Wherever all four elements come together, “our sales are great,” the CEO said in July on a conference call to discuss second-quarter earnings. “So we’re rolling out service centers like crazy,” he said. “Service centers are the key to sales, not the retail locations.”
This follows the company’s on-again, off-again approach to retail. The disruptive upstart, which has eschewed independent dealers in favor of a wholly owned network, announced this year that it would close most of its stores and focus on online sales to save money.
It’s “quite a difficult challenge,” Musk said.
In addition, Tesla added 101 mobile service trucks — an 18 percent increase — in the second quarter.
“Mobile service is really great because it’s like, we just come to you and fix the car wherever you are — and it’s hard to beat that for convenience,” Musk said.
At the service centers, the company is storing more of the frequently used replacement parts so repairs aren’t delayed to wait for parts to arrive from distribution centers. Musk said his aim is to provide not only same-day service, but same-hour service — “sort of like Jiffy Lube but applied generally to service.”
Clearly, it’s a high priority. Musk said he meets with the service team multiple times a week and that regional service heads visited Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., assembly plant last month to share feedback with the production and software teams.
“The best service, of course, is no service,” Musk said, meaning that as Tesla gets better at making vehicles, there will be fewer defect-related repairs.
The fast-accelerating EVs, though, can get away from a driver now and then, so Tesla has started insourcing collision repair to speed fixes and improve “customer happiness.”