UPDATE: Tesla Downgrades Model 3 Interior From Alcantara To Textile With No Explanation, No Discount


Tesla is known for making running changes, but this one in particular has a lot of Model 3 reservation holders fuming.

Tesla Model 3 Road Trip Car

Largely because Tesla has yet to offer an explanation, Model 3 reservation holders are expressing concern over Tesla’s move from alcantara interior finishings in the Model 3, to almost all textile fabric.

It’s mainly the headliner that’s been swapped out, leaving alcantara on just the visors and/or mirror cover. Even worse is that the finishings within one car seem to be what Tesla chooses, meaning some new 3s have alcantara here and there, while others have none.

*Update – Tesla has issued this statement on the matter (via Electrek):

“As we continue to increase production of Model 3 and produce more high quality cars for customers, all Model 3 vehicles are being made with the same premium textile headliner found in our flagship Model S and Model X vehicles, which has always been planned at this stage of production.”

Textile is a standard finish offered on the base Model 3, which is not yet available. Premium Model 3s, the only ones you can order right now, have “premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout, including open pore wood décor and two rear USBs.” Though there’s no specific alcantara mention, that material has been used on Model 3s to date, prior to this unexplained switch over.

It’s believed that an alcantara shortage, due to high demand at a single supplier, is the reason behind the switch, but Tesla hasn’t notified those placing Model 3 orders, nor has it listed a discounted price for the lower quality finishings.

A Reddit thread covers the issue at hand in detail. Here’s the first posting, followed by some reactions:

“Model 3 headliner is now textile except the alcantara visors”

“…if a couple thousand Model 3 owners have Alcantara and now Tesla uses a much less luxurious material surely this is grounds to readjust the PUP (premium upgrade) price. I get how financially important this car is to them but don’t fool me by saying premium touches and ship some textile stuff that a low end GM car has.”

“…they [Tesla] can’t tell me what headliner my car has until it gets here.”

Let’s hope Tesla addresses this issue in a timely manner. For now, if you’ve got a Model 3 order in, we suggest you contact your delivery specialist if textile fabric isn’t to your liking.

Sources: Reddit, Tesla Motors Club Forum

Categories: Tesla


Leave a Reply

140 Comments on "UPDATE: Tesla Downgrades Model 3 Interior From Alcantara To Textile With No Explanation, No Discount"

newest oldest most voted

Quantity over quality at Tesla. Production hell is tough, yo!

Yeah, it should have kept things simple by goning for an order of magnitude smaller production run, outsource most of the production to third parties, dispense with quick charging and subsidize sales to the tune of $9K a pop or so.

Oh wait, I just described Bolt and Tesla doesn’t have compliance issues that warrant subsidizing the product, it’s actually trying to create a profitable business here by building serious production volumes of a car that many people would want to buy without being heavily discounted.

That is a bit more challenging.

Ever heard of bait and switch?

What was the bait?

Bait was that the cars already sold had fake leather interior. By keeping the price the same and different material, it’s a dick move by Tesla.

Fake leather on SparkEV (2LT) was only few hundred dollars more than cloth (1LT). Tesla should just discount cloth cars by few hundred dollars for similarly configured cars already sold with fake leather.

I personally prefer cloth; it doesn’t squish when wearing shorts or biniki wearing supermodels sit in my car. And you better believe it that there will be supermodels in binikis in my Tesla 3! That ain’t NEVER happening if I’m in a Bolt.

The tesla synthetics (and those of many luxury manufacturers) are not cheap vinyl synthetics you are thinking of used by GM.

Many *prefer* the tesla syntetics over real leather.

Hey SparkE, what is a BINIKI and where do your supermodels get them?


I was wondering when someone will catch that. 🙂 Yes, lots of biniki wearing supermodels will be in my Tesla. :LOL:

Profitable business? Looking at Tesla’s historical earnings reports, they are definitely hauling in the $$$ from investors and rabid zealots to toss into the cash incineration engine. Profits? *jedi mind trick* “There’s nothing to see here”.

Now the GM CEO has publicly stated GM WILL Be making profits selling EVs by 2021. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gm-electric-insight/gm-races-to-build-a-formula-for-profitable-electric-cars-idUSKBN1EY0GG?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews
How much you want to bet Tesla STILL won’t be in the black by then? If they are even still around, that is. When the GM CEO promises something, it gets done.
When Elon Musk promises something, most informed people simply laugh and add 2 years to whatever date was given, to convert Elon time to real world time.

Cool story, bro.

