tesla will never settle into a "normal" release cycle ala traditional car makers. So, like buying a computer, a new car will be "outdated" very shortly. A unique model for an auto manufacturer. I wonder how that will go long term.

    This will also keep depreciation rates sky high on these cars. And I wonder if they will ever get initial quality sorted out if they are constantly changing.
     
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  2. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    Innovation doesn't necessarily mean drastic changes, and those in the used market are less concerned with having the "newest" features.

    It seems to me that there are enough people that want these innovations to make this model lucrative...and a lower price-point would seem to indicate a larger pool of these people.
     
  3. carter_seattle

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    Is this true? I thought Teslas were shown to hold their value better than similarly priced luxury vehicles from Mercedes and BMW?
     
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  4. Matt125

    Matt125 Member

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    As a PC gamer, I can say buying a Tesla is like buying a PC. If you buy the best possible one at the time, you have 6-12 months before something gets made 2nd best by the next component that gets released (usually CPU or GPU now that memory and hard disks don't improve much).

    You have to decide whether this is a problem. If you want to buy something and have it as the best possible thing in that class forever and ever, well, this has never really been the case, unless you buy it and the company goes bust.

    People who splashed over a million on a Bugatti Veyron a couple of years ago won't be pissed off that the Bugatti Chiron will be released this year and will be better in every single way. They knew what they were buying and they bought it for a reason.

    Technology is not stagnant, it always improves, including with cars. The difference with Tesla is they are constantly improving the components and the tech without restricting them to new revs every 4-5 years.

    When I get my Model 3 I know that I'll only have a few months until Tesla introduce something that is better. I don't care. You have to choose a moment to hop on and enjoy it while it lasts. For a while I'll be driving the best thing on the road that isn't a Model S or X. After that, I'll still be driving a great car.
     
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  5. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Well, I bought a 2 year old CPO from Tesla for half off the original MSRP. So that is probably in line with other luxury makes.

    That electrek depreciation article everyone likes to quote was using flawed data (they used asking prices, not sold prices)
     
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  6. McMuggets

    McMuggets Member

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    Does any of this really matter if even the 2013 Tesla sedans are still in MANY ways better than 2016 combustion cars? I see 2013's holding value even to this day as local sellers can easily sell their cars in the used market for normal (or better) prices than a comparable 2013 gas sedan with similar performance attributes.

    What i am saying is that obsolescence only happens if everyone else starts catching up. Imagine a world where there was no such thing as Android phones by Samsung, et al. The first iPhone would still seem like a marvel if all the rest were still Nokia button phones. This is what we have now... Tesla is the only shop in town with this level of car for the next 4-5 years.
     
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  7. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Well, he did say major revisions every 12-18 months.

    But, yes, this just cements my policy to never buy a new Tesla. I like the discounts at two generations behind. In a few years I will buy an AP 2 car when new ones are on AP 3 or 4.
     
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  8. McMuggets

    McMuggets Member

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    This is a smart approach for the buyer who does not need "new". You'll get an awesome car at a good discount.
     
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  9. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    Well, fair enough. This is why we're only going to lease, at least in the near-term.
     
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  10. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    I seriously doubt that. Tesla will always - like iPhone - have the privilege of having been radically ahead the market for several years. Nothing can take that achievement away. It is truly historical and market changing. They are still there, in the lead, today. But just like for iPhone by 2012, most of those years are already behind.

    The competition will have equal cars on the market in 1-1.5 years. It will take a little bit longer to catch up on charging and perhaps things like software updates, but on the other hand the competition will be ahead in various things such as interior comforts. And their self-driving may well be more robust once their full suites hit the cars, though Tesla retains an initial edge there as well with their more agile software approach.
     
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  11. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Most people buy cars and keep them 4-5 years. So in one "car generation" the rest of the luxury makes may have caught up. It will be interesting to see how well Tesla does if folks can choose between a 300 mile BEV from Audi or BMW. And with VW having to invest in EV infrastructure as part of the settlement, the supercharger network might not be the defining feature.
     
  12. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    As many people here well admit, the greatest strength of an EV is charging at home. Not everyone needs cross-country driving, especially in families with multiple cars. For the shorter and medium range haul, we should have realistic, large battery alternatives to Tesla already next year from the likes of Audi. Granted, they will first be Model S/X competitors, but that certainly is the price range where many TMC regulars buy their cars.
     
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  13. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    There are material differences between Tesla and legacy auto companies. The most important one is that because of the roots in Silicon Valley the entire vehicles are designed and planned for continuous improvement. Competitors know that, but it is fearfully challenging to change habits of 100 years and more. The others have a century of heritage that the build something to sell, then service it after the sale, but that something does not change. Any of us who own Tesla are accustomed to rising on a given day and finding that our car has gained new features or capabilities while we were sleeping. The others will not easily learn how to do that. Give them at least a decade.

