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Watch Autoline this week on Thursday

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,420
10,331
SF Bay Area
Didn't touch on the motor. Maybe didn't get to it yet. Said they had more to go. No mention yet of the A/C vents or operating any control systems.

I found the video interesting to watch. Seeing all the parts displayed like they do during breakdown reinforces just how many parts (and wiring still as someone said) go into cars and we know they worked on simplifying the Model 3. While the car they tore down was rather expensive, I liked that they indicated on several occasions that some high end components went into it so Tesla didn't skimp. Seem to justify it's not just expensive electronics we are paying for. The video gave a nice view of the circuit board and battery.

I was surprised that they didn't seem all that knowledgable about Tesla or the Model 3 in some basic areas and would have thought they would have done some research in general beforehand. Nvidea was one. Surprised they didn't mention crumple zone at all. Got the feeleing he didn't know anything about the background of who designed the Model 3. Sounded totally surprised by the work that has gone into by Dahl and team. Don't think he himself is up on the tech/chip portion and might rely on someone else for that analysis. Can't recall the chip calculations he referred to. He did mention that they never got into a teardown of the Model S as no one seemed interested in it. Believe he said he thought that was due to price point of the car and low volume. The Model 3 however he said was a whole new story and lots of interest in it.

I feel really good about the Model 3 after this deep dive report. We don't have an issue with our Model S's fit and finish, no glaring panel gaps which I know many of them can be easily adjusted. No problems with doors closing. If our Model 3 arrives with some minor issues in the fit and finish area, I'll be happy to have them resolved during a service visit and know that I'll have a great driving car to drive. If it takes a little longer to get to me while they nail the issues with the production line I'm okay with that although so far my Tesla estimates for our MS and invite for the Model 3 were pretty much right on. Munro said the car looked sexy and I agree with him on that. I did find it interesting that apparently before the Japanese came into the American automotive scene, fit and finish sounds like it wasn't such a big thing before then.

Going back to not understanding some things about Tesla, he brought up about customer complaints and how this came from Tesla's website where this lady had some issues with her car and all she got back was that it was her fault. Don't think he realizes the Tesla forum is member based responses not employee based when answering posts.
 
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http://leandesign.com/pdf/Tesla-3-Analysis-Sales-Information.pdf
Munro & Associates, Inc. | Home of Lean Design and Design Profit

You can buy all $70,000 or just parts of the report. claim a $1 million study.
The detail of examination is amazing 26 foot tall 6-12 foot wide two of them and perhaps this Model 3 chart was only half done.

One Detroit company is going to buy - since Munro said it was not one he expected to buy this report, I'll assume FCA.

Who has signed up to buy this report? Munro won't say but did say where these companies were located
Detroit (FCA??)
Germany
Korea
China
Taiwan
Japan

Panasonic, perhaps? Since no NDA signed he did use Panasonic name as he had NOT yet closed the deal.
I thought perhaps Italy, but I could not verify [find it again].

side note: My impression of the AutoLine panel - I have listened to the show every now and then.
These guys don't seem to be gear heads, nor love cars, nor own interesting cars. I say this since they never talk about repairs, or adding performance parts, or driving experiences, ... you'll have no idea what cars they own or ever owned. And considering the questions asked I get the impression none of them have ever done work in a factory or worked at a Manufacturing company.

Sandy Munro on the other hand runs a large successful company and has done some racing - probably SCCA.

I think it is important to remember:
that none of these people admit to actually being in GigaFactory nor Fremont (admit to having seen YouTube Videos of Tesla plants
so I consider all their comments on Tesla manufacturing to be speculation at best

Also Munro and McElroy comment that quality was a crap shoot great on one, bad on another - with so few cars around why would they say that?? How about bad bad to start but improving? Anyway with so few cars I doubt they know one way or the other.

Not sure it was worth the time - may say more about auto industry than Tesla - but then again, I only think I know what I have read.
I found interesting anyway.

