That parts question is one reason I don’t want to get a Tesla, versus a Cadillac, Ford, VW or Honda. Those companies know how to source parts for repairs and service because they have done this for decades. Tesla still hasn’t figured that out.
I haven’t seen many folks attributing the inability to get parts to “continuous innovation.” Most Tesla’s are Model 3 or Model Y, which have been around for a while now. Tesla’s been making/ordering the parts for those cars for years and years, without a whole lot of changes or refreshes (not too many Highlands on the road yet).
I suspect it’s more that Tesla has other priorities than making sure that there’s an adequate stock of extra parts available to service their fleet timely. They’ve been trying to grow like gangbusters, and so it may simply be that their focus is on growing their production and deliveries. Ensuring an adequate supply of spare parts is an unglamorous part of what a mature auto company has competencies in - that may not be the area where Tesla wants to differentiate itself. And running on a dealerless model, when dealers are an important provider of service infrastructure, may not help either.
Not sure if it will come up tomorrow, or whether it would change if it did. Remember, Tesla isn’t even a car company anymore. It’s an AI/robotics company that appears to many to be a car company. Maintaining optimal levels of replacement door panels for body repairs is the kind of stuff that a boring old car company worries about, not an AI/robotics company.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that customers need parts for their cars.
More likely it’s not an area where Tesla has a competency, at least now. As you point out the “no dealer” model (I would say “anti-dealer”, at least in the rhetoric and therefore perhaps in the conference rooms). If this were a failure of a couple of stories or some griping on the internet it would be one thing. This is Hertz, a buyer of 100,000 vehicles at a time when you’re used to selling ones and maybe twos, Hertz who should be your most important customer, demoing your product for millions of people, Hertz who announced they were going to convert fully-half their fleet in short order …
.,…and they can’t get parts?
(I suspect there is more here, like the pushback they got from customers who didn’t want to rent an EV but were forced into it because Hertz overbooked - and so on. But the animus must be quite real, given that the two companies should be terrific partners, and (obviously) that’s not happening.)
A reply by Fool ibuildthings with experience in parts…
But is Tesla doing that? Their thing has been that they refresh/fix their cars through OTA software updates, not tweaking the physical vehicles to any great extent. Indeed, my understanding is that prior to the Highland refresh, their two large-volume models (3 and Y) have been largely unchanged, in terms of physical design - which is what led to some of the calls that the 3 needed an update. Plus, it’s not like Hertz’ fleet was purchased an especially long time ago, either - those cars would have been two years old or so.
I think Goofy’s probably more correct on this. It’s hard to get parts because Tesla hasn’t done what’s necessary to make parts easy to get.
Agreed. Think about collision repair – Tesla isn’t changing the quarter panels and bumpers on their cars all that frequently.