But GM isn’t a growing company building out infrastructure. GM isn’t becoming one of the largest battery manufacturers in the world. GM doesn’t sell solar panels, energy storage, or grid power solutions. GM doesn’t have the most robust charging infrastructure worldwide that continues to grow faster than any other.

But hey, GM might make a couple bucks one day on EV’s. They’ve been doing it as long as Tesla, if not longer (EV1?), so it’s about time.

Meanwhile there’s a dozen ways off the top of my head that Tesla could Tesla could become “profitable” in about two weeks. But it would mean stopping the growth investments. Tesla could monetize the charging infrastructure. They could stop building out Gigafactory 1 & 2. Seems they must be doing all of this for a reason, no?

Tesla produces battery packs. Panasonic produces cells. Panasonic is the largest automotive cell supplier which Tesla is the largest benefactor of.

Look up “Partnership”.

He was really really late landing those rockets also. Wait …, what! He lands rockets!!! And when everyone else said it was impossible, or not economical, and the other guys have been in this business for decades before SpaceX even existed.

M3 will become the best selling EV of all time next year! Others like GM/Nissan only had a 6 to 7 year head start.

It’s OK to be late, when you achieve those things.

btw, criticizing for being late, is quite laughable. No one is going to going to remember him being late, they will remember his accomplishments.

BINGO but naysayers are naysayers until they become fanboys and then deny ever being naysayers lol

Are you saying that the alcantara is quality even if it’s in a Tesla? Are you also suggesting that the textile is not of good quality?

Are you saying that if given the choice, most reservation holders would choose textile cloth over alcantara?

I’ve seen photos of the new textile headliner…I seriously think my “cheap ass” Bolt’s interior has at least as good a quality a headliner. Except I didn’t pay $5k for an upgrade package that advertised “premium interior materials”. 🙂

First, you’re asking me a hypothetical question that I have no way of answering, instead of answering my question. Secondly you’re claiming your Bolt’s interior is as good, but considering the source, I wouldn’t take that as gospel. Thirdly the upgrade DOES in fact say there are upgraded materials. Do you have evidence there are none?

What would this textile be an upgrade FROM? Plastic? Metal?

That’s on Tesla to decide.

Nothing. Textile *is not* an upgrade to alcantara.

So they made part of the interior like the bolt. At least the Tesla has a panaramic roof instead of an all cloth roof like the bolt. Hey bro aren’t all bolts cloth interiors with plastic trim? It is sad that Chevy premium package never even came with a premium interior.

Hey bro what about those other premium upgrades on the bolt like longer range batteries, integrated garage door openers, active cruise control, all wheel drive, sun roof or autopilot? Oh wait the bolt offers none of those. The only real upgrade you get to pay for is $750 to get fast charging that comes standard on the model 3.

Funny how Tesla “downgrades” to what is the standard premium package on the Chevy bolt.

Premium trim on a value brand is often lower than the standard on a luxury brand.

That should not surprise anyone.

What is a surprise to some is that Tesla feels it can swap out materials without notice or compensation to their customers. That’s a trust breaking move that they better not continue if they want to be a volume manufacturer.

Oh, please. The legacy manufacturers have made their careers off of breaking trust.
This won’t hurt Tesla in the least.

As it should be! You pay half the price for model 3, expect half the quality!

Yeah well MadBro, quantity of quality best describes your pathetic, mentally ill, carpet-bombing comments on everything Tesla now.

Dude, the inside of your Bolt looks horrible! It’s literally a $18K car that you paid $37K for! And it’s made in compliance car numbers!
And you still continue to troll about the M3? YOU ARE A JOKE!

Well, we have never seen a base model 3 interior, so no idea how it will compare to the Bolt.

Wow that’s some BS right there.

The cheap comes out expensive as always.

Ignorance is bliss. Would not have known to even look for that.

So basically Tesla is not delivering on something it never explicitly offered in the first place and it’s just some minor interior trimmings.

Not quite as bad as the headline that sort of suggested textile seats rather than leather seats.

It is one thing if they still offered it as option

Model 3 doesn’t have leather seats. It’s a faux leather.


I don’t think I would to sit on seats made of the skin of vegans. Ewww.

Leather is out on all models


I’m just sad that the cow I ate last night won’t get to live on in a Tesla.

That’s why there are multiple threads on multiple Tesla forums with hundreds of replies about this particular “non-issue” as you would put it. Lol

You were over there and read these hundreds of replies on the Model 3 headliner change(of course you’re full of it as usual) and didn’t rub it in those “zealots'” faces?! What a missed opportunity!

Nope, I don’t poke the lion over there as I don’t want to get banned. “Know your audience”.

Over here, however, it’s the wild wild west, so it’s no holds barred.

