My theory has always been that Tesla is pretty much done the day BMW and MB and Audi get the hang of the electric thing.
The experience of sitting in a $70k+ Tesla is below that of a Honda Civic. There’s a limit to how long that’s going to last in a competitive market.
As someone who has owned two Honda Civics and now owns a Model 3 you are laughably off the mark here.
> Tesla is pretty much done the day BMW and MB and Audi get the hang of the electric thing.
"Netflix is pretty much done the day Blockbuster gets the hang of the online thing."
"Apple is pretty much done the day Nokia gets the hang of the smartphone thing."
It's astounding to me how a community of technologists and entrepreneurs still can't grasp the innovator's dilemma at play here. Tesla's lead is accelerating every year as a new Tesla killer has been perpetually "around the corner." Cadillac ELR, BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, Chevy Volt, Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace were all supposed to eat Tesla's lunch. Just look at the sales numbers. Not even close.
Is there a single competitor to the Model 3 on the market yet? They should be doing really good with the lack of competition.
In the US the BMW 3-series sales fell of a cliff since the Model 3 was announced, and Model 3 Q2 sales in the US are 3,000 shy from beating the BMW 3-Series, Lexus ES, BMW 5-Series, and Mercedes C-Class (those are the #2-#5 in that segment)... combined.
 - https://cleantechnica.com/2019/08/10/tesla-model-3-outsold-b...
BMW and the rest of the big makers have no reason to push electric car sales and increase electric R&D over the more profitable ICE models.
Same goes for the dealers. They are the ones stealing sales and they make their money on service. Which will be less with electrics.
Right now, if you want the best electric car all other factors be damned, you get a Tesla.
But the miniscule amount of sales that Tesla has compared to the large manufacturers indicates that market is still exceedingly small.
What incentive does BMW have to compete with Tesla? At the very best, they build an electric that blows the Tesla out of the water and take 100% of Tesla's sales. That amounts to about one month of their current revenue.
Perhaps when demand for electrics at that price points really takes off, they will be caught flat footed without a competitive product. But that day is yet to come and the full weight of their R&D apparatus and sales force remains to be seen when it comes to electrics.
Same goes for all the other big manufacturers.
I think your narrative is 3 years out of date. BMW is dying at the hands of Tesla in the US right now, along with all the other “premium” carmakers.
When the Model Y starts shipping, I imagine X3 and X5 sales will likewise be hit quite hard.
In the US, BMW’s YoY in 2018 for 3 Series was -25%! 
Because you know, it makes just a bit more sense to compare them just within the US, where Tesla has had a chance to establish itself somewhat, compared to the 103-year old BMW.
The fact that Tesla sells almost 1/10 as many cars as BMW sells worldwide is actually pretty amazing, considering Tesla is selling purely EVs, all made in a single factory in the US.
When Tesla builds Giga4 in Europe in a couple years, then you’ll see the same effect there too.
There’s a reason BMW just fired their CEO.
 - https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/usa/article/attachment/T02893...
The greatest revelation for me was that good data-driven management decisions can cause a company to fail. In other words: good management can equal bad management.
My previous car was a BMW M3 and my Tesla has been a breath of fresh air along any possible imaginabile axis except the ergonomics of the air conditioning system that I'm not fan of.
Just because it is a good selling point for a certain subset of population that likes new and shiny and does not mind mowing people over in the process does not make it a good thing.
The Mercedes EQC has voice control, but they need to move to a different triggering phrase. They're using "Mercedes" currently and that has too many false positives, particularly when someone is trying to review the car:
Really, once I was quite happy with a car that had roll-down windows and no a/c, but when we are talking about a premium-priced car in 2019 expectations are somewhat different.
Mercedes is debuting Real Soon Like Now (I think it's out in Europe as of.. the past few days?) the EQC electric GLC-looking SUV thing. Jag has the i-Pace, which is still uncommon here in the bay area, though I saw quite a few in Norway.
The new Audi e-tron was all over Norway, and I just saw my first 3-4 here in the Bay Area this week. (but they had permanent CA license plates so they must have been out for at least a month or so).
