There are private events that are so relevant they should have been public. This is the case of a recent Bernstein Research webinar that had Sandy Munro for a chat. Apart from saying Tesla is ten years ahead of the competition in manufacturing, the engineer also said Tesla should never do a $25,000 EV. Such a vehicle would pose more risks than benefits to Elon Musk’s automaker.
According to The Korea Times – which obtained a “fully edited transcript” of the webinar – Munro believes the affordable EV would make Tesla shareholders regret the decision both in market positioning and profits.
The engineer said most Tesla buyers want “all of the bells and whistles” the company has to offer. So much so that Tesla did not sell that many Model 3 Standard Range units and canceled the Model Y in that trim level.
Munro did not mention that in this webinar, but there is a similar case related to Porsche. Although the Cayenne saved the company, it brought to its dealerships a totally different sort of customer. While most 911 owners would give their cars the best money could buy, Cayenne owners often complained that the SUV ate tires for breakfast and asked for lower prices for replacements.
Tesla itself saw the level of service at Service Centers drop with the introduction of the Model 3. Owners of the Model S and ModelX frequently say they miss the Tesla they knew before that. People with less money to spend will also be more sensitive to suspension flaws and quality issues, such as the ones Tesla currently presents. In other words, Munro has a strong point of saying that.
The engineer said shareholders would see no sense in struggling to produce a cheaper vehicle with tighter profit margins while Tesla could be making more expensive cars that are sold out without effort. Remember, Tesla does not invest in advertising.
Tesla managed to reduce battery pack prices from the $156 revealed by the Model 3 teardown to $108 on the Model Y’s. Even so, Munro doubts Tesla could sell a cheaper vehicle for less than $32,000 for a profit despite its advancements in manufacturing.
Speaking of which, Munro said Tesla is at least ten years ahead of the competition for its method of applying improvements on the fly to production cars. According to the engineer, Tesla cranks out “a product that’s probably 90 percent, 95 percent there” and follows the strategy of “then basically waiting until customers complained and then changing things rapidly.”
Tesla Gigafactory Berlin’s revolutionary paint shop appears to be coming together. Local reports indicate that paint equipment deliveries have been continuing and a little testbed for the paint facility may in the process of installation. The EV manufacturer teamed up with Geico Taikisha, a leader in the design and construction of turnkey automated auto body paint, for Giga Berlin’s next-gen paint shop. Last month, the first batch of machines was delivered to the German plant’s site.
Local drone-operator @gigafactory_4 observed that Tesla may have installed some of the Geico Taikisha equipment for Giga Berlin’s paint shop in a little testbed. While the exact location of said testbed was not specified, the drone-operator did clarify that Giga Berlin’s Geico Taikisha machines were stored close to the construction zone.
According to Elon Musk, “Giga Berlin will have [the] world’s most advanced paint shop, with more layers of stunning colors that subtly change with curvature.” Tesla’s paint shop in Berlin will be one-of-a-kind when it is fully built. Tesla plans to retrofit the Fremont Factory and Giga Shanghai with the same advanced technology once Giga Berlin’s tech and innovations are proven.
There’s a high chance Tesla could approve Geico Taikisha’s machines for Fremont and Shanghai. The Italian auto paint company applies six main strategies to its machines that line up well with Tesla’s general goals–not just in the paint shop–and it could deliver the results the EV automaker wants.
Geico Taikisha’s strategies aim to boost plant performance, reduce delivery time, improve human/machine communication, and maintain/refine quality, all while consuming energy efficiently in a paint shop. Based on the company’s website, the strategies it applies include a smart design, an IoT System, production flexibility, a smart plant management plan, a smart energy management system, and its J-suite digital platform.
Berlin will use 4680 cell with structural battery pack & front & rear single piece castings. Also, a new paint system.
Lot of new technology will happen in Berlin, which means significant production risk. Fremont & Shanghai will transition in ~2 years when new tech is proven.
Geico Taikisha’s strategies reveal that the company might be as progressive as Tesla. They also hint that Geico Taikisha is innovative. Being progressive and innovative are two qualities that fit seamlessly with how the American EV automaker works, thinks, and makes decisions.
As such, their collaboration may prove more than just fruitful. Based on Tesla and Geico Taikshia’s similarities, it is no wonder Elon Musk seems ecstatic about Giga Berlin’s paint shop.
The Tesla CEO has already gone on record and stated that his new favorite color would be Deep Crimson from Giga Berlin. Musk’s Model S was spotted sporting Giga Berlin’s Deep Crimson paint at SpaceX headquarters in July, and it was received positively by the electric vehicle community.
