If you’re unfamiliar with Bob Lutz, it’s likely that you’re a recent addition to the world of automotive enthusiasm. Allow me to be the first to welcome you. The rest of us have been following Lutz’s career shift from extremely outspoken auto executive to extremely outspoken car blogger for years. Now 85, he hasn’t become any less critical of the industry after entering his “retirement,” nor has his advanced age done much to soften his frank rhetoric.
Love or hate him, Lutz’s time spent jumping between the Big Three has provided him with unique insights — and he always has plenty to say on the current state of the American automotive industry. His most recent revelations circle around the unsustainable nature of Tesla and his growing distaste for president Trump, despite his having voted for him. (Read More…)
Despite garnering below-average reliability ratings, Tesla is probably the one car brand with the most fervent disciples. While not all Tesla fans are blindly loyal, most are willing to cut the company much more slack than you would Ford the next time your Focus’ bum transmission acts up. Granted, Tesla’s automobiles do possess elements that most Fords do not — namely prestige and a highly unique driving experience.
An elegantly fashionable car will, of course, be more easily forgiven for its missteps than some plain-Jane model. However, the Model S and X have suffered more than just the occasional mechanical error. The Model X is infamous for its malfunctioning electronic doors and wonky electronic interface, while the Model S has suffered from quality control issues since day one. Still, every time an owner voices a concern about reliability or the company’s lackluster ability to service its vehicles, their complaint usually comes with an addendum specifying that they still adore their purchase. (Read More…)
Tesla is taking its most affordable model off the market next month. In order to “simplify the ordering process,” the automaker has decided to abandon the Model S 60 and 60D, according to its official newsletter.
It hasn’t even been a full year since the 60kWh trim returned after the more-expensive Model S 70 replaced it in 2015. Good riddance. (Read More…)
Tesla pricing is about as predictable as the winning lottery numbers. This year it added numerous surprise fees onto its supercharging network and rearranged the pricing structure for its Model S sedan more times than I can remember. Most recently, the company increased the price of its base Model S 60 from $66,000 to $68,000 with an $8,500 software update that unlocks the battery’s full potential — since the 60 is just a 75 that has been digitally neutered and rebadged.
In some instances, almost 30 percent of the value of the vehicle can be unlocked through in-car purchases. There are all manner of software-upgradable items but keeping up with their pricing is nearly impossible, especially when Tesla doesn’t actively announce those changes. (Read More…)
With lengthy repair times, parts shortages, and colossal distances between locations, Tesla is having real difficulties effectively servicing its current customer base as complaints begin to mount.
While certainly unfortunate news, this will be nothing compared to what it will face when the upcoming Model 3 starts needing the EV equivalent of an oil change.
Tesla’s free Supercharger network was one of the best parts of being a Tesla owner. Free electricity and the lofty social status that comes with EV ownership? What’s not to like? Well, the the company just announced it’s about to make a “change to the economics of Supercharging.”
After issuing emails urging customers to stop hogging the network last year, Tesla has decided only to allow certain early adopters to make use of the fast-juicing power grid free of charge. Meanwhile, all customers purchasing vehicles after January 2017 will have to pay up.
Tesla’s Model S 60 has come and gone only to show up again as the “bargain” Tesla, even though it’s actually just a cheaper Model S 75 with a stingy computer.
Now, inside information suggests it’ll be going up in price even if you decided not to add the company’s cool new transparent roof. With the automaker seemingly hoping to squeeze every last buck out of its lineup, the top-flight versions of both of its models have now been propelled into the pricing stratosphere.
After a second quarter that was anything but hot, Tesla Motors surprised analysts by delivering 24,500 vehicles in the third quarter — a 10,000-unit jump over the previous tally.
The healthy delivery numbers allow CEO Elon Musk to stick to his promise of 50,000 deliveries in the second half of this year, reports Bloomberg. Still, the production boost failed to buoy the company’s stock, meaning Musk’s fundraising plans won’t be easy. (Read More…)
The Tesla Model S is neither new nor surprising anymore. When the electric sedan entered the market in 2012, it shattered perceptions of electric cars and proved electric motoring viable.
Since then, Tesla has established itself as the go-to brand for geeks and early adopters. We’ve driven the Tesla Model S before, so there’s no need to talk about its most obvious features. But recent events make this a great time to talk about its second-most-important feature: Autopilot.
Is Tesla’s autonomous system any good? Can it be dangerous? How far is it from being truly autonomous? And, besides that, how did the Model S improve over the last few years?
The reshuffling of Tesla’s lineup continues, with the electric automaker announcing a base Model S sedan with less range and a lower starting price.
The 70 kWh entry-level battery is gone, replaced by a 60 kWh juice box that lowers range to 210 miles, similar to the upcoming Model 3, but in a vehicle you can have in your driveway next month. (Read More…)
Grilles are so 20th century.
As we speculated last week, Tesla has put a new face on its Model S, doing away with the faux grille designed to trick people into thinking there was something combusting under the hood.
The new front end is a corporate amalgam of the both the recently unveiled Model 3 sedan and Model X SUV. Tesla apparently thinks that society has progressed enough to accept the disappearance of an air-sucking mouth at the front of a car.
Suffice it to say the Model 3 has consumed all of the Tesla oxygen in the past few weeks, but that doesn’t mean the Model S is just going to roll over and play dead.
Sources inside the company told CNET that a changes are coming for the ground-breaking electric sedan, possible as early as next week. If true, Tesla founder Elon Musk clearly knows a thing or two about sustaining buzz.
The shadowy source claims the Model S will receive an exterior facelift and a slight move upmarket thanks to more luxurious interior trappings.
Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to build a new European factory to satisfy growing demand on the continent, and France knows just the place he should do it.
French Energy Minister Segolene Royal reportedly pitched the idea of using the site of a soon-to-be-mothballed reactor to Musk, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).
“He didn’t say no,” said Royal, who plans to follow-up the pitch by meeting with Tesla management.
Tesla Motors is cranking out EVs at its fastest clip yet, but buyers who put money down on the Model 3 should still have serious questions about the timeliness of their delivery date.
In the first quarter of this year, Tesla delivered 12,420 Model S sedans and 2,400 Model X SUVs — nearly 50 percent more volume than the same period last year. The electric automaker said a parts shortage in January and February hampered Model X production, but with the issue resolved, deliveries of 80,000 to 90,000 Teslas can be expected this year.
At a one-day workshop Tuesday sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission to discuss the future of automobile dealers in the U.S., executives from General Motors and Tesla jabbed at each other over electric car sales.
GM CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra touted the new Chevrolet Bolt as being one of the few all-electric cars that could be purchased in all states.
Later, at a direct-sale discussion, a lawyer for Tesla chided Barra by saying that it was GM’s persistence in shaping dealer law nearly a century ago that has forced Tesla out of six states including Michigan and Texas.
“Because they voluntarily chose generations ago to use a certain business model, (GM thinks) everyone that comes after should be required as a matter of law to use the same model,” Tesla lawyer Todd Maron said Tuesday. (Read More…)