The Mercedes EQC is here now, maybe not in your region yet:
I just ditched my Model S after 3 years and I feel great about it. I absolutely won't miss the charging, but I also won't miss the laughably barebones interior, litany of software bugs, or unjustifiably high price tag, either. The driving however, I absolutely will miss, but there's much more to the experience than that with a fully-electric.
I'm not surprised about the bugs, the bugs that are in my parents' Priuses (Prii?) are obnoxious to say the least, and Teslas software is many times more complicated. When you say barebones you mean like lack of cup holders or arm rests, etc? Or just the lack of _stuff_, in much the same way a room painted white feels empty?
You cannot just plug in and get charge with the right adaptor. You need to be authorized by the billing software to get juice. This happens automatically when you plug in a Tesla to the charger.
No way someone can come in and use the network and just pay the cost of electricity, or even a premium on the electricity.
Tesla is going to want someone to share the cost of building it out. Of course since they sell way more EVs by quantity, it would benefit them more than anyone who might come and offer to split the cost. Which is why no one will take them up on it until they can see a way to selling 6 digit quantities of EVs.
Tesla should standardize on CCS like everyone else has and enter into billing agreements with the other charging networks. That's what Electrify America and ChargePoint have done:
Over all time Model 3 is at ~225,000 units to Leaf’s ~400,000.
So napkin math says Tesla will catch up by this time next year. I think with production acceleration due to the new China plant, it will be sooner though.
There won't be a single Tesla killer. It'll be more like a death from a thousand cuts.
Tesla's lead won't last long. Tesla's problem now is that other car companies will release multiple EV models across multiple brands every year from now on. Volkswagen is building VW, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, and Porsche EVs (and their very high end brands will have EVs eventually). Hyundai has a number of nice EVs, Mercedes EVs are rolling out, Ford EVs are on the way, the Honda e is a nice car (although not enough range). Even Toyota has moved up their battery electric timetable, and if Toyota's solid-state battery work pans out they may even end up bringing the best EVs to market.
I'm sure the market is uncertain how that will affect viewership. Could hurt them more or less than expected.
Making cars efficiently is hard and Tesla is great at powertrain and batteries, two important but specific parts of the process, and awful at the rest. The German companies are incredible at everything else, including reliability and efficiency.
Sure maybe they'll just never be able to catch up in making (or sourcing) batteries and electric motors. Wouldn't bet on it though.
But the Tesla experience is more than just bolting an electric motor into an existing car. In other words, I don't want a legacy BMW with an all-electric drivetrain. I'd like them to rethink the car in the ways Tesla has.
I laugh every time I see a 3-series ad touting all the advanced tech, where the guy's dancing around, and holds his smartphone to the door handle to unlock the car. This just looks so laughably stupid. I'm sure this isn't the way it ACTUALLY works (I think they're demonstrating that they have the same phone key tech that Tesla does?) but I honestly don't know.
Wait, actually you apparently need a Samsung phone? It uses NFC? Okay, it's worse than the Tesla system.
You need a Samsung phone
You need to pair the car with some app
You have to buy Comfort Access on your car
You have to pay $100 after your first year to use it
You have to hold the phone or keycard up to the door handle.
The one advantage it has over the bluetooth system is it apparently works with a dead battery on your phone.
This is one of the things Tesla has a hidden edge on. From my understanding, it’s all in-house. It does mean there’s two much going on at Tesla at once, which is why the short comings on quality I think. But it also means the only gap from now to domination for them is time.
I LOVE BMW btw, owned several. But I’m not blind to the fact that most of the car isn’t BMW at all. And all those firms are trying to squeeze margins by reducing development time.
I love new technology, but as someone who has to carry around a couple keys anyway, having a small fob on my keyring is not much of a burden, and the door unlocks when I touch it (provided the fob is on my person). Push button to start, never touch the fob, so using the phone the way BMW has it set up would be a step backwards in functionality.
And of course they want $100. This is the same company that charges for Apple CarPlay. Sigh. I want to like BMW, but their recent history has been disappointing in many ways.
I'm talking about (bluetooth proximity) phone key, which apparently still is a novelty, because, as far as I know, Tesla was the first to have it, and BMW is advertising a similar system, although I don't know how it works. Their ads make it look vastly inferior, but presumably, they haven't designed a system where you have to take your phone out of your pocket and hold it up to the door handle, as this would be a step BACKWARDS from BMW's existing Comfort Access system, which uses RFID in the keyfob, and unlocks the car when you put your hand through the doorcup.
