Musk Notes And Will Fix Oversight For Gaps In Tesla Service Coverage

OCT 17 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 17

The situation is not perfect, but it’s about to get much better.

While Tesla is a leader in electric car sales and is pushing EV adoption beyond all others, the situation is still not perfect. In fact, with all that’s on its plate, the company still has a long way to go and is developing, revamping, and fixing on almost a daily basis. It’s not as if the Silicon Valley automaker has had some 100 years or more to get its act together. Suffice it to say, service has been an issue all along and the fact that Tesla Service Centers are somewhat few and far between reinforces that problem.

One of the first points people make when OEMs bring a new EV to the table is that Tesla’s Supercharger network is way above and beyond that of all others. While there are still plenty of gaps in certain areas, the Supercharger network is outstanding and growing exponentially. This is not as true when it comes to Tesla Service Centers. Although the company is continually expanding, reworking its service situation, and adding more mobile service opportunities, as well as centers, it’s surely not where it needs to be.

The good news is that a recent audit at Tesla apprised CEO Elon Musk of the discrepancy:

So now, per the CEO’s tweet, this is being added to the priority list. Apparently, prior to the recent review, he was unaware of the huge gaps in service center coverage in North America. So, within the next three to six months the problem may be resolved.

Moreover, by the end of 2019, this issue may become a non-issue for countries overseas. And, while that is another year away, Tesla Model 3 deliveries in those areas won’t begin to ramp up until then, so if Musk’s words hold true, it should prove very positive internationally.

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17 Comments on "Musk Notes And Will Fix Oversight For Gaps In Tesla Service Coverage"

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Doggydogworld

45,000 employees and nobody realized there were geographic service gaps until Musk decided to look at a map?

Pushmi-Pullyu

I think this is an excellent example of why one guy trying to micromanage everything at what is now a sizable (and still rapidly growing) company is an increasingly bad situation. If he’s looking at some things in minute detail, that can only come at the expense of completely ignoring others.

Furthermore, Elon is adding to the problem by adding to the number of companies he’s trying to oversee simultaneously. Even for Elon Musk, there are only 24 hours in a day.

It’s good that Tesla’s board has promoted some executives to more senior positions. Could it be that someone bringing to Elon’s attention this problem with geographical gaps in service coverage is a result of delegating some authority?

Martin Winlow

I wouldn’t call ‘looking at a map’ ‘minute detail’! It would take seconds. What is more remarkable than the fact that there *are* big geographical gaps in service centre distribution is that whoever is in charge of servicing didn’t notice. Personally, I think everyone knew and that this is just another typical Muskian orchestrated publicity opportunity.

Counterpoint

Perhaps the new directors brought on in response to the SEC settlement will help Mr. Musk pay more attention to things like this that he’s previously overlooked.

Kdawg

Still screwed here in MI 🙁 (though the ranger serviced worked out OK a couple months ago)

Tesla4theWin

Michigan blocks Tesla from having service centers and stores so no luck until they win the lawsuit against corrupt Michigan politicians

Lou Grinzo

Musk just realized on Oct. 17, 2018 that Tesla service facilities have “major gaps in geographic coverage”, and it’s “an oversight”?

Seriously? No one with Musk’s attention pointed this out to him before now? And Musk, who has his fingers in every detail of Tesla’s operations and is inarguably brilliant, didn’t spot it on his own?

I’m not buying it for a nanosecond.

I think a far more likely scenario is they delayed opening enough service centers to close those gaps because they were devoting resources to expanding M3 production and other tasks, and thought they could get away with poor service coverage because EVs require so little service. It’s just one more growing pain that Tesla can and will grow out of in time.

Billy G

opening more service centers probably cost a lot of capex, which they really tried to cut in q3-q4 this year to show profitability and survive, i wouldn’t be surprised if in a year or two ol’ musky will say we were actually only a few $million a way from keeping the lights on during the model 3 ramp up. hopefully after q4 it will be smooth sailing, one can hope.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“i wouldn’t be surprised if in a year or two ol’ musky will say we were actually only a few $million a way from keeping the lights on during the model 3 ramp up.”

Seems extremely unlikely. There were numerous reports in mid-2017 that Tesla had taken steps to increase its lines of credit; see link below. Also, it’s a well understood fact that if a company’s cash on hand gets too low, that starts restricting their options for buying things or even for paying the monthly bills, which in itself leads to higher costs. That’s part of the death spiral which leads a company in financial trouble on an accelerating course to bankruptcy.

Despite the increasingly desperate and increasingly ridiculous claims from serial Tesla bashers, Tesla is a long way away from any such death spiral — and getting further away all the time, as the increasing volume of Model 3 production continues to bring down unit costs!

https://electrek.co/2017/06/23/tesla-tsla-credit-line-model-3-launch/

Pushmi-Pullyu

It’s possible your cynical take on things is an accurate analysis. It’s also possible that Elon knew it was a problem, but didn’t realize how serious the problem is. It’s one thing to be told that some of your customers who live in sparsely settled areas are hundreds of miles from a service center. It is — admittedly I’m speculating a bit here — quite another to be shown a statistical breakdown showing that a significant and growing percentage of customers live in such “gap” areas.

Elon does have a history of deflecting blame, but let’s not forego the very sound principle of assuming someone is innocent until there is evidence proving them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

mzs112000

Hopefully those service centers will also have Superchargers as well….

SJC

This is what people like, if it is not right you fix it to make it better.

The great thing about not having dealerships owned by other people is that Tesla can put the service centers in the best possible locations. I think they will try to optimize the number of service centers, the size of those service centers, and distance from the majority of their customers. The mobile service rangers are nice, but must be very costly to them.

Acevolt

Maybe they need to team up with someone like Pep-Boys to offer service or have Chiltons manuals and sell parts to independent shops.

Counterpoint

I doubt Tesla is going to allow outside or independent shops to be authorized to work on their cars until they’re much bigger. Until then, they really are trying to focus on improving internal quality control so customers have a positive experience.

Bunny

A positive experience would be not having to wait weeks for parts.

Scott G

The alternative to having run into this situation is to not sell to those areas with sparse coverage. I, for one, am glad they didn’t take that approach as it would prevented me from getting the best care I have ever owned!!!