Also note Munro using Tesla Forum as an example of bad customer service ... he seems as confused as those who write to the Forum to get warranty problems fixed...duhh.

1- Munro was very impressed with Model 3 handling and of course raw performance.
2- And he thinks by far the best battery pack he has ever seen
3- Really impressed with the electronic - defense industry quality
(he did do a similar report on BMW i3 and Chevy Bolt Munro & Associates, Inc. | Home of Lean Design and Design Profit
You should visit the web-site - impressive company.

More interesting will be what he thinks one year then two years from now. And we are all interested in the next two years, right?

Wild card is of course Tesla constant improving...
 
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This all makes sense. What I got is Tesla is a start-up with zero experience in the car industry. They must have some very good engineers to get the things like the battery, Motors and electronics so good. The suspension is a surprise to me that they got it so good as suspension tuning is very difficult even if you start with a good basic design (Double wishbone front and 5 link rear). The exterior design and simple clean interior design are also great. The problem is they have no mass production skills. An overdesigned body structure with too many areas that quality defects can add together in production differences. I worked with a fixture manufacturer for the auto industry and they worked on QC. One of the main things they worked on is removing additive production differences. This where an assembly has 5 parts and a tolerance of something is like .05mm on each part. If all parts are at maximum tolerance the effective tolerance can be as high as +- .25MM. They worked on removing additive tolerance by reengineering the assembly. The cost penalty of these mistakes will hurt profitability of the model 3 in the competitive market the model 3 is in. In the car industry where pennies make a difference you can not afford to though dollars out the window.

The model S and X are niche vehicles that have a large gross profit. Excess costs can be included in the price. The model 3 in trying to be mass production car does not have that option.

How Elon will fix this one will be interesting.
 
Interesting comments on the body materials costing too much and weighing too much. Wonder why/how that is. Plus Sandy seemed really puzzled about the existence of some of the panels.

Tesla has little to no mass production car experience. They seemed to be starting at ground zero. Auto companies use firms like Munro or internal resources to solve these issues before production. That takes time and with Tesla's aggressive time table there is no room for processes like this.
 
He has more knowledge of cars and their manufacture in one fingernail than most engineers have in their whole body.

I must wonder if Musk’s comments on tolerances and manufacturing needing to become so good that if a customer thinks they measure a panal gap outside of spec their tape measure is wrong is because he got an early look at this video.

I am suddenly not upset about waiting longer and letting Tesla train their hundreds of new hires and improve assembly further.
But....how long does one wait.....the Mod S/X still has some QC issues.
 
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voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,505
5,584
Colorado
But....how long does one wait.....the Mod S/X still has some QC issues.

It seems as though Model 3 design is superior to Model S/X although still apparently quite a few assembly/design areas where they could have learned a lot from the industry.

So if they can improve the fit and finish then the car will be more competitive from that aspect. Clearly this is something bothering Musk resulting in his boastful claim that they will have the best tolerances in the business. I don't think Mercedes or BMW are particularly worried as they've been at this a while.

The real takeaway, for me, is, get the Model 3 if you want cutting edge EV technology in a car that is fun to drive. You have to be willing to live with the fit/finish issues (90's Kia, ouch), control issues (touchscreen to control everything, etc.).

Fit/finish will improve over time, bad design decisions are forever. It will be interesting to see how Model 3 will be selling a year or so from now.
 

mynameisjim

Member
Supporting Member
May 19, 2013
78
65
Minneapolis
I have a theory that these were early cars, possibly very early. I'd like to think the build quality has improved since these teardown cars were built. Most likely, in the experience of this teardown company, manufacturers make all of their products the same. My guess is Tesla makes early cars fairly poorly but improves quickly. Other manufacturers probably don't start poorly but also don't change except for model year changes. (I have no manufacturing experience)
 
