I'm not sure it will matter to the stock price, which marches to its own drummer. but it is something Musk & Co. have to fix, fast.
From Bloomberg, July 23:
Slow repairs in Norway hint at troubles as the automaker grows
After a fender-bender with his Tesla Model S last February, Tor Havard Wiig figured he’d be back on the road within a week or two. Five months on, he’s still waiting on parts—and he’s ready to sell the two-year-old car.
The delay and scant communication from Tesla Inc. show “there’s a lot lacking there,” said Wiig, a 43-year-old technology consultant in the Norwegian coastal city of Bergen. “I never expected it to take so long to fix such minor damage.”
As Tesla sales boom in Norway, customers are grousing about a dealership network and service operation that have failed to keep pace. Though Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk says the level of output Tesla has reached this summer means it’s finally become a real car company, the experience in Norway suggests Tesla’s woes don’t stop at the assembly line. Musk has struggled to ramp up production of a cheaper sedan, the Model 3, and the company is said to have pressed suppliers to return cash paid for components.
In Norway, where plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles made up more than half of new car sales last year, Tesla is the lowest-ranked automaker on a list of brands for quality of service, and fourth-worst among companies in all sectors.
Tesla has slipped up as sales in Norway for its Model S sedan and Model X SUV—with prices ranging from about $80,000 to $130,000 in Norway—more than doubled last year and jumped another 70 percent through June. Its repair staff, by contrast, has grown only by a third—highlighting the potential troubles it may face as electric cars become more commonplace.
“You could probably call it growing pains,” said Christina Bu, secretary general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, a group that represents car owners. “They’re heading at full speed into a mass market where customers will demand better service. Norway is the first country where this is really happening.”
Musk has said Norwegians were right to be upset, but blames authorities for not acting fast enough to greenlight a plan to dispatch repair technicians to customers’ homes. While some talks have taken place, Tesla hasn’t filed a formal application for mobile service centers, Norwegian officials say....MORE