Elon Musk’s Deep Crimson Model S may not have been painted by Geico Taikisha machines in Giga Berlin, but it somewhat provides a good hint at what Tesla’s paint shops could achieve in the future. It might be wise for the Tesla community to keep an eye out for Giga Berlin’s first Deep Crimson Model Y.
Tesla Gigafactory Berlin’s revolutionary paint shop is coming to life
Some spy shots taken at Tesla’s Fremont factory in California show a Model 3 that looks refreshed, though we’re well aware that CEO Elon Musk says Tesla never refreshes its cars. You can refer to them however you choose, but they’re visible changes, nonetheless. The most obvious is the exterior chrome delete that looks much the same as that of the Tesla Model Y.
UPDATE: Above you can see what appears to be an official image of the refreshed Tesla Model 3 center console. It first appeared on the Tesla Owners Worldwide Facebook group.
We sometimes hear about Tesla making changes to models overseas, but many times those changes don’t make it to our shores. According to Teslarati, the China-made Model 3 is getting the chrome delete, a powered trunk, a new steering wheel, and an updated center console, among other things. Electrek reported that it has received official information that the latter updates, as well as those seen on the Model 3s at Fremont, are planned for U.S. cars.
No official images have been shared, but Tesla-fan Twitter account @WholeMarsBlog provided a series of shots in several tweets.
Above is a comparison of the Model 3’s current chrome trim to the chrome-delete refresh.
The pictures were reportedly taken in the Fremont factory parking lot, and the Model 3 appeared to be a Euro-spec edition. As you can see from the photos above, the new center console may finally do away with the piano black finish.
Since the Model Y arrived, people have questioned whether some of its advancements would eventually make their way to the Model 3. The heat pump is especially critical for people who live in colder climates. While some people may like the look of the chrome accents, “blacked-out” vehicles are very popular these days. It would certainly be nice to have more options.
Tesla has a reputation for updating its cars constantly via over-the-air updates. It also makes hardware changes when necessary. The automaker doesn’t rely on traditional model years, refreshes, or complete redesigns. Rather, it improves its cars randomly (and often quietly) when needed.
Images recently taken at Tesla’s Fremont Factory have shown what appears to be “refreshed” Model 3s fresh off the production line. Just as noted in recent reports, the vehicles do appear to feature chrome-deleted accents and a number of other changes that make them even more similar to their larger sibling, the Model Y crossover.
Last month, reports from Gigafactory Shanghai emerged stating that the Made-in-China Model 3 is poised to receive some updates, including a new steering wheel, a “2.0” version of the vehicle’s center console, a powered trunk, chrome deleted accents, an octovalve, and a double-layer glass for improved noise isolation. The majority of these upgrades were reiterated by EV news blog Electrek, which recently reported that the updated Model 3s are now being produced at the Fremont factory.
It did not take long before members of the Tesla community started sharing photographs of the newly-built Model 3s. In a series of posts, Tesla owner-enthusiast @WholeMarsBlog uploaded images taken from Fremont’s lot, which happen to be filled with numerous vehicles. A closer look at the Model 3s in the lot provided a glimpse at the “refreshed” Model 3’s new center console, which reportedly no longer features its initial piano black finish.
Interestingly enough, several members of the Tesla community observed that the screen of the new Model 3s seemed to be a bit different. Some noted that the placement seems a bit higher, while others speculated that the bezels of the display seemed slightly smaller. Also noteworthy is that some of the vehicles that sighted in the Fremont Factory featured an EU-spec rear license plate mount, suggesting that some of the vehicles are poised to be shipped abroad.
The improvements that are reportedly part of the Model 3 “refresh” proves once more that Tesla is a company that is set on providing its customers with the best product available at the time of their purchase. Unlike other carmakers, which tend to roll out even minor improvements such as a better infotainment system on the following year’s models, Tesla upgrades its vehicles as soon as the updates are ready for mass rollout. This is true even if the improvements are hardware-related.
The improvements to the Model 3 have been rumored for some time now, especially considering that its sibling, the Model Y, features numerous new innovations such as a heat pump and the octovalve. Considering that the two vehicles are designed to share about 75% of their parts, it seemed that it was only a matter of time before the Model 3 received its Model Y-inspired improvements. This time appears to be now.
Tesla Model 3 ‘refresh’ with chrome delete, new center console spotted in factory