Our issues were limited to 2 instances:
1. When the car was delivered, it took them about a week to add the car to our Tesla/app account (which is the only way you can pair the car to the phone's bluetooth; once it's paired there is no app required), which meant we had to use the backup RFID keycards, which is more of a pain than it sounds like. Yes, you COULD carry it like a fob, but it's light and thin and could much more easily get lost (on day 1 I dropped it out of my running shorts onto the floor at a coffee shop). So you put it in your wallet, which means it's a 2-hand process to retrieve the card to unlock your car. You also have to remember to tap it to the car to lock as you walk away.
2. My wife's phone died on her once, so she had to pop in to a wine bar for a quick top-off. Of course most places happen to have iPhone chargers, but you can't count on them having all the phone power connenectors you might need; lightning, micro-usb, usb-c... etc. Particularly in the middle of nowhere. Yes, she could have called me or Tesla roadside... if her phone worked! Using the app I can remotely unlock the car for her, but i'm not sure how long this unlock 'lasts' for, and whether i need to do it again to enable the car to actually drive. Again, this is difficult to coordinate if she's a 5 minute walk away from the car (for instance).
There are, however, benefits vs an RFID fob, and I'm massively in the latter camp. Having lived with it for a year, it feels like all upside and no downside.
The obvious is that I don't need to carry a separate fob. Every time I walk up to the car, I just get in and go. No buttons. Nothing extra I need to carry. When I move our other cars around, I have to always remember (and usually go back inside) to retrieve keys.
My wife and I share the car, and we commute together. We can easily swap seats; I get out at my dropoff location for work, she hops behind the wheel and drives off. No "who has the key" or "do you also have your keys, or do you need to borrow mine?" We frequently go for runs after work. You never have to think about having 2 sets of keys, or handing the keys to the next person to get back to the car. If I finish my run before her, or want to retrieve something from the car, I know I can just get in, no question.
The car sits in the driveway. I don't even carry house keys. If I'm out for a walk, I pop the door, and press a button on the touchscreen and the garage door opens, and I walk into the house.
It's just so insanely convenient and works so well.
When people were complaining about Android functionality, there was a lot of talk about fobs. Then Tesla said they'd hand out free fobs to anyone who asked. I originally thought I'd want one, but I haven't even thought about asking for it.
This seems, I don't know, abnormally bad? I drive an nine year-old cheapo econobox and I've never needed to take my fob out of my pocket. I walk up to my car, and push the button on the handle to unlock as I pull on the handle. Start is push-button. When I leave the car I push the button on the handle as I'm leaving to lock.
"So, while I continue to be critical of Tesla's business model and Musk's strategy, it was impossible to find fault with the visual quality of that Model 3." 
That's code for "looks good, feels like crap".
The BMW/MB that are coming out in the next 1-2 are already behind Tesla now. Tesla already outsells BMW/MB in many markets.
It will take a very long time before BMW/MB can even mount a serious challenge in terms of EV scale. Specially that without their own battery ack production they will simple not produce the car as cheaply.
This seems like a pretty significant list of defects for only 85 cars. Assuming one incedence per defect, 5 / 85 ~= 6%. Thats a high rate of failure from tesla.
Hopefully damage is being incurred during transit. Tesla is still responsible, of course, but its better than having bad core processes.
Of course. But other auto manufacturers have better service / warranty service.
When you're looking at a fleet-wide deployment of many vehicles, those warranty / service agreements become more important. No reasonable business expects perfection from any auto manufacturer, they just expect warranty / service at a decent rate for any given problem.
I still think it's an open question whether it would have happened with another manufacturer. My gut feeling is 95% "yes", but design/handling/installation/testing (or lack thereof) could absolutely mean that Tesla is more likely to suffer these problems than another manufacturer.
I'm going by the basis of the article. Although you're right, your anecdotal evidence would be helpful to the general gist of the story too.
> The rental company said following a dispute over how to resolve the quality shortcomings, Tesla triggered a refund clause but Tesla disputes that it canceled the order.
Overall, it seems like a warranty issue. Quality shortcomings are common in fleet vehicles (order 100 cars, a large number of them are going to be defective). The main issue is warranty + service, to ensure that all vehicles get up to code for business use.
