One of the most disruptive auto manufacturers we've ever seen has been Elon Musk's Tesla.
No question about it, the Model S was a revolution in the auto space. That's because it is, arguably, the first electric vehicle that people clamored for in a BIG way.
Its performance is off the charts, it features a mega screen and its reliability is complete rubbish. But, its owners are a loyal lot. Satisfaction is way up on the Model S.
So, now what?
Well, the Model 3 is on the way although it is delayed. According to the latest reports that cite an investor call, the company is currently building "release candidates," built with nearly there production tooling in Tesla's factory. Production of vehicles is slated to start in July. That seems to be a much narrower window that traditional automakers who test prototypes for about a year or more.
Musk stated in a February earnings call:
We're glad to hear that the EV producer has taken steps to reduce the complexity of its vehicles, but if it is just getting finished building its prototypes why would it ship product to market so soon? Is its cash burn so significant it has no other choice? Last week it was announced that Tesla closed a $1.2 billion dollar capital raise.
For example, the Model 3 only has one screen, whereas the Model S and Model X have two screens, and two separate computers powering each screen. The Model 3 has 1.5 kilometers of wiring. The Model S has three kilometers of wiring, so we simplified the wiring system considerably. A lot of the bells and whistles that are present on a Model S and Model X are not present on a Model 3. So, we don't have self-presenting door handles, for example, or falcon-wing doors. These reduce the risk substantially in the ramp, and make it just easier to scale
What's your call, Spies? Is Elon making a big-time bet or does he know something that no one else does about the auto manufacturing and testing process as it relates to the all-new Model 3?