Whether or not you're a Tesla fan, if you follow the space, you likely know all about Rich Benoit (Rich Rebuilds). He's made a name for himself after spending years reworking salvaged Tesla vehicles. Needless to say, he's learned quite a bit and is now arguably a master at his craft.
When you wreck your Tesla, you can't take it to a Tesla Service Center for collision repair. Instead, you have to find a collision shop that is certified by Tesla to do the work. In some cases, these shops are nearby, fast, and efficienct. In other cases, it may not be so convenient.
With the slew of Tesla vehicles hitting the road now, mostly due to the huge popularity of the Model 3, the demand for Tesla Service is growing and will likely become massive in the near future as all of these cars begin to accumulate many miles.
For this reason, Rich has decided to offer his skills on a more official level. He's teaming up with former Tesla parts manager Chris Salvo to open a Tesla repair shop.
Check out the video and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Video Description via CNBC on YouTube:
Why Rich Rebuilds Is Opening A Tesla Repair Shop
Rich Benoit runs the popular YouTube channel, Rich Rebuilds, where he takes broken-down Teslas and brings them back to life. Now he and his business partner, a former parts manager at Tesla, are opening up a repair shop to help stem some of the demand for Tesla service. Tesla customers have often complained about having to wait weeks to get their cars serviced.
Benoit has been enchanted with Tesla since it introduced the Model S. He turned his curiosity into YouTube fame in 2016, cranking out videos about the cars, including how to buy, fix and mine wrecked Teslas for spare parts.
Today, his YouTube channel "Rich Rebuilds" is approaching half-a-million subscribers. The most popular episode—"Can you drown a Tesla motor?" -- has garnered 2.3 million views and counting in less than a year.
His followers frequently send payments to support his video blogging habit, and random items for his cars, home and garage. Someone sent him a life-sized poster of Elon Musk. Someone had pizza delivered to his house, which Benoit liked. On the weirder side of viral video stardom, a fan sent Benoit a puppy preserved in formaldehyde in a jar.
Eventually, he partnered with a former Tesla parts manager, Chris Salvo, who is also the owner of EV Tuning to open up their own repair shop. While they both hold down day jobs, this spring they broke ground on their "Electrified Garage" in Seabrook, New Hampshire.
"I was never thinking of opening my own shop," Benoit said. "But I'd been denied so many times by Tesla that I really started thinking there's got to be a bigger picture here, another player who can help others and get parts as well. Now that there's a place where people can go for third-party EV repair."
The Electrified Garage is getting customers who are out of warranty with their Model S's, and people who own Model 3's but can't get Tesla service centers to do work for them because they have after-market parts that negated their warranty Benoit said.
While CEO Elon Musk has long promised to ramp up the company's service in North America, Tesla is currently in a belt-tightening phase, recovering from mass layoffs and still under pressure to cut costs. Until they're ready to invest in opening more service centers, hiring more technicians and mobile service "Rangers" – who drive to the customers' door to fix their cars – there are upstarts like the Electrified Garage ready to repair, modify or rebuild.