In a recent announcement on Twitter, Elon Musk pledged to “fix” the existing gaps in the coverage of Tesla’s service locations. According to the CEO, Tesla would aim to expand the reach of its service centers to areas beyond big North American cities within the next 3-6 months. Musk also issued the same pledge to all countries that Tesla will be operating in by the end of next year.
Just reviewed Tesla’s service locations in North America & realized we have major gaps in geographic coverage! Sorry for this foolish oversight. Tesla will aim to cover all regions of NA (not just big cities) within 3 to 6 months.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 17, 2018
Musk’s announcement on Twitter comes at a time when Tesla seems to be at the brink of reaching even more impressive milestones in vehicle delivery and production. In 2019, for one, Tesla aims to produce 10,000 Model 3 per week, resulting in a yearly output of more than 500,000 vehicles. Such a fleet requires a strong network of service centers in all areas where Teslas are being sold.
Tesla’s service centers are admittedly one of the company’s biggest points of improvement. Over the years, Tesla’s vehicles have developed the notorious reputation for being incredibly difficult to repair. Anecdotes from Tesla owners from the initial days of the Model S alone indicate that getting vehicles serviced, particularly for repairs, could become a taxing experience, partly due to the lack of spare parts and the number of certified body shops that can actually service the electric cars.
Elon Musk has since pledged to address this issue. In the 2018 Annual Shareholder Meeting, Musk discussed the expansion of Tesla Service Centers and authorized body shops. Addressing the company’s shareholders, Musk noted that year-over-year, Tesla expects to see a doubling of service center capacity for Tesla.
“We’re rapidly expanding service centers. Year over year, probably see a doubling of service center capacity for Tesla. We’re making major progress on the body-shop front. This is quite a big deal. We’re creating Tesla body shop repair locations. We should have by the end of the month in at least the Top 10 metro areas in the US being able to be serviced by a Tesla body shop. This will be a dramatic improvement in the cost and time of body repair,” Musk said.
Musk also teased the idea of launching in-house body repair shops to address damages from minor accidents quickly. Tesla launched the first set of in-house repair shops earlier this year, and so far, they seem to be working well. A Model 3 that got damaged from an accident at a parking lot, for one, was fully restored by an in-house body shop in just 25 hours.
Norwegians are right to be upset with Tesla. We are having trouble expanding our service facilities in Oslo especially. Can solve quickly with Tesla mobile service vans, but awaiting govt permission to do so.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2018
That said, Tesla’s service network still has a long way to go, particularly in foreign regions. Last July, reports emerged that Tesla owners from Norway are getting aggravated by the company’s slow service. Responding to the reports on Twitter, Elon Musk admitted that “Norwegians are right to be upset with Tesla” considering that the electric car maker is having trouble expanding its service facilities in the region.
As the impending global rollout of the Model 3 approaches, Tesla seems to be preparing itself for a massive influx of vehicles abroad. In Tilburg, Netherlands, for example, the company recently acquired an expansive facility located close to its assembly plant and delivery center. The facility, which spans 387,500 square feet (36,000 square meters), is speculated to serve as a hub where parts for vehicles are stored and distributed to surrounding regions. Considering that a shortage of parts is among the problems that plague owners, the Tilburg hub would likely play a vital role in ensuring that Tesla’s service networks are fully equipped and ready to address owner’s concerns in a timely manner.