Recent attitudes, changes, and this video make it seem the company needs it badly.
Tesla has already proven it can deliver vehicles before it promised with the Model Y. If it were not for the COVID-19 infection, the SUV would probably help it have its best quarter so far. Tesla was apparently resisting to suspend production in Fremont. When it finally announced it, it was quick to mention it can withstand the idle time with vast money reserves. Anyway, the company has been taking many measures to save it. This video reminds us of some more.
The EvgeniTalks YouTube channel lists five reasons why he noticed Tesla is cost-cutting. To make it clear, he only knows about most stuff because he had a 2018 Model 3 Long Range and decided to get a 2020 Performance, which should include items he already had and more.
That was not what happened. The presenter starts complaining about the frunk, which now comes without the carpet frunk mat and grocery hooks. There is even a Tesla forum thread about the company taking it out of its cars.
The second money-saving measure the presenter complains about is the lack of Homelink. If you want it, you will now have to pay $300, according to the video. That also came standard with Tesla cars before, according to what the presenter says.
Tesla is also charging for Premium Connectivity and supercharging, things the company previously offered as a sort of bonus for its clients. Although it may look like small expenditures, the presenter seems to be really dissatisfied that he used to get that before at no cost.
We have already mentioned Tesla has cut supercharging and fast charging for salvage cars. As most of the people we have interviewed for that article said, it seemed really weird that the company blocked that capability on third-party networks. Jason Hughes, the Tesla Hacker, gave us this guess for that:
"The sole purpose of it seems to be to force people to buy new or clean title used versus buy a salvage car and repair."
Gallery: Check The Ways In Which Tesla Is Cost-Cutting. But Why?
Yaro Shcherbanyuk, from Calimotive.com, said something similar:
"I think that Tesla is painting the wrong picture here. They are advocating a green Earth with electric cars, but as soon as someone wants to bring one back to life, they start with their limitations."
In other words, Tesla would be boycotting salvage vehicles to increase sales of its new cars. Or even the used ones it also offers in its website as long as it is not in the same sorry state of the one with paint issues we have reported on March 11. This leads us to the last criticism the video presenter does: on build quality.
Although the reports are that Tesla continually tries to improve that, the video claims that it is quite the opposite. The presenter says his former Model 3 did not present the same rattles and creaks the new one does.
Some people claim the paint on the Model 3 is getting better, but new problems still emerge every once in a while. Now, they are appearing in new markets, such as the UK, and warmer ones, such as California.
Would the paint be thinner than the one offered by other automakers due to a cost-cutting strategy? It can be one of the reasons. Changing warranty terms, as Tesla has recently done, certainly is. The company also seemed to be renaming warranty repairs as goodwill fixes with that goal, but we are still investigating that.
The final evidence that Tesla wants all the money it can get is the time the company resisted to suspend production at the Fremont factory.
First, it said it was getting "conflicting guidance." Then, Tesla informed it has "honored the Federal Government's direction to continue operating" when it was not a request, but rather an authorization for "critical infrastructure sectors" to operate. The Big Three decided to stop regardless of any direction.
In the same press release, Tesla said it currently has $8.6 billion available, so it would not be in urgent need of cash. A Morgan Stanley analyst confirmed that. If that is correct, why hasn't it suspended production earlier? Why is it taking items out of the Model 3? Why has it changed its warranty terms? Why are customers with the perception that build quality is decreasing?
Perhaps this is not due to an immediate money issue, but rather to make savings for future liability issues, such as the one the company may have with older batteries. The update that capped voltage, range, and supercharging speed is accused of being a way to hide possible problems with the battery packs.
What is the answer to all those questions? Currently, only Tesla knows, and it holds it to itself. That makes people wonder about that with all these changes in its cars and procedures, just like this video does. Greed will be the best-case scenario.