Why Tesla should never relent to Auto Dealer Associations

garsh

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#1
Why The New Chevy Volt’s Sales Are Only So-So
Although Chevrolet has dedicated dealers, a litany of anecdotes has trailed shoppers telling of salespeople steering them toward other models when they came in for a Volt, or not knowing much about it.

And this is exactly what would happen to Tesla. The last thing Tesla needs are lazy, ignorant salespeople either misrepresenting their cars' capabilities, or steering them towards whatever other brands the dealer chain handles.
 

TrevP

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#2
Precisely one of the reasons why they went the way they did. The whole dealership experience for the vast majority of people is rather "toxic" to say the least.

Tesla knew the EV education factor would be time consuming and the service aspect on the back end would not be compatible with the usual business model so they really had to go the direct route. Besides, if they had gone down the franchise route right from the beginning they would *never* be able to switch to what they're currently doing which is precisely why these laws were created in the first place!!
 
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Gary Moore

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#3
"To be or not to be? That is the question."

Historically, car dealers are descended from horse traders, never the most historically trustworthy folks for consumers. Back then traders who routinely survived by their cunning could see that the horseless carriages required them to adapt, and the automakers had had enough on their hands at the time in making factories work, so those makers did not long to listen to nagging customers or the chores of reading up on the plethora of local laws and regulations. The whiff of opportunity knocked.

Humans tend to be habit-driven, since who wants to grapple with the devil in all the new details?

In the Information Age, the technology exists to fulfill the middle-man/interface role without added health care benefits in the equation. Why perpetuate a business model crafted for a by-gone era? Well, those who are doing it for bread will tend to answer things differently. Please note that the Jacquard loom flourished, and the Luddites, not so much.

If machines eventually wind up doing almost all things better than is humanly possible, people will still need to eat and be distracted from temper tantrums and bar fights.

Stop building plug-ins, you automakers! How we gonna occupy all these oil change bays? (Well, that's clearly one way to see it. )

The consumer may have a somewhat different take: Oil changes? We ain't got to show you no stinking oil changes!

"Oh dear, R2, woe that I was created a diplomatic droid to set it right!"

Economists, we have a problem: Yep. This ain't the Stone Age we're in anymore, Toto. Do we really need to build pyramids of people when one well-placed inanimate server network will cover you all?

If I sat in Elon's shoes, I'm going for direct sales and for harvesting customer data myself. There's gold in them-thar hills.
 

garsh

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#4
Here's a thread at the Nissan Leaf forum. The charger in this particular Leaf has failed in a strange manner. It is still able to charge via L1 (trickle) EVSE, and it can still charge at Aerovironment EVSE, but not at any others.

The dealer's service department is trying to tell the guy that there's nothing to fix because it works on their (non-compliant, Aerovironment) EVSE. This is the kind of crap up with which you have to put (see? correct English!) when you purchase an EV at a dealership.

Level 2 charging fails, but level 1 works?
 

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#5
I've owned my Model X for about 9 months now, and so far my Tesla service experience has been good. I did get some misinformation at the time of delivery, but I had prepared for delivery by reading most of the manuals.

I am in the process of having some work performed at a body shop, and there aren't many authorized Tesla shops. I'm pretty much limited to one shop, and have only received the estimate. We shall see how that goes...
 

Badback

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#6
One of my pet peeves with auto dealers: Were charging you a $50 documentation fee, because that is the maximum that the state says that we can charge. Were not charging you the $1 that it actually costs us, and never mind that we could not do business without the documentation, we just want the extra profit because we can.

This is like an ice cream parlor charging for the spoon and napkins.

Does Tesla do this?
 

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#7
One of my pet peeves with auto dealers: Were charging you a $50 documentation fee, because that is the maximum that the state says that we can charge. Were not charging you the $1 that it actually costs us, and never mind that we could not do business without the documentation, we just want the extra profit because we can.

This is like an ice cream parlor charging for the spoon and napkins.

Does Tesla do this?
I think Tesla charges a $75 admin fee and destination and that's it. Just certain jurisdictions may have other rules and fees. In Canada we have to pay an air conditioning tax.

Here's the only invoice sample I was able to find on the internet

 

Badback

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#8
I think Tesla charges a $75 admin fee and destination and that's it. Just certain jurisdictions may have other rules and fees. In Canada we have to pay an air conditioning tax.

Here's the only invoice sample I was able to find on the internet

$75 is way too much.
 

garsh

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#10
Another Leaf Dealership interaction fail.

J1772 Melted - How much will this cost to fix?

TLDR: a public L2 charger decided to melt one of its plastic protrusions into his Nissan Leaf's charge port, rendering it unusable. The repair was covered under warranty, but he had a hell of a time getting a local dealership to perform the work.
  • Dealership #1: quoted price for incorrect part. Owner left four messages and never received a call back.
  • Dealership #2: parts ordering system was down. Ordered later that day - takes a week to ship. But did perform the work under warranty. Service Manager complained that Nissan only covered 45 minutes labor, but it took several hours.

 

garsh

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#12
maybe if he spent less time complaining about the company to his customers, he could get work done quicker.
I think it's more likely that this dealership didn't spend the time or money to have one of their mechanics trained to service the one electric car model that Nissan sells. Therefore, they didn't really know what they were doing.
 

JWardell

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#13
Another Leaf Dealership interaction fail.

J1772 Melted - How much will this cost to fix?

TLDR: a public L2 charger decided to melt one of its plastic protrusions into his Nissan Leaf's charge port, rendering it unusable. The repair was covered under warranty, but he had a hell of a time getting a local dealership to perform the work.
  • Dealership #1: quoted price for incorrect part. Owner left four messages and never received a call back.
  • Dealership #2: parts ordering system was down. Ordered later that day - takes a week to ship. But did perform the work under warranty. Service Manager complained that Nissan only covered 45 minutes labor, but it took several hours.


Yikes... this is why it's important for all electronics to have easily replaceable external connectors. Reminds me of the uproar when Apple had charger ports mounted directly to the motherboards in its laptops for a few years. I think it has always kept them to a separate connector board (or flex cable now) ever since, even in iPhones.