I believe the Federal standard is 5.0lbs/gallon but CA limits that further to 3.5lbs/gallon. Apparently it’s pretty hard to make decent hard coat paint with that little VOC emissions.
The BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District) also permits Tesla paint shops for a maximum total annual VOC emission level. This level could be low enough that either the paint shop becomes a production bottleneck, or they have to find ways to use less paint per vehicle.
It can’t be easy to manufacture cars in the regulatory environment that is the Bay Area, and many of these regs have tightened significantly since GM & Toyota closed NUMMI in 2010. CARB VOC limits, and local air quality district regulations in particular.
I’m sure this is an issue that all manufacturers are facing to some degree, but it’s interesting how the location of the final assembly plants can have a big impact on the regulations and therefore the finishing processes that can be used.
EDIT: That’s not to say the limits should not exist, or Tesla should be granted a waiver, etc.
It's an open secret at this point that these limits do indeed create a bottleneck for Tesla, which gets around it by applying a thinner coat to new cars coming through its paint shop.
He also has to spend a lot of time detailing Teslas. Since his job is literally going every centimeter of the car with the proverbial fine tooth comb, he has come down hard against Tesla regarding the fit&finish compared to cars in the same price range. He geeks out hard over the drive train and performance, but when it comes to the interior and exterior panel fits, he's stated repeatedly how ... uneven everything is. Each car is extremely inconsistent, which he doesn't notice with the Audis and Mercedes and BMWs and such he has come through.
Even with all of that, I'd still be interested in a Model S. I would just like for the tolerance levels to be tightened before I do.
I don't think it's reasonable to ask a brand new car company to have the same levels of detail/polish available to companies that have been around for like 70 or 80 years; those companies probably had to learn a lot of shit too.
I can see this being a valid thought process. That doesn't mean I want to be the guinea pig.
The overall "plot" being discussed is whether or not Q3 2019 will have more, or less, revenue than Q2 2019. Stories like this point towards "less revenue", which is worrisome for sure.
> Jan: 911
> Feb: 835
> Mar: 811
> Apr: 735
> May: 664
> June: 795
> July: 733
Model S and X sales are also down.
July was 733 / month, or a drop of 14%. That's a double-digit drop from a company claiming to have a growth story.
Europe literally shuts down in August and does very little business in July. I wouldn't worry too much.
Q2 global deliveries were only up 5% from Q4 2018, and that's after launching Model 3 sales in China and Europe. Worse yet: Q2 2019 revenue is flat lined (compared to Q4 2018) because Tesla had so many discounts going on.
$6.32 Billion Revenue in Q4 2018, $6.35 Billion Revenue in Q2 2019. That's 5% more cars sold but only 0.5% more revenue, after expanding to new markets.
In any case, German numbers seem to have flatlined. So Tesla isn't going to be relying on Germany sales to boost its numbers. Its all about China and Canada sales at this point.
"“We believe the customer’s decision not to take delivery of its remaining Model 3 orders wasn’t entirely due to quality issues, but was largely influenced by their frustration with an unrelated dispute from earlier in the year,” Tesla said in a statement, without elaborating further."
Translated: Nextmove wanted fleet discounts Tesla wasn't willing to provide and they grasped at straws to get out of the contract. Model 3 famously had fit and finish issues in the first runs but most issues are resolved and the quality of vehicles coming off the line now is pretty good. The famous panel gaps issues, I dare anyone to go measure them on your current car and on a Tesla built in the second half of 2019 and tell me if it's any different. I've seen BMW with pretty questionable craftmanship and tons of electrical issues that are super expensive to resolve.
This is a non news.
These fleet operators have had similar issues:
How do you translate their experience with Teslas?
Is this a personal opinion type translation or are you (hypothetically wink) referencing some inside information from either one of the parties?
The Porsche Boxster I bought in 2015 was much better than the BMWs in its first year. But it did have a broken convertible top motor upon delivery. And that car just got totalled by my insurance company, because a defective firewall caused water to leak into the interior and destroyed the electronics and interior. The dealer estimated $48K to fix. Yes, $48K.
Edit: But of course if someone feels so sorry for my tale of woe that they gift me a GT3, I wouldn't turn it down :-)