I appreciate your honesty on that one.

Apparently the no holds barred also applies to TSLA, which has been going up like gang busters.
I agree that this move is chintzy, though there maybe some reason, like the supplier raised prices, but Tesla has no competition and the car is not gimped technologically by this move, so it won’t matter much.

Hey bro while Tesla is coming it off production hell you must be going into trolling hell with all the glowing review of the model 3 coming out. The fit and finish are top notch, the panel lines are all lined up nicely, it goes farther than the EPA estimate, it is faster than advertised, it is a great driving car with comfortable seats, a fast charging network that along with it’s huge range and low drag broke the record for the fastest ev cross country cannonball run.

So far your last desperate attempts to bad mouth the model 3 have been a very small change to the interior that mimics your beloved bolt, the desperate denial that we will never see the 35k model and your smug attempt at saying the bolt beat out the model 3 in sales.

I don’t know how you aren’t on anti depressants from all the glowing reviews especially once the model 3 starts outselling the bolt 10 to 1 or when the first 35k model his the streets.

The thing that is really going to get you into the Looney bin is when the bolt sales start dropping because everyone wants the model 3 instead.

Apparently his wife hates him for getting a Bolt according to the link he provides with his name back to his blog site. She is sick of all the Bolt charging problems he details there over and over. Like his winter trip failure, and his failed trip down south, etc.

His blog site also details how he paid as much (with delivery) for his fully decked out 238 mile Bolt as it will cost to get a 310 mile Long Range Model 3 with base interior/wheels (in black, of course).

So it isn’t surprising that he comes here to dump his BS (and his frustrations) that he wouldn’t even dare post anywhere else!! He thinks this is the “Wild West” where he believes he can go completely crazy with no fear of being banned.

Failed winter trip? I made it home just fine, just took a little longer than expected. Same deal with You You and his adventures in Canada in his new, glitchy Model 3 that experienced Supercharging way slower than expected.

And I’m not even sure what trip “down south” you’re talking about. You have to take off those Tesla blinders when you read my blog! You’re just making up stuff now.

Of course his wife is pissed. What women wants be seen in a bolt? Also with Bolt being so narrow when she gets in she is practically touching him and nobody wants to touch bro.

Let’s also not forget how she has to get out and manually open the garage door because the bolt doesn’t even come with something as simple as a garage door opener.

She also is pissed that she constantly has to remind bro not to crash into the car in front of him since the bolt doesn’t even come with active cruise control.

She is not happy about all the plastic that the bolt uses or how the seats are too narrow and just wants to look somewhere else but when she tries to look up all she sees is a cloth headliner since the bolt doesn’t even offer a sunroof.

And the wife’s is perfectly happy with the Bolt. The only reason she was pissed during that fateful winter trip was because the Chipotle we planned to stop at to get grub for the kids was unexpectedly closed. Nothing to do with the Bolt at all.

Just keep making up stuff Nix. You must still think all Model 3 interiors are all alcantara still, and the cloth reports are fakenews. Lol. Typical TSLA zealot.

LOL!! So the wife being pissed that you talked about in your blog didn’t have anything to do with the extra 75 minutes of charging time above and beyond what you planned for, like you wrote about in your blog? That you should have taken a Volt instead, because of the charging times? Sure, sure, buddy.

Funny how you are completely ignoring the part where for the money you spent for your 238 mile range decked out Bolt, you could have gotten a 310 mile Long Range Model 3 with 5 second 0-60 and Supercharging. Clearly that’s the real sore spot for you. It must really hurt.

The pissed part only happened on the last charging stop. Was perfectly fine till then (curse you, Chipotle!). The same trip in a long range Model 3 would have take me….well forever! No one except employees still had Model 3’s in early December.

Speaking of Model 3’s, where is yours, resident IEVs TSLA zealot? For someone that eagerly awaits TSLA earnings calls like a fat kid waiting for a candy store to open, surely you would have submitted your Model 3 order by now?

Let me teach you something about spouses:

When your spouse is angry about a Chipotle, that’s not really what they are angry about…..

If I wanted to blog about my personal life, I’d have already done it. And don’t call me Shirley.

And I’m glad you took off the TSLA blinders long enough to re-read my latest blog. I appreciate the extra hits. 😉

I’m sorry you blew your money on a decked out 238 mile Bolt, when the same money would have got you a 310 mile Long Range Model 3 with supercharging and 5 sec. 0-60. It clearly is killing you, since you keep evading the topic.

why don’t you write a blog about it?

Can you imagine being married to someone as OC, mentally ill as MadBro?