    The first ones will have specifications that look good but they'll be like the BMW i8; beautiful but it really does not work very well. GM and Renault/Nissan are a trifle ahead, but they both are stuck in the past. The names are apropos: Nissan- is an acronym for Japan Daily Manufacturing Company. It will take at least a decade for either one to catch up.
     
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  14. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like Elon got tired of people complaining that the car they just bought a few weeks or months ago is already no longer the latest and greatest, and if only they had known they would have delayed their purchase. Good for him.
     
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  15. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Elon finally realizing that his old proverb of "always" is a good time to buy a Tesla is wrong and it actually is, as I've put it, never a good time to buy a Tesla. :)

    Mind you, I'm not saying never buy a Tesla. I'm just saying it is never a good time, really. The adding as well as dropping of features is quite random from a buyer perspective. Oh, the innovation of dropping ventilated seats and interior design options...
     
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  16. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I was glad to see Elon's tweet emphasizing that Tesla is committed to continuous innovation. That is how Tesla will stay ahead of the competition. Tesla is a moving target. Competitors that design to match today's cars will find that when their design goes on sale in two years it will be outdated and behind.

    It is always a good time to by a Tesla if you want to drive the best car available. You are welcome to wait for future improvements, but you are fooling yourself. There will always be future improvements to wait for and while you wait you will be driving a markedly inferior car made by some other company.
     
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  17. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Is that really the full picture, though?

    One reason why car companies have model years and lifespans for cars is that they actually mimick the average new car purchase cycle as well. From an individual customer perspective it makes sense. Even companies like Apple have predictable iPhone releases and that is a much smaller investment. You get all the benefits of that year, instead of TouchID in June and then better camera in December... Imagine if buying an iPhone was as difficult as buying a Tesla?

    With Tesla your car is often obsolete before you even receive it, especially if you live abroad, because of the piecemeal approach. There is no way around this, no timing that really can help you avoid that. With other companies you have a much higher chance of planning your purchases to coincide with the cycle, but not with Tesla as everything is always in flux.

    So it is not just about constant innovation with Tesla, it is also about their tendency to have a very immediate reaction in the end product, instead of collecting and grouping changes for the customer's benefit. Last time Tesla had a little bit of that was the D-A launch. Since then everything has come (and gone) piecemeal. And it isn't just every 12-18 months. Even big companies have model years and a small mid-year change. But with Tesla it is every 1-3 months that things change, often dramatically. Facelift in Q2, P100D in Q3, AP2 in Q4, 100D/removal of interior designs and ventilated seats in Q1 etc. and more...

    What this results in is understandably apprehension and disappointment on the part of the customers - some of which could be avoided by grouping these changes into one more often. It might also help avoid some releases that have gone out too fast (e.g. P90DL Countergate issues) with apparently too little testing.

    I think Tesla is being too aggressive at the moment for their own good. If they really grouped their changes into 12-18 month bundles, that would be excellent. But instead they are changing everything all the time, making for quite a stressful purchase process. I can see why some might gladly swap that for e.g. the German premium way of doing things, once their EVs become available.
     
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  18. Dynastar

    Dynastar Member

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    This discussion is a fascinating bit of psychology. "I want to own a car that has been made great by constant innovation, but I'd like them to stop after I buy the car!". Worrying about what everyone else gets instead of what you got is not a new problem, see The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.

    I agree that if you don't need the latest and the greatest a used Tesla is a great option, but that's always been true of cars- I never owned a new car until our Model S. I do think that will change a bit once we have full self driving cars. At that point are you really going to want "artisan driving" instead of a car of the future?
     
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  19. number12

    number12 Active Member

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    isn't tesla teaching people to buy used? instead of taking $10-15k hits in first couple months...

    Doesn't seem sustainable.

    I agree with @AnxietyRanger 100%
     
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  20. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Is that what people are saying, though?

    This is, I feel, a question of balance. Tesla makes changes multiple times each quarter, sometimes really big ones. That is quite a bit for a product with a delivery time of several months.

    Discussing this is not at all the same thing as saying stop innovating. Maybe the suggestion could be, start grouping your changes a bit more, so that people can have a bit of more a non-moving target when making purchase decisions.

    Again, what if the iPhone changed many times in a quarter, instead of once or twice a year. That would not necessarily be the best service for the customer base.

    People are not saying don't make a new iPhone next year. Some are, though, saying don't make a new one every week.
     
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