I ordered my Tesla Model 3 on December 27, 2017 after all the initial order rush was over. The email said Delivery estimate was mid 2018.
I didn’t believe it and was prepared to wait until 2020 to get my $35,000 Tesla Model 3 with the additional $7,000 tax credit which would bring my effective cost down to $31K with the sales tax factored in ($38K – $7k). Would be cash purchase so no financing cost etc. Don’t believe in borrowing money to buy a depreciating property – A topic for another conversation perhaps.
Then few months into 2018 I got another email saying the new estimate was late 2018. Really? Didn’t believe it. Still waiting for 2020.
Then came the great reviews of the product from early adopters and some consultants which added to the anticipation. Then the horror stories about bottlenecks, delay’s, quality problems, scrap rate etc. All understandable and to be expected since since we have a new product, new process, new supply chain, new robots, new software etc.
However, the car runs on Linux. Not acceptable to me as an embedded systems engineer in my early career. This is the reason I waited to order a Tesla since my expectation is that by 2020, Tesla will run on new Nvidia GPU that runs on QNX.
That and the fact that new products, especially cars, take years to mature to a point where the defect rate stabilizes to a manageable level. The 2020 Tesla’s shouldn’t have the durability issues that the 2013 Tesla’s are having now. Key word being shouldn’t.
However, it appears there is a huge culture issue at Tesla that permeates the entire organization driven my Mr. Elon Musk’s management style or lack thereof.
Details: (paywall) -> https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-faces-his-own-worst-enemy-1535727324
This will prevent Tesla from addressing the product issues and slowly improving the reliability (infant mortality) and long term durability issues.
Now that is a deal breaker for me. It doesn’t help that the $7,000 tax credit will expire soon as well, however, that was not a deal breaker.
Can this be fixed? Maybe. But not by 2020.
Also, by then there will be other choices in this space from competitors that are laser focused on making the cars instead of being distracted by flamethrowers, short shorts, submarines, rockets etc.
Now this (hobbies) would be ok if there was trust and empowerment to senior managers that manage supply chain issues, operations etc. There isn’t.
Making reliable and durable cars profitably is lot harder than it appears….