Talk about torture.

The guy is sharp and witty. I’m sure the wife is happy.

It was clearly listed as part of the PUP, but it went away from the web site at some point in the last few days. I thought I was getting premium headliner, I probably wouldn’t notice getting fabric when I pick mine up in a few weeks, but now it’s going to bug me if that’s what I got. hah

Hey, Tesla saving a few bucks on every Model 3 with PUP (but still charging the same price) means Tesla clears better margins! Better for Tesla = better for you, right? 🙂

Unlike the bolt where Chevy saved a lot of bucks by offering it with a cloth interior as the upgrade. Then forgetting to but in something as basic as a garage door opener along with not even trying to put active cruise control in. Talk about under achieving to push a sub compact car or so fast they can’t even offer basic upgrades over a year after launch.

I would prefer that over GM saving a few cents on each defective ignition switch, even when GM knew before they even went into production that they didn’t meet design specifications. And even after they knew the defective switches were killing people, they unlawfully failed to report it and properly recall them in a timely fashion.

So yea, if it is bean counters instead of a shortage of Alcantra from suppliers like the story says, it is certainly a better place to cut beans than what other car makers have done in the past.


Or sort of like when Elon clashed with MobilEye, and tried to force them to sacrifice safety so that he could get more AP features pushed out faster? Disregard for safety that ultimately led to the death of Joshua Brown? Something like that?

All in the name of pimping AP and trying to get that TSLA ticker to keep going up?

Here is what the ACTUAL official NHTSA report said about Autopilot in the Brown accident:

” NHTSA’s examination did not identify any defects in the design or performance of the AEB or Autopilot systems of
the subject vehicles nor any incidents in which the systems did not perform as designed. AEB systems used in the
automotive industry through MY 2016 are rear-end collision avoidance technologies that are not designed to reliably
perform in all crash modes, including crossing path collisions.”

They go on to show with pictures and studies how AEB is NOT designed in ANY car maker’s systems to prevent cross-traffic collisions. They are all designed specifically to keep you from rear ending another car.

So no, there is no comparison between a system that was found to be working as designed, the same as other car makers similar systems, and a known faulty GM part that failed and had to be recalled.

Sadly, you are too silly and childish to understand the difference between an event where Tesla was CLEARED, and GM who TOOK A GUILTY PLEA to criminal charges and paid a record fine on top of recalling their defective product.

Here’s the article to refresh your memory in case you conveniently forgot: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2016/09/tesla-dropped-by-mobileye-for-pushing-the-envelope-in-terms-of-safety/

“Mobileye revealed that it ended its relationship with Tesla because “it was pushing the envelope in terms of safety.” Mobileye’s CTO and co-founder Amnon Shashua told Reuters that the electric vehicle maker was using his company’s machine vision sensor system in applications for which it had not been designed.”

And I totally forgot about that poor Chinese Tesla owner that also perished due to Elon putting Tesla’s goals above customer safety.

“It is also emerging that the crash which cost Joshua Brown his life in May of this year was unlikely to have been the first such fatal crash involving Tesla’s Autopilot. In January of this year in China, a Tesla ploughed into the back of a stationary truck at speed, killing the driver.”

You mean the stoned Truck Driver who illegally failed to yield and caused a fatal accident? To refresh YOUR memory, the guilty party in that accident was determined to be the truck driver, who was charged with failing to yield, and whose blood toxicology report came back positive with enough THC in his blood hours after the accident to be charged with driving while intoxicated in the majority of states. Luckily for him, the state he was in didn’t have a blood quantum law at that time. Otherwise this would just be yet another guilty Driving While Intoxicated story. You really should read the DOT final report. It is all in there. The truck driver was the only party charged and found guilty in that accident. NHTSA also CLEARED Tesla and autopilot in that case, finding no reason for recall or take any other action against Tesla. Furthermore, NHTSA went EVEN FURTHER and stated that autopilot cars had a 40% (FORTY PERCENT) lower collision rate. Making the autopilot that you blame for the accident actually THE BEST collision avoidance technology ever invented in the history of the car, with no other technology to date getting anywhere near that statistic for… Read more »

GM’s Pinto moment. Not like they haven’t plenty of them.

It’s just the headliner. Seriously, who looks at the roof when they are driving?

Seats are unchanged.

Add me to the list of reservation holders who doesn’t really care about this.

And it is just the headliner for the part of the roof that isn’t a huge sheet of glass. Most of the roof is glass and doesn’t have any material on it at all….

Actually it’s not just the headliner. Some owners are now reporting that the visors are as well.