... They [Tesla] seemed to be starting at ground zero. Auto companies use firms like Munro or internal resources to solve these issues before production. That takes time and with Tesla's aggressive time table there is no room for processes like this.
I always wondered where all the R&D money for new car models was going. I had started to assume R&D was mostly accounting fraud to avoid taxes. I tihnk you are correct, companies like Munro were not used by Tesla. As Tesla had such bad experiences with the auto industry in general, such as;

2003-2008 Elon and Marc Tarpenning comment how auto suppliers won't even talk with them, how transmission company in court defense said anyone in auto industry knew that the transmission company was not expected to deliver a working product the first time, this was with Roadster, and then the transmission company was suing for loss of future business as Tesla canceled contract. GBTs improvements in electronics allowed Tesla to drop 2 speed and go to 1 speed.

Henri Fiskers $30 million design for Model S which Tesla just threw out it was so bad (Fisker then went on to build Karma?). Then Tesla hired Hans - great move.

Seems Elon/Tesla only good experience was with Lotus - which might partial explain the great suspension. So Tesla organization didn't see much help coming from auto sector. Aside from Fremont factory purchased from Toyota. Also Tesla was main supplier for both Toyota electric RAV4 2nd generation and Merc SMART car, also 2nd generation. Both companies had bought $50 million in stock and both companies cashed out for short term profits and now both companies are producing the 3rd generation of those products. Go figure.

Bob Lutz always thought Tesla spending $ 5 billion to make laptop batteries (which many suppliers already made) was really really stupid. I think Bob has tried to startup 3 car/truck companies in the last decade (one with Fisker) and no great success yet.

Back to R&D
Tesla R&D expenses from 2010 - 2016 = 7 years and the TOTAL <$5 billion. [cars, batteries, storage]
GM R&D 2015-2016-2017 = $20 billion

This is R&D for 2015
VW $15.3 billion
Toyota $9.2 billion
Daimler $7.6 billion
GM $7.4 billion
Ford $6.9 billion
Honda $5.5 billion
BMW $5.5 billion
Nissan $4.6 billion
Denso $3.6 billion
FCA $3.4 billion

I just don't see the shift to electrification being reflected in R&D - OR they sure aren't getting results. Was most of that money spent on Munro type consultants?

So WHY no real competitor to either the Model S and Model X IF they are so simple to make and such "flawed vehicles" that most any auto company could improve and build cheaper. Model S has about 25% market share, right?

WHY was the Bolt such a let down? WHY the Leaf such a let down? Where are the Model 3 competitors?

I had half expected Tesla to become the skate board supplier to the auto industry. That certainly hasn't happened. Toyota and Merc could have easily kept working with Tesla. So disruption seems to continue. Interesting times. I think Tesla crew will figure it out. That is my bet.
 
I always wondered where all the R&D money for new car models was going. I had started to assume R&D was mostly accounting fraud to avoid taxes. I tihnk you are correct, companies like Munro were not used by Tesla. As Tesla had such bad experiences with the auto industry in general, such as;

2003-2008 Elon and Marc Tarpenning comment how auto suppliers won't even talk with them, how transmission company in court defense said anyone in auto industry knew that the transmission company was not expected to deliver a working product the first time, this was with Roadster, and then the transmission company was suing for loss of future business as Tesla canceled contract. GBTs improvements in electronics allowed Tesla to drop 2 speed and go to 1 speed.

Henri Fiskers $30 million design for Model S which Tesla just threw out it was so bad (Fisker then went on to build Karma?). Then Tesla hired Hans - great move.

Seems Elon/Tesla only good experience was with Lotus - which might partial explain the great suspension. So Tesla organization didn't see much help coming from auto sector. Aside from Fremont factory purchased from Toyota. Also Tesla was main supplier for both Toyota electric RAV4 2nd generation and Merc SMART car, also 2nd generation. Both companies had bought $50 million in stock and both companies cashed out for short term profits and now both companies are producing the 3rd generation of those products. Go figure.

