Bloomberg reports on Munro teardown

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by bwilson4web, Oct 19, 2018.

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  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I have been critical of Bloomberg for their unabashed anti-Tesla articles but this is different:

    Sandy Munro, the founder of Munro & Associates, a small firm that disassembles new cars piece by piece, concluded that the Model 3 costs about $2,000 more to produce than a similarly-priced BMW i3 and may have additional cost problems in its assembly plant.
    . . .
    “If that car was made anywhere else, and Elon wasn’t part of the manufacturing process, they would make a lot of money,” Munro said in an interview. “They’re just learning all the old mistakes everyone else made years ago.” Munro said he admires Tesla’s technology, so he sent the company a pro bono list of 227 suggested improvements.
    . . .
    Tesla declined comment, although the company did cite a statement from April saying that Model 3 line has gotten better since Munro’s cars were built. “We have significantly refined our production processes since then, and while there’s always room for improvement, our data already shows that Model 3 quality is rapidly getting better.”
    . . .
    The Model 3 that got the tear-down treatment was a $50,000 version with a black paint job. Munro estimated the total cost to build was $34,700. Adding in logistics costs and a generous assumption for labor, Munro estimates that gross profit margins would exceed 30 percent.
    . . .
    A cheaper version of the Model 3 examined by his team would cost less than $30,000 to build, Munro said, because the smaller battery is less expensive and some other equipment would come out of the car. By comparison, Munro estimated the cost to produce the Chevrolet Bolt at a little more than $30,000 in parts, while the BMW i3 costs less than $33,000.
    . . .

    There is a wealth of detail in this article. Some of it is contradictory such as the cost to build the Model 3 he reviewed, $34,700, vs $30,000 Bolt and $33,000 BMW i3.

    Bob Wilson
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  3. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I'm sure that Sandy Munro's list of 227 suggestions to Tesla to improve production has many things of value on it. I'm also sure that a lot of it is an indication of his shocking ignorance when it comes to designing and building BEVs.

    Sandy couldn't understand why the Model 3 has a beefed-up frame/unibody where the battery pack sits. He said Tesla had overbuilt that. He didn't realize the Model 3 battery pack has only a light plastic case, not the structurally strong metal cases which Tesla's previous battery packs have. The frame/unibody very definitely needs to be much stronger in that area that it is in gasmobiles, to hold the very heavy battery pack.

    Sandy heaped praise on Tesla's electronics. Well, Tesla's electronics probably are much better and more advanced than are found in the average Detroit gasmobile. But there's probably little or nothing special about Tesla's electronics when compared to other products of Silicon Valley, which was the background of Tesla's founders, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning.

    Sandy also wasted an amazing amount of the running time of his first Model 3 teardown video criticizing Tesla for the way it runs power cables thru the back of the car, saying (among other clueless things) that it represented an electrocution hazard for emergency responders. Sandy is apparently unaware that all auto makers provide emergency responders with detailed instructions on how to handle them in case of auto accidents. And in discussion of this exact issue, actual emergency responders have commented that they always check these instructions before proceeding. When last I checked, not one single emergency responder had been killed or even injured due to electrocution by any EV, Tesla or otherwise.

    Sandy may understand how Detroit (and Germany and Japan) builds gasmobiles. But when it comes to plug-in EVs, very clearly he has a lot to learn!
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I was impressed by these Munro suggestions:

    The aluminum trunk well, meanwhile, is made from multiple pieces held together with rivets and weld points instead of one lighter, cheaper fiberglass trunk preferred by other carmakers. The rear wheel well on the Model 3 also features nine pieces of metal riveted, sealed or welded together. . . .

    I don't see these as part of the crash absorbing or noise reduction. Nor do I see these as major cost drivers. Just two places where some cost reduction might occur. But I woke up thinking about the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde nature of two recent Bloomberg articles.

    This is the nice Dr. Jekyll article that discusses technical details of the Model 3. In contrast, the other Bloomberg article starts with Mr. Hyde SHOUTING an accusation title before reading the interview synopsis of 35 former and current employees. I wonder who took a day off when this nice Dr. Jekyll article came out.

    Bob Wilson
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    There certainly is a lack of editorial consistency at Bloomberg regarding the attitude toward Tesla. Different articles blow hot and cold. I hadn't thought about it as being a Jekyll-and-Hyde disparity, but perhaps that analogy isn't much of an exaggeration.

    However, altho Bloomberg articles sometimes display a marked anti-Tesla bias, I think they rather seldom if ever descend into outright FUD, the way that articles at CNBC and Business Insider (and videos at CNBC) all too often do. Of course, the difference between mere bias and outright FUD (not merely misinformation, but deliberate disinformation intended to damage Tesla's reputation) is somewhat subjective.

  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    This is a media analysis about Tesla news coverage:

    As I have recently discovered, the same headline can be written many ways.

    Here’s an example from 9/17/2018:


    Tesla briefly dips after Saudi wealth fund invests $1 billion in competitor Lucid Motors


    Saudi Fund Breathes New Life Into Lucid After Going Mum on Musk

    Tesla (TSLA) Rival Lucid’s Saudi Funding Is Ominous

    Tesla Rival Lucid to Receive $1 Billion From Saudi Wealth Fund

    As you can see, Bloomberg took the same headline and negatively portrayed it three different ways. CNBC’s headline is more neutral and conveys the same information. (Note: CNBC is not known for neutral Tesla headlines.)

    Bob Wilson
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  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I was certainly thinking about Clean Technica's "Pravduh" series when I wrote my last comment. Not sure how much discussion that should get here. On the one hand I'm tempted to create a discussion thread just for that, but on the other hand I'm tempted to ignore it because focusing on all the negative media coverage of Tesla is an entirely negative subject.

    If Domenick reads this comment, I hope he'll chime in with his opinion.

  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I agree with the risk of following negative press:
    The irony is I had been waiting for the rest of the Munro report and was surprised to see Bloomberg publish their version of the report ... or at least as much as Bloomberg wanted to release. Munro sells their reports for ~$70,000. I can envision Bloomberg buys the report and selectively releases what they want. Regardless, it doesn't change the bottom line:
    • Tesla makes great cars, their customers love them.
    • Tesla has no unsold inventory.
    I don't want to put @Domenick in a difficult position as InSideEVs does a good job of following the industry. It is one of the reasons I'm here. But I have noticed other sources, we don't really know what is going on until we see a second, independent report.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Ahhh, here is the YouTube version:

    Bob Wilson
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Steel and aluminum have different properties of which stamping and welding are two well known challenges. For example, airplanes are typically riveted and/or glued together. In contrast, steel is often stamped and welded. So I'm thinking the multi-part, wheel well assembly may reflect traditional aluminum fabrication techniques.

    I'm pretty sure Elon knows the labor and material cost of every Model 3 subassembly. I suspect he already has a list of what needs to be re-engineered and optimized. Laying off his former, chief engineer makes sense given what Munro shared. As we used to say in GE, "We never have enough time to engineer it right but always enough time to do it over."

    Bob Wilson
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  13. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    I expect aluminum provides better fire proofing than fibreglass.

    If it remains in the Model Y then I assume there is a very good reason it is done that way.

    I expect to see some level of over engeneeering in Tesla's vehicles due to their market segment, the importance of reputation for a new manufacturer and their future intentions.
    Roy_H and bwilson4web like this.

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