There seems to be a slow shift from one material to another. The guy on this page has a bizarre mix with a textile visor and alcantara vanity mirror cover.


Discussions between TMC and Tesla customer service say that the headliner and visors will match in the future – all be textile.

I am pissed!,I will delay my order,and I am now hoping ice manufacturers get their act together and produce beautiful compelling long range EV.I am now open to buy outside Tesla.

And get the $7500 that you might not get on a Tesla when your number comes up

OMG Tesla switched the headliner material from something I’ve never heard of to something else I’ve never heard of! Say it isn’t so! Cause headliner material is the discriminator I look for when buying a car.

Also isn’t the roof mostly glass anyway? I mean, how much headliner is there?

Enough to make it noticeable especially when it has dirty hand prints like pictures above.

It seems clear what happened. Tesla produced the first Model 3’s with PUP (to include the press review units) with the alcantara headliner to garner glowing initial reviews.
Then they switched over to the cheapo cloth headliners once deliveries to “regular” customers commenced. A few lucky owners got their 3’s outfitted with the last remaining alcantara supply of headliners.

I mean this is a classic definition of “bait and switch”, something those sleazy car dealers do all the time?

It’s not the least bit “clear” what happened. Let’s get it from the horse’s MOUTH instead.

This. I can’t believe people even notice sh** like this. And this is the first time I’ve ever seen the word “alcantara”.

a few people are complaining about a minor interior detail. 24 likes on twitter and 2 retweet AFTER you wrote about the tweet here is actually not “a lot”.

Sorry, according to bro1999, there are “hundreds”. We all KNOW how accurate ol’ bro likes to be on Tesla! LOL!

a hundred out of 400,000 reservation holders is meaningless.

Thanks St. Elon, Please Cancel my 3 order, lets see how the Model Y “deal” goes when you have a chance to get to it.

I’m glad that PETA won’t be protesting this small Tesla Model 3 change, as there will be less “thinning the herd” on the Alcantara range.

You do know alcantara is basically micro suede? It’s mainly plastic with a brushed texture.

I am absolutely sure your post is 100% sarcasm (and very funny at that, poor alcantara beasts).

But for the benefit of others who might not know, Alcantara is a bit of a scam. It is mostly a very successful branding exercise for one company’s brand of synthetic (68% polyester and 32% polyurethane) faux suede leather.

There are actually plenty of other faux suede leathers (many actually better than the Alcantra brand name made by the company named “Alcantra”). But somehow through clever marketing, they managed to convince some car enthusiasts that their faux leather was an upgrade over real leather…..


As a side note, I heard PETA was protesting the clubbing of baby alcantra beasts, who are skinned alive for their hides…. /sarc

You’re cancelling your order?! Well OK then….I guess?

I am waiting on the Model Y, there was an element of sarcasm in my post, forgot the /S.

It would personally bother me if the headliner material is different from the visors material (it’s an OCD thing). But the alcantara does not look that good in the car, it’s too fluffy. The new textile is OK with me, if only there was an option for black textile.

Everyone knows they can’t make money on the stripped base M3, and likely will only sell a token number of them. But apparently they also need to de-content the Premium/Long Range M3 to try to squeak some profit out of it? I wouldn’t have guessed that based on the bloated pricing of the options.

Though, hand-building the battery packs, and the low production numbers, must force cuts elsewhere to achieve some level of profitability.

GM (and actually all other automakers) can’t make money on EV’s currently. At least GM has promised they WILL turn profits by 2021.

If GM, with access to enormous economies of scale and deep supplier network chains, can’t turn a profit on a <$40k, 238 mile Bolt, how the hell can Tesla turn a profit on a "$35k" 220 mile base Model 3? Answer: they can't!
Which is why the biggest, longest running Kickstarter campaign will continue to ask for cash from customers and investors. They currently don't have a valid business model, and need regular injections of cash from outside sources.

Well then MadBro, maybe you and your serial anti-Tesla troll buddies like CCIE can go out and short Tesla some more!

No stock position here (short or long). Just trying to be a balancing voice of reason.

You think Tesla can magically mass-produce a reliable car in less time than real automakers, and at a lower cost. I point out how unlikely that is. So far I’ve been right.

I do believe that Tesla will get the Model 3 into mass production this year, though not reliably and not in the numbers they keep promising. And, they’ll never be able to sell stripped base cars in anything but token numbers because it’s not profitable.

Well then your “balance” is seriously off (kind of like Faux News) considering you posted yesterday that you think Tesla will only build and deliver 30,000 Model 3s in 2018.

Of course you are probably more mentally balanced then MadBro!

I’d love to see a link to that supposed post I made yesterday. Hint: It doesn’t exist.

