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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Tesla's Fast Production Hurts Quality

      Quick and Fast isn't helping Tesla's quality issues

    More than 90 percent of Tesla Model S and X models that roll off the assembly line require fixes before they are shipped. This figure comes from nine former and current Tesla employees that spoke to Reuters this week citing data from the company's internal tracking system.

    At Tesla “so much goes into rework after the car is done ... that’s where their money is being spent,” said a former supervisor.

    Industry experts say it is critical for an automaker to get the quality right before initial production as repairs waste time and money. Other automakers such as Toyota only have an average of "fewer than 10 percent of their cars" requiring some sort of fix.

    Some of this can be attributed to Tesla's pressure to keep the production line moving, even when there was some sort of issue. This caused certain batches of vehicles to not have various parts such as windshields or bumpers. The understanding according to the workers is they would be fixed later.

    Other issues such as doors not closing or missing trim pieces show Tesla is still struggling with getting the basics right.

    Defects included “doors not closing, material trim, missing parts, all kinds of stuff. Loose objects, water leaks, you name it,” another former supervisor said. “We’ve been building a Model S since 2012. How do we still have water leaks?”

    Tesla calls models with quality issues “kickbacks” and are either fixed on the production line or head to one of Tesla’s outdoor parking lots for repair. According to the workers, one of the lots "has exceeded 2,000 vehicles at times".

    “Our goal is to produce perfect cars for every customer. Therefore, we review every vehicle for even the smallest refinement. Most customers would never notice the work that is done post production, but we care about even a fraction of a millimeter body gap difference or a slight paint gloss texture. We then feed these improvements back to production in a pursuit of perfection,” Tesla said in a statement to Reuters.

    The company declined to provide any post-assembly defect rates and denied those repair lots exist.

    Source: Reuters

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    Musk thinks he can apply open source software fixes to hardware being auto's. THIS is a FAILURE. Hardware has Alpha and Beta testing for a reason, so you can have near perfect auto's come off the assembly line. On top of this not mentioned is Musk desire for JIT manufacturing when his company does not have the experience to do JIT assembly.

    Musk can make money and build a long lasting company by taking a couple steps backwards to get 5000 cars a week forward in production. As they say in racing, Slower and consistent is faster than balls to the wall scary driving.

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    2 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    It is an American car company.  Given my political feelings about the country, they can go bankrupt tomorrow and shut their doors by noon.

    How about this modest proposal: Toyota buys them out and fixes their myriad issues instead.

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    3 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Ick...I'd rather see an American company buy them.  

    That is understandable, but who has the expertise to actually fix their production problems?  Toyota is arguably the best choice, even though they are Japanese.

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    19 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    That is understandable, but who has the expertise to actually fix their production problems?  Toyota is arguably the best choice, even though they are Japanese.

    True enough..they know large scale production... I would hope anyone that bought them would keep the identity, not blandify or mainstream them into regular brands..

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    General Motors and FoMoCo know something about mass production too...

    I certainly dont want Toyota to touch Tesla.

    Whether we like Musk or not, he instills a certain passion to the Tesla cars that obviously show up the way the Tesla cars drive...(and its not just the ludicrous modes...but they do contribute to that a helluva lot!!!) 

    In other words, Tesla cars have a certain excitement factor to them.  Toyota once upon a time ago had that same fun and passion in their cars...but ever since the millennium hit us, Toyota lost that quality.  

    Gone was the turbo Supra that the F&F crowd riced and tuned...to the beat of 1000 horses at times!

    LOOOOONG gone was the AWD rallye Celica. All was left was a crappy 2 door that an Oldsmobile Alero shytty V6 could actually beat up on. (I know this personally well!) 

    LOOOOOOOOONG gone was the mid-engined exotic car for the masses MR2 and in its place was...well...forgettable. 

    All this sportiness was replaced by a stale 2 door Camry called the Solara. Nice car. But old phogeyish! 

    All this sportiness was replaced by a pretty good car, the Matrix, that was shared with a Pontiac...a car company falsely building excitement, which ironically best represents Toyota at this time...and double irony...where the Matrix and Vibe were built is where Tesla now builds its cars.

    The Matrix, had everything going for it, but what it was missing was a REAL SPORTY SOUL. And NEITHER Pontiac NOR Toyota had the wisdom nor balls to give it that passion!

    Fast forward another decade and Toyota partners itself with Subaru to find that missing excitement factor and...comes up short again! 

    Subaru doesnt care all that much because the WRX has got that passion in spades. And its AWD aura that its SUVs and CUVs benefit from! The BRZ could use some of that mystique, but its OK if it dont.

    So...Toyota now partners up with BMW...another reject as BMW too, has lost their way...

    So...I dont think Toyota is a good match for Tesla. All the fun will be sucked out of Telsa.

    GM...may not need Tesla, as GM is on its own EV way.  That will probably supplant Tesla going forward anyway. The supercharging network maybe worth it though. 

    FoMoCo maybe the better fit than all of the companies I mentioned. Maybe not. 

    Mullaly's One Ford philosophy has dug Lincoln in a rut and for FoMoCo to buy out Tesla, well, for  both Tesla and Lincoln to compete for independence from FoMoCo might prove to be too much for FoMoCo to handle.

    So...Tesla is on its own. Tesla either does or does not! 




    Edited by oldshurst442
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    10 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    How about this modest proposal: Toyota buys them out and fixes their myriad issues instead.

    What I am really frustrated with is our attitude towards American manufacturing. Why don't we just abdicate everything entirely to the Chinese and the Germans?  This among other things...if Musk can't get it right....ughhhhh.

    Yes there are good American companies and I support the hell out of them every chance I can. I love the speed queen drier dfelt recommended.  Wife 16 year old daughter exchange student me 24 year old son 21 year old daughter make a ton of clothes.  That thing is built like a tank and gets things dry quickly.

    Everything that says American made should be of really high quality.

    I think it is more likely the French of all people would buy Tesla.

    6 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    That is understandable, but who has the expertise to actually fix their production problems?  Toyota is arguably the best choice, even though they are Japanese.

    I see some wisdom here...but Toyota already has battery technology...and is not burning tons of cash like Tesla.

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