Model 3

Tesla’s electric cars are well-loved by owners, but service network needs work: survey

A recent survey among Tesla owners has shown that while the company’s electric cars are definitely well-loved, the electric car maker has notable areas of improvement with regards to its service network.

The annual survey was conducted by Bernstein, and this year, it involved input from 2018 Tesla owners. The study showed that 87% of the respondents admitted that they “love” their vehicles, a slight rise over the previous year’s 85%. More than 2/3 of the owners surveyed this year also stated that they bought an electric car to replace a “mainstream” vehicle, suggesting that Tesla is starting to make some waves beyond the luxury market.

While Tesla’s vehicles are well-loved by their owners, the company does have areas of improvement in its service network. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi outlined these points in a note to clients on Monday. “Tesla’s service and customer experience remain a relative weak spot, with little improvement in most areas and deterioration in several metrics versus our survey results from 2017,” he wrote.

According to the results of the survey, 42% of the respondents rated their service center experience as “excellent.” This represents a 15% decline over the previous year’s results, when 57% of the surveyed Tesla owners gave an “excellent” rating for their service center experience. Particularly telling is that respondents who visited the company’s service centers in the last three months were less satisfied with their experience due to issues such as longer wait times.

In contrast to the owners’ ratings for Tesla’s service network, the company’s mobile service received a very positive response among the participants of Bernstein’s survey, with 70% of respondents rating their experience as “excellent.”

As the company’s fleet of vehicles grows with the introduction of high-volume electric cars like the $35,000 Model 3 and the Model Y, Tesla rolled out initiatives to improve its customers’ service experience. Last year, the company opened in-house body shops in a number of locations across the United States, which allowed minor repairs to be addressed more efficiently. Earlier this month, Tesla also rolled out an update to its mobile app that showed owners live status updates on the work being done on their vehicles.

Tesla has further committed to increasing its investment in its service system until it can deliver same-day, if not same-hour turnaround times for customer concerns. The company outlined this in a blog post when it announced the $35,000 Model 3. “Most service (will be) done by us coming to you, rather than you coming to us. Moreover, we guarantee service availability anywhere in any country in which we operate,” the company wrote.

Bernstein has a “Perform” rating on Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA), with a price target of $325 per share.

Tesla’s electric cars are well-loved by owners, but service network needs work: survey
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