We took delivery of a model 3 yesterday and I noticed the nice suede material on part of the door panel. But I didn’t even realize the headliner was a woven cloth material until I saw the thread on Teslamotorsclub. On our car, the visors are mostly covered in the same woven material, but the little flap that covers the lighted vanity mirror is still made of the suede/alcantara materia. But none of these are details that either my wife or I noticed initially. And the headliner material looks and feels better to me than the headliner on our 2013 Model S.

I’ve shown the Model 3 to several coworkers and their reaction was “oh my god- look at that glass roof!” None of them commented on the material covering the pillars or covering the frame around the glass in the roof.

Ok, how would you react if someone shows you a car you have never seen before. Would you nitpick a detail or get awed by a huge part hanging over your head …. am I correct?

I am not saying I would return the car over it, I would just not defend the move like you have.

There is no excuse for this sort of behaviour! And in fact, the more minor you consider this to be, the less reason there was for Tesla to keep quiet about it.

It’s communication 101, and Tesla has made the same mistake with such regularity that it’s now impossible not to suspect it’s part of their MO!

Very few things anger me as much as this incredible incompetence and dishonesty from a company I desperately want to believe is different, cares about doing what is right. Something is very seriously wrong with Elon Musk and his ideas about the end justifying the means. Constant lying is not a good way to run a business – and sooner or later it will bite them. What goes around comes around.

Doesn’t this fall under more of “little white lie”?

I haven’t commented here until now since I was under the impression it was a ‘smallish’ issue.

How much money are we talking about with the interior trim change, roughly?

I agree that Tesla should have been a bit more clear about the change. But my point is that this is something pretty minor to the majority of people out there. Based on my experience with an early Model S, I expect Tesla to continually tweak their cars over time and so I’m pretty tolerant of these sorts of minor changes as long as they don’t affect things like safety and performance. Perhaps that is one of the reasons existing Tesla owners got priority over the general population for getting their cars.


Given a choice, I’d rather have leather seats.
Yes, real dead cow.

I knew it, they are “thinning the heard” after all!
I’m calling PETA now, I know they’ll put an end to this unconscionable outrage, once and for all!

It’s like they offered the car in Europe for a certain price, and then did not produce it in any numbers, sold it to Puegot and then raised the price 5k.
Now that was a class move.

It was a smart move on GM’s part, considering they had exited the European market. Also, I think they raised the price more than $5k.

Dumb of Puegot not to pre-negotiate the price and volume of every car that GM would provide for the next few years. Though, no one has ever accused the French of being good business people (or good engineers).

It’s Peugeot, btw.

Oh, thanks. I thought it was wrong, just too lazy to look it up.

Many have “accused” the French of being both very good business people and excellent engineers. France is a much more centrally planned economy than the US, and it’s business environment is complicated by such things as laws that give workers real protection and real opportunity to oppose corporate exploitation, such as by going on a strike. It’s a much fairer and more equal society, and if you’re born there you can expect to live longer than an American, despite a smaller portion of the economy being devoted to health care AND only half as much GDP per capita. Everyone gets five weeks paid vacation, and many get seven (status cadre). The country runs on 90% carbon-free nuclear power, and has never had an accident. It got trains that cruise at 320 kph in the early 80s. It is the engineering seat of Airbus, maker of the world’s largest and most advanced jumbo jet capable of seating 800 (in economy, nobody has this configuration, but it’s 40% more than a 747), and for a few decades the only commercial supersonic jet. It has world-class finance, software and biotech companies. It has optical fibre coverage of most of the country, where the… Read more »

I’ve visited, both as a tourist and on business. It’s a bit too socialist for my taste. And the high unemployment, especially for young people, is an issue.

Airbus made the same mistake with the A380 as was made with the Concorde: both are/were commercially non-viable. Without government support, Airbus would not survive against Boeing.

Also, I wouldn’t point to the Concorde as an example of engineering prowess given its crash record. And, the A380 was mostly engineered by the Germans.

Fiber deployment is easy in a country the size of Texas.

I will admit that the food is excellent! As for the rest, I fallback on the old English saying: France would be great, if not for the French.

And that would be the same GM that has never been able to successfully compete in Europe against the European luxury marques unlike Tesla?

But wait, it gets even better, because until Tesla–none of the legacy American OEMs have been able to compete successfully against the European luxury marques.

What’s your point? GM exited the European market because they couldn’t make money there. It was smart to cut their loses. They should have done it long ago.

The reason they couldn’t make money is that the Europeans are smart enough to realize that buying domestic cars supports their own economy. And they know that a car made locally by a foreign automaker is almost as bad as a foreign-made car. So, they buy from domestic brands.

