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Why doesn't Tesla use traditional model years?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by CapeOne, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    The car buff in me much prefers model years for cosmetic/style change reasons e.g. being able to look at a car and say, that's a 2006 or that’s a 2010-2012 or that the first year for the new style XYZ model was 2015, etc.

    I think a reason manufacturers use model years is because they don't want to be strictly limited to major redesigns being released on/around January 1st and still recognize the advantages of at least redesigns following a 'year' to 'year' identifier. If a manufacturer releases a significant redesign mid-year, they will have two very different looking cars identified by the exact same year. At a minimum, that can complicate things like future valuations (discussed in a separate thread here: KBB, NADA, Edmunds and valuing Teslas).

    Since model years don't prevent manufacturers from adding, removing or upgrading options/features/components during that year, I don't really see an advantage for using the calendar year to 'label' a car as Tesla does. Tesla wanting to be different is fine unless it's simply for the sake of being different with little or no advantage, or worse.....potential disadvantages.

    What am I missing?
     
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  2. Hitman007

    Hitman007 Member

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    I thought the DMV requires a model year for the title. Is that not the case?
     
  3. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Chevrolet did Model Years, to sell new cars. It was all about selling new cars Ford started with selling the same car year after year (we are talking, LONG LONG ago). It was history channel or something similar.

    Tesla has Model Years, as it's required, however they don't arbitrarily change a fender to make it a 2015 vs 2013. And I applaud that. Makes my car look newer long, and keeps them focused on building better cars vs. ohh this could look a little different, for no good reason. Great, you've just created an unneeded change that breaks something else!

    However, Tesla can and will fix and improve things any time. So nothing is specific to a year. If it's not working, why wait a model year to fix it?
    Ain't no one got time for that! a year is an eternity! If the flangedoohicky doesn't line up with the flux capacitor, fix it now! then it's fixed forever and you don't have a 10 year recall that involves hundreds of deaths. *cough* *cough* GM.
     
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  4. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    ^ Exactly. Having set model years sets unnecessary expectations both ways: The need to change things for the sake of there being a new model year as well as delaying until next model year worthwhile improvements that are ready for production.
     
  5. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    They do and with Tesla the year used is the car’s build date year e.g. a car built 1/2014 is a 2014 just as a car built 12/2014 is a 2014.

    My issue is that if there had been a significant redesign during 2014 (say in June), you would have two very different cars carrying the same year identifier. Using traditional model years, all “2014s” of a given model would have the same style but the way Tesla does things two cars identified by the same year and model could be very different vehicles.
     
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  6. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    Model years can help distinguish one style change from another which is a notable element of the automobile world. Under Tesla’s method, you could have two very different looking cars identified by the exact same year. I don't see the advantage for Tesla not using model years at least for significant style change reasons since other option/feature/component updates or improvements can still be done during that model year.

    I see Tesla’s method as only complicating things, like future valuations, unnecessarily and helps diminish the importance/impact of style changes (for better or worse) thereby turning cars more into or making them more just transportation devices/appliances.
     
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  7. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    Tesla has said in the past they make over 20 hardware changes per week. They incorporate new changes as soon as they are ready. Not sure how that works with a tradition model year system. How many changes should they make before it constitutes a new model year? Seems just easier all around to label them when they were manufactured.
     
  8. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    You don’t have to delay everything or necessarily even anything. Option/feature/component additions or updates can still be done during that model year and if a manufacturer wants to get out a significant or all-new design out mid-year, what’s wrong with using the following year e.g. releasing a new 6/16 design as a 2017 model? I see Tesla’s method as only complicating things, like future valuations, unnecessarily.

    While many things are important with automobiles, style and style changes are often what get noticed most. They are usually less frequent than the option/feature additions or updates and I think need a unique identifying year or model name modification (e.g. Model S 2.0, Model S 3.0, etc.) or something.
     
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  9. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    The model year is just a shorthand way of identifying the specs/options the car has. This is still possible with a Tesla with date of production. It is an ICE-industry anachronism from a time when making improvements on the car took much longer.
     
  10. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I wonder why as it no longer makes sense especially with Tesla. Set your eyes on the he future not the past.
     
  11. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    It can still work the same way.

    Because significant style and platform changes are typically less frequent, I just think they deserve unique identifiers (like model year) so you can avoid potentially having two significantly different cars of the same model labeled as "2016s." I find that can unnecessarily complicate things and sticking to a model year system, even if changes from one given model year to the next might not be significant, is better.
     
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  12. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    I would ask the question the other way-- why do traditional auto makers have model years? No othe consumer product does. Do you buy a 2017 iPhone or lawn mower? The product changes when it changes, not tied to a calendar year.
     
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  13. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    So cars within each model year can be significantly different.

    Ok, now I'm confused. They shouldn't be significantly different?

    I don't think you can have it both ways, unless I'm missing something.
     
  14. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    It still makes sense even with Tesla. On here as well as elsewhere, I see people wondering if that '2016 Model S' they may be considering has the new nose or old nose (and that's a relatively minor change) as they can't tell by the year.

    I think it is Telsa that isn't looking to the future by ignoring how people react to, shop, evaluate, appraise, etc. vehicles based on style and other significant changes that can be tied to model years.
     
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  15. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    That's not true. Plenty of other consumer products have model years including motorcycles, boats, motorhomes, airplanes, lawn mowers, etc. Model years are common for manufactured products, especially higher dollar items, that tend to be traded or resold over and over.
     
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  16. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    [QUOTE="TexasEV, post: 1598995, member: 14218" Do you buy a 2017 iPhone or lawn mower? [/QUOTE]

    They may not call it a 2017 iPhone, but Apple has been on an annual release schedule for quite awhile now.
    4S =2011
    5 = 2012
    5s=2013
    6=2014
    6s=2015

    Tesla's current method will make it very difficult for used car buyers in the future. When the S was new there was a ton opportunity to improve the design, and so they did so as fast as possible. As the design gets more refined they will make less and less changes, and will most likely fall into the same model year schedule as the rest of the industry.
     
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  17. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    Significant changes like adding or removing options/features. A '2016 model' may or may not have a certain option (which can still be added/deducted in things like price guides if the item has meaningful 'value') but less frequent but very significant style changes which are an important element to most consumers are more difficult to assess if they can't be identified by something like model years.

    Many of the improvements/updates Tesla does throughout the year don't necessarily add to or notably change the value of a car like a major style change can. This is, again, why I feel model years are important for at least identifying and reflecting significant year to year style changes.
     
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  18. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    That was one of my main points (more outlined in my other "KBB, NADA, Edmunds and valuing Teslas" thread) and Tesla may very well fall into the same model year schedule in the future and I hope they do for reasons I've posted.
     
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  19. bkp_duke

    bkp_duke Member

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    Because the idea of traditional model years is a hold over from a stupid and failed system?
     
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  20. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    Not using model years for things like cars, trucks, motorcycles, motorhomes and other higher dollar manufactured items that tend to be sold and traded over and over is failing to recognize how people react to, shop, evaluate, appraise, etc. these types of goods now and in the future based on style and other significant changes that can be tied to model years.

    Someone looking at ‘2010’ models shouldn’t have to wonder if the car is the old style or new style or if a price guide/source reflects the old style or new style.

    Someone ordering a car or having one on order shouldn’t have to wonder if it will arrive with the facelift nose or the old nose. With model years, when you order a ‘2016’ you know what it will look like. No wondering, questions, etc.

    Model years just make sense for several reasons for products like cars and the like.
     
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