A firsthand account from a Tesla-certified body shop has suggested that the electric car maker recently adopted optimizations to its spare parts ordering and supply systems. These improvements have reportedly become significant enough to the point where Tesla is starting to close in on German automakers when it comes to the turnaround times of its parts ordering and receiving processes.
The new insights on Tesla’s parts supply were recently shared on the r/TeslaMotors subreddit by u/andoman66, who works for European Collision Center, a recently-certified body shop at the San Francisco Bay Area known for servicing German-made automobiles. Prior to the shop’s certification, the Tesla community member noted that the electric car maker’s parts ordering and receiving process were less than stellar. At times, for example, the shop ended up hand-delivering orders and manually picking up the parts from Tesla, resulting in long turnaround times for repairs.
These processes have been greatly improved recently. According to the body shop employee, Tesla has rolled out a wholesale ordering system that allows parts to get drop-shipped at a comparable turnaround time as premier German automakers. While Tesla’s current parts delivery times are still longer than those of its Japanese counterparts, the electric car maker’s efficiency has reportedly reached parity with Porsche and Audi, and is steadily catching up to Mercedes-Benz.
Apart from the welcome updates on the company’s parts and delivery processes, the electric car maker reportedly requires collision repair facilities to offer labor discounts to Tesla owners as part of the shop’s certification. This, according to the body shop employee, is something that is quite unique to Tesla. Together with a more efficient supply system, these processes would likely make the repair experience of Tesla owners more manageable than before.
Elon Musk has personally pledged to address Tesla’s service and repair challenges, even stating that the company is aiming to eventually achieve 24-hour turnaround times for vehicle repairs. Tesla has also introduced recent firmware updates focused on optimizing its electric cars’ repair process. Just last month, for example, Tesla rolled out an update that allowed vehicles to proactively order and pre-ship replacement parts. With such a system in place, Tesla owners could simply use their mobile app or their Tesla account to schedule a service visit.
With the company’s fleet of vehicles rapidly growing due to the arrival of the Model 3, Tesla has also begun an expansion of its service capacity. During the Q4 2018 earnings call, for example, Elon Musk noted that the company is looking to double its service capacity this 2019. The electric car maker is also aiming to expand its mobile service fleet, which Musk states is already capable of addressing around 80% of repairs needed for Tesla’s electric cars. Currently, Tesla is utilizing vans and modified Model S as its mobile service units, though recent reports are pointing to the company also using the Model X for bigger repair tasks.