This is one area where American’s fail miserably. We buy far to many cars from foreign companies. We then justify that poor decision by saying our Toyota was assembled in the US. We ignore the fact that all of the R&D and support services are in Japan. And, the profit flows to Japan.

Well slick,
your argument completely falls apart if you look at FORD in Europe making money.

So you are a Trumpian America First kind of guy I see.

Well, hate to break it to you but the world is a little more complicated then Trumpster simpletons’ propaganda would have it.

The bottom line is selling AND beating the MB, BMW, Audis of the world in their home market ONLY helps you sell your products back home.

Its called competition improves everybody BTW.

Still I think it was smart move on GM’s part to get out. Probably should have done it years ago. Your point is that Tesla makes superior products, which can compete in Europe. That is clearly correct.

Unlike the U.S. GM can’t tilt the playing field nearly so easily in Europe. Like in the U.S. All countries protect their automakers including Germany.
That’s why they stopped any new superchargers from being built there, at the behest of the old line auto industry, who, similarly to the U.S. have a great deal of political influence, and exercise it for their own benefit to the detriment of the buying public.

Ford does better in Europe than GM was doing, but look at their profit/loss for the last 10 years. It’s not great. The Europeans prefer European cars… smart of them.

I’m an American, so yeah I do root for the home team first. Luckily there is no shortage of great American companies to root for… GM, Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Ford, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Intel, and the list goes on.

Every time Tesla has made a little progress and look a bit more palatable again, they pull another dick move to destroy trust all over again. Now they finally began to look as if they might get some reasonable production going, and apparently felt that gave them enough goodwill that they could screw us again and get away with it. This does not bode well for the base model. If they can’t turn an acceptable profit on the premium car without this sort of blatant cheating, I don’t think they’ll make any profit on the base version at the promised price. I’ve always had my doubts they would deliver on the $35k price point. This convinces me they have no intention to. Before this move I reckoned there was at least a 50% chance I’d get the Model 3. Right now that estimate fell to 25%. And it’s mainly that high because I think there will be a backlog for a long time, so I may be able to take advantage of being a day one reservation holder and sell it at profit after six months. I just don’t understand why Tesla keeps doing the wrong thing so consistently when… Read more »

Is this happening in more than one car?

It’s just a typical Tesla manufacturing problem. They’ll get fixed under warranty. I pity the service departments though…

Well That’s Fantastic!!

If it is truly just a shortage I’m guessing they will replace them at the service centers. How long until someone says this is the real reason why they aren’t hitting 5k per week I wonder 🙂

Maybe because they don’t want their stock to rise too far too fast.


I just wasted 10 minutes of my life reading this article and all comments.

Anyhow it was funny to see what human beings care about…

Thankx folks. Keep going!

Another Euro point of view

Thanks guys, now I have a practical example of what infinity is (for my 6 year old son). That is for example the infinite inner emptiness of people who worry about material their headliner is made of:-)

Really? Would anyone accept a vehicle they specifically ordered with chrome bumpers if it is was delivered with painted bumpers, without apology or offer of a discount?

What’s worse, apparently this fabric substitution has been in some cases a relatively random materials replacement within a single vehicle. Almost like getting blue fenders and silver doors. Again, really? And buyers are accepting this?


Chrome bumpers went out in 60’s dude. You need a refresh. Plus they are hardly comparable.
You need to find a better analogy.

You’re right, man. Far out! You can take the boy out of the 60’s, but you can’t take the 60’s out of the boy:). So:

Order 19″ aluminum wheels and get 17″ steel.

Hopefully their model 3 wheel inventory is divisible by 4 or at least by 2 ,…..
I suppose you can’t see both sides of the car at once lol (joking)

Per the article: “It’s believed that an alcantara shortage, due to high demand at a single supplier, is the reason behind the switch” So someone else is getting the fabric instead of Tesla. Two problems there. First, they only have one supplier. Rule #1 of mass-market manufacturing – always have a plan B. Second – Tesla expected to be cranking out 2500 units/week by today. This would require a contract with the supplier that could deliver much, much higher fabric volumes than they currently actually are using – with guaranteed deliveries. Perhaps Tesla didn’t actually was not able to negotiate such a contract? And why not? Getting back to the fact they did have to substitute fabrics. More problems there. I realize this “on the fly” fabric substitution may not seem a big deal to some and the recipients may be OK with the substitution, but for anyone who is familiar with the detailed processes involved with high-volume automotive manufacturing, the fact the orderers were not contacted about this substitution represents a major screw-up – either by Purchasing, Production Control, Specifications, 3rd party vendor, or somewhere on the production line. Materials for every part going in a vehicle unit placed… Read more »

HVACman — Alcantara® is a brand of faux fiber. Only the company “Alcantra” can sell genuine fake suede leather that is branded Alcantara®

Tesla can’t get Alcantara® from other companies any more than you can get an iPad from somebody besides Apple.