Bob Lutz always thought Tesla spending $ 5 billion to make laptop batteries (which many suppliers already made) was really really stupid. I think Bob has tried to startup 3 car/truck companies in the last decade (one with Fisker) and no great success yet.

Back to R&D
Tesla R&D expenses from 2010 - 2016 = 7 years and the TOTAL <$5 billion. [cars, batteries, storage]
GM R&D 2015-2016-2017 = $20 billion

This is R&D for 2015
VW $15.3 billion
Toyota $9.2 billion
Daimler $7.6 billion
GM $7.4 billion
Ford $6.9 billion
Honda $5.5 billion
BMW $5.5 billion
Nissan $4.6 billion
Denso $3.6 billion
FCA $3.4 billion

I just don't see the shift to electrification being reflected in R&D - OR they sure aren't getting results. Was most of that money spent on Munro type consultants?

So WHY no real competitor to either the Model S and Model X IF they are so simple to make and such "flawed vehicles" that most any auto company could improve and build cheaper. Model S has about 25% market share, right?

WHY was the Bolt such a let down? WHY the Leaf such a let down? Where are the Model 3 competitors?

I had half expected Tesla to become the skate board supplier to the auto industry. That certainly hasn't happened. Toyota and Merc could have easily kept working with Tesla. So disruption seems to continue. Interesting times. I think Tesla crew will figure it out. That is my bet.

When you get down to it the other car manufacturers are looking to make the most dollars off of each car they produce. They have no interest in saving the planet or other green ideas. That's what shareholders expect. If EV's start being demanded by consumers they will move that way quickly. They seem to testing the waters one toe at a time. Will Tesla's approach work, time will tell. The problem for Tesla is they have to make it work quickly. Shareholders and bond holders only have so much patience. So far the science experiment shows the technology is working but not the business model.
 
The heartening thing about this thread is the 'difficult/important' stuff is so good.

The assembly issues can most probably be addressed over time (and who will actually notice stuff like this buried in the car?). The issue with panel gaps seems overblown as most people seem happy or don't really notice. And it will improve....

More concerning is the poor/irrational/heavy design stuff which although buried will reflect on profits.

For me the most disappointing part of the M3 saga is that such poor UI was ever let out into the wild - even if much can be addressed with OTA upgrades.
 
Model 3 was designed to have AWD in mind with minimal change to the suspension only. There was an early underbelly teardown video that showed this.

Poor design is not needed for AWD. It is good they built it for other options without any design changes. The problem is with the poor design the cost per unit will make it more difficult to sell competitively and make a profit. There are only so many greenies that will buy anything available Very soon the car will have to regular buyers who want the best car they can buy for the dollars they spend. The competition is very strong in that market.
 
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The heartening thing about this thread is the 'difficult/important' stuff is so good.

The assembly issues can most probably be addressed over time (and who will actually notice stuff like this buried in the car?). The issue with panel gaps seems overblown as most people seem happy or don't really notice. And it will improve....

More concerning is the poor/irrational/heavy design stuff which although buried will reflect on profits.

For me the most disappointing part of the M3 saga is that such poor UI was ever let out into the wild - even if much can be addressed with OTA upgrades.

Along with the much higher assembly cost per unit as much of the machine assemble is changed to manual assembly. Maybe the next perk for Tesla referrals can be a free slightly used assembly robot.
 
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kengchang

Active Member
Jul 17, 2017
2,482
15,197
California
Poor design is not needed for AWD. It is good they built it for other options without any design changes. The problem is with the poor design the cost per unit will make it more difficult to sell competitively and make a profit. There are only so many greenies that will buy anything available Very soon the car will have to regular buyers who want the best car they can buy for the dollars they spend. The competition is very strong in that market.
They specifically the upper A arm was over engineered for RWD car. It's perfect fit for AWD car.
 
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