Tesla Service Centers continue to be overwhelmed, but improvements are reportedly on the way.
As we reported last month, the Tesla Model 3 has begun to strain resources for the all electric automaker. U.S. deliveries this quarter will be massively increased over 2017. However, the numbers of employees and Service Centers have not grown at the same pace as sales.
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With the company's amazing growth, these employees are unfortunately being stretched thin. In early August, many disappointed owners were informed by their Inside Delivery Advisors (IDA) that their vehicles did not pass quality check following a 'strict inspection'. Based on statements by owners, most of the delays from July and August seem to be related to paint issues.
Elon Musk this week addressed the paint issue specifically:
Ultimately, this is the correct policy to make sure the vehicle does not reach the owner unless it meets a high standard of quality. But communication between Tesla and buyers will also need to improve.
Buyers in Texas that have paid for the car in full are often completely in the dark about when their vehicles will arrive. Some new owners are finding their deliveries delayed not once but multiple times. Occasionally these delays have occurred hours before scheduled delivery. This makes it difficult to plan for insurance, financing, and private vehicle sales. Typically, their IDA is unable to provide much in the way of guidance.
Changes should be coming soon to the delivery process.
Despite all of these issues, InsideEVs expects yet another record month for Tesla deliveries in August. While some owners might be displeased with the buying process, it is not significantly deterring them. Once the car arrives, the problems usually fade into the background. But Tesla does seem to be working towards addressing complaints.
They have already begun to make some changes to improve the experience at Service Centers. The company plans for 80% of minor repairs to be handled by Tesla’s mobile service. Tesla is also attempting to reduce the delivery process to the press of a button.
Having large regional locations that focus only on deliveries would go a long way towards improving the entire process. Adding additional Service Centers and employees will also be necessary to smooth out the rough edges.
According to a report from Electrek, Tesla appears to be making moves toward some of these changes. Under the new Director of Field Delivery Operations, a restructuring is occurring to separate delivery and sales. East, West and Central delivery managers have been appointed, in addition to new delivery managers for localized regions such as Texas.
The automaker is also looking to hire a large number of new employees to help with deliveries. Over 100 delivery related positions are currently listed on Tesla's career page. Many of the open positions are at the Fremont delivery center.
Hopefully this, in addition to the newly appointed delivery managers, is a sign of increased investment in the delivery center concept. As the Model 3 continues to grow in numbers, the rest of the country would benefit from a setup similar to Fremont and Marina Del Ray. Not only would this speed up the process for service and deliveries, but it should improve communication as well.