If single-sourcing is necessary and Tesla was planning to produce 100K high-end Model 3’s per year, one would think Tesla would have locked up the supplier contract so that TESLA is the top customer, with guaranteed deliveries, and the rest of the fabric market takes second-place. That is how the big boys in the big leagues do it. To run out of fabric and then be unable to buy more after producing just 2K-3K vehicles says something is really, really off.

Or their other option instead of paying extra $$$$ to lock down guaranteed supply from a single supplier, was to simply specify an alternative material from another supplier.

That appears to be what they did.

That is cheaper than paying extra for a Specific Performance clause in a supply contract. Specific Performance clauses can be very expensive, especially when dealing with a monopoly.

It is much smarter to simply spec out an alternate product that performs the same function. Since the only function is to cover the headliner and visors, and there is no real technical demand for the product, the right choice is to do exactly what Tesla did.

Only nutters who would never buy a Tesla in the first place, and a handful of suckers who have bought into designer brand name fake suede leather seem to care. You clear fall in the first category, and may even be silly enough to also fall into the second too.

So if this was “planned all along” (cloth headliner), why does every single press photo of the Model 3’s interior show an alcantara headliner?


That’s some horrible planning! I guess Tesla’s production and marketing teams never talk with each other.

Or I have an alternate theory: Tesla required suppliers (including the 1 alcantara supplier) to beef up operations to produce 20k headliners a month by December 2017. Tesla then slashed orders as they realized they bit off way more than they could chew (to the tune of 1,700 Model 3’s delivered in 2017 instead of the 100-200k Elon said they could build.

Alcantara supplier got pissed, said “eat a d**k Tesla”, and ceased relations with Tesla and moved on to bigger and better things.
Tesla was left scrambling to replace the alcantara supplier, only to find it couldn’t, so it switched all headliners for the Model 3 to cloth once the alcantara supply ran out.

And now Tesla is trying to spin the story as if this switch was planned all along. LOL

It’s more likely that they just didn’t have the car truly finalized until last month. Those units they delivered in that summer stunt were pre-production Alpha units. Apparently they decided to go a bit cheaper in the final version.

So you’re saying either horrible communication (not informing customers of the change) or plain ineptitude (not finalizing plans for a car that went into production months earlier with a huge delivery party and everything? dafuq?) was the cause of this alcantara issue.

Either way anyone tries to slice it, Tesla looks extremely bad.

Probably a bit of both. That’s what happens when you try to quickly release a mass produced car without any real experience.

Reddit post from two months ago.


Bro – close, but read more carefully next time. You got their quote backwards about who was telling who to eat what:).

I’d imagine that is fairly accurate as to what happened with a supplier. A simpler explanation is a clean cut of the alcantara to just save costs.

Hey madbro you still mad that just about every reviewer that drove or sat in the Chevy Bolt thought the interior was lacking with too much plastic and looked like it belonged in a $12,000 car not a $43,000 car like the bolt.

Mental MadBro must lay awake a night trying to invent his conspiracy theories to support his insecurities and obsessions!

You need a refresher on how to reply to comments properly, don’t you? =/

Please tell me you are not going to start to do tutorials, on properly leaving posts, in the “reply to comments” section?

Hey madbro you see the glowing review that was just above this article of the pro driver putting the Model 3 through its paces?

I noticed you didn’t have any commentary on that one so here let me put a link in to see what a real car is suppose to handle like.


This could backfire if it leads to reservations get cancelled. Each 1000 cancellations requires Tesla to cough up a million dollars. This is an especially poor time to squeeze their financing.

Considering that never anywhere did Tesla promise or even state that the headliner in the PUP was Alcantara, I don’t see what the fuss is about. The only thing that matters is if the owners are happy with the material or not.

Most, like myself, probably don’t really give a sh** one way or the other. Of those who do, most will probably be fine with it. For those few who can’t possibly have a car without an Alcantara headliner… quit complaining and just cancel your reservations.

Those who have no reservation and therefore don’t even have skin in the game… find something better to do with your spare time. Seriously.

First world problems…


What a fuss about headliner material.

If you’d ask me, I wouldn’t know what headliner material is used in my current car. I never touch it, so why would I care?