Tesla Shipped Cars Without Seats And Digital Displays: Report
11/03/17  Ryan Felton

Photo: Tesla

Tesla’s off to a rocky start with the production launch of the new Model 3
sedan, spurred in part by the company’s unorthodox approach to making cars.
On Friday, the Financial Times revealed [
] another unusual method to production: In numerous instances the company
“shipped cars from the factory that lacked key parts,” including everything
from digital displays to seats.

It seems like an... interesting way to finish a car, rather than just have
it roll off the line in its complete state.

Here’s how the FT describes Tesla’s solution to shipping a car without a

    These parts were flown to Tesla-owned dealers, who then assembled them
into the vehicle before completing the shipments to customers, according to
several people familiar with the practice.

    “This goes back years,” says a former regional executive, who declined
to be named.

    “It was common, common in every market — the seats, the displays were
being flown in.” 

The FT says it doesn’t breach Tesla’s disclosure rules, but it “does raise
questions over whether the vehicles were adequately checked and calibrated
before being delivered to users.”

In a statement, a Tesla spokesperson said that, “Unlike other car companies,
which do not change their cars for at least a year at a time, Tesla is
constantly improving its cars with over-the-air updates and often design and
hardware improvements.”

“As but one example, that means occasionally we will even send, say, new
certified parts to meet a car at the delivery center if those items have
been upgraded after the car has shipped,” the spokesperson said. “This
process may be unfamiliar to some, but has worked very well for us, as our
customers know that if we can add value or make something better, we will do
everything we can to do it right away.”

Tesla’s had a rocky launch with the new all-electric Model 3 sedan, which
starts at a base price of $35,000. As we reported this week, the Model 3
line was still being finished as of last month and new robotics—designed to
increase the speed of production—are still not operating automated, as

The FT quoted someone—who, according to the news outlet, has “inspected car
plants all over the world” and recently visited Tesla’s Fremont plant—saying
as much.

“I have never seen so much manual labour on a line,”the person said.

Tesla said this week that it can ramp up production of the Model 3 to 5,000
cars per week by sometime next March, delaying the target previously set by
three months.
[© 2017 Gizmodo Media]

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