Need one word to describe Elon Musk and Tesla Motors? How about: meticulous. You see this trait in its marketing events, car design, luxury car positioning, volume levels to 11 and now the curtain has been unveiled on the electric beast’s 17-in. diagonal touchscreen control module, also known as the center stack.
Recently, Andrew Rassweiler, senior director at IHS, led a teardown of a heavily damaged Model S that contained a pristine center stack and found Tesla Motors heavily involved in the design of its gigantic head unit. Most auto OEMs will specify the parts and components of a car’s center stack but do not usually execute the design.
However, Tesla Motors is a different car company and wanted more control over its center stack to produce a car interior differentiator for auto consumers—a Bob Lutz essential in his car design playbook.
In this video interview (about 10 minutes), Rassweiler names “names” (suppliers) and shines a light on why Tesla Motors is so heavily involved in the center stack design:
- Tore out 14 modules above the chassis
- Top cost drivers for cars are displays & touchscreeens
- Ten discrete printed circuit boards for the Model S
- Tesla Motors had to have control over design and supply chain to control costs
- Why design? Elon Musk sees Tesla Motors as a tech and a car company