You Can't Have an EV for the Masses That Loses Money
Not without a profitable company, anyway. And Tesla, despite its promise to end the year in a cash-positive state, is not that company. Not yet.
After rolling out a dual-motor Model 3 and its Performance sibling in July, the average retail price of Tesla’s “most affordable” electric car is only going up, frustrating would-be owners waiting for the $35,000 base model. That stripped-down trim won’t appear until the beginning of next year.
When it does, however, Tesla stands to lose nearly $6,000 per vehicle, one investment bank claims.
According to Consumer Affairs (via Jalopnik), a UBS tear-down of a Model 3 yielded serious quality issues, mirroring what some owners have complained about on internet forums. The bank also stated that each Model 3 Tesla sells will only cost it money.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated in the past that production of big-bucks Model 3 variants is essential for the preservation of the company. Without those models, his vision of an EV for the masses becomes a pipe dream. UBS estimates that each $35,000 Model 3 costs the company $5,9000 more than it costs a buyer to purchase.
While this shouldn’t come as a surprise (most EVs remain unprofitable with current production costs and volumes), it’s the quality concerns that proved the most glaring.
In a note to clients, UBS analyst Colin Langan said, “The car scored ‘below average’ on the fit & finish quality audit which looked at >1, 500 gap measurements,” adding, “The team also found the body/wind noise was ‘borderline acceptable.’”
Wonky panel fitting, sketchy tolerances, and uneven spot welds turned up during the tear-down. This bolsters citics’ claims that Tesla remains more concerned with hitting production targets than producing a quality car. “The results confirm media reports of quality issues & are disappointing for a $49k car,” UBS wrote.
While Tesla is to be commended for building a technologically complex car with fewer parts than a traditional automobile, UBS said, accessibility of those parts poses a problem.
“Many aspects of the vehicle are inaccessible to even experienced mechanics and the containment of the battery pack makes fixes complex and expensive.”
Interestingly, the report comes on the same day that Tesla announced a doubling of its mobile repair fleet. Some 80 percent of repairs can be accomplished by its repair teams, the automaker claims, saving owners a trip to the service center.
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- Alan Well the manufacturers are catching up with stocks. This means shortages of parts is reducing. Stocks are building around the world even Australia and last year had the most vehicles ever sold here.
- Larry You neglected to mention that the 2024 Atlas has a US Government 5-Star Safety Rating.
- Alan Why is it that Toyota and Nissan beat their large SUVs (Patrol/300 Series) with an ugly stick and say they are upmarket? Whilst they are beating the vehicles with an ugly stick they reduce the off road ability rather than improve it.As I've stated in previous comments you are far better off waiting for the Patrol to arrive than buy an overpriced vehicle.
- Alan How many people do you see with a 4x4 running mud tyres? How many people do you see with a 4x4 running massive rims and low profile tyres? How many people have oversize mirrors for towing once in a blue moon? How many 4x4s do you see lifted? How many people care what tyres they run to save fuel? The most comfortable tyres are more or less the most economical.
- Alan These are not very good off road vehicles. This price for this Jeep means it should of been an exceptional off roader. I watched a comparison between this Jeep a Patrol and a 300 Series. One part of the test has the vehicle in an off road situation which arises often, that is only 3 wheels have contact with the ground and one is suspended and another only has minimal weight (contact). This leaves two wheels diagonally opposite bearing the weight. A test the reviewer call the "Door Test" was carried out. Both the Nissan and Toyota could open and close all doors and tailgate. The Jeep couldn't. The twist in the chassis shows how poor the engineering was done. A monocoque constructed vehicle should be easy to make rigid. Jeep managed to produce a rigid vehicle in the XJ decades ago.Don't buy this vehicle for any off road work, it sucks.