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Keeping Things in the Family: Tesla Plans to Open Body Repair Shops

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【Summary】To ensure that Tesla owners, especially prospective Model 3 buyers, aren’t plagued with extremely lengthy body-shop repairs, Tesla has plans to open its own set of body repair shops.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 10, 2017 2:15 PM PT
Keeping Things in the Family: Tesla Plans to Open Body Repair Shops

Tesla has quickly worked its way to the top of the food chain with electric vehicles that are packed with high-tech features that also look forward to what the future may hold for the automotive industry. These tidbits have allowed Tesla to overtake Ford and General Motors in terms of market value, despite selling less vehicles and being much younger in age.

Not all is well with Tesla, though, as the automaker has struggled to get repaired Model S sedans back to owners in a realistic amount of time. A few months ago, a financial analyst with The Motley Fool outlined a disastrous record of how it took nearly eight months for Tesla to get his Model S back to him after the vehicle was damaged in an accident. 

Unacceptable Wait Times 

The damage, as Evan Niu reports, wasn't substantial with the trunk soaking up most of the injury, as the Model S' body, which features a large amount of aluminum, crumples easier than a traditional steel body. While a regular body shop would've been able to fix the damages in a month or two, Tesla, which performs the majority of routine services itself, outsources its body work to third-party, certified body shops, claims Niu. 

The issue, as Niu reports, is that it takes longer for Tesla to get parts to its third-party body shops and with all of the vehicles that are already in for repairs, leading to ridiculously long wait times. 

Tesla has heard the complaints and plans to address the issue by opening its own repair shops. According to a letter sent out by the company to investors on its Q1 2017 earnings, the body shops are coming sometime later this year. "To significantly improve the customer experience with out-of-warranty body repairs, we intend to open the first Tesla-owned body repair shops later this year and expand the existing network of third-party Tesla certified body shops." 

It's Not About The Money, But The Experience

Creating its own body shop would help the automotive company cure its woes of having to deal with third-party repair shops. According to an article from Jalopnik, the issues Tesla has with its third-party shops would be alleviated by going down the route of having its own repair shops. As the outlet previously reported, the repair shops blamed Tesla for taking too long to get them the appropriate parts, while the automaker placed the blame back on the shops. 

Tesla may have disclosed that it's working on having its own set of repair shops, but the electric automaker didn't state how many body shops it planned to open. 

As The Motley Fool reports, Tesla isn't chasing after money, but looking to improve on its repair time instead. The outlet, citing Automotive News, claims that the collision repair market represents approximately $35 billion in annual sales.

The last thing Tesla wants is to shun prospective Model 3 – which was recently spotted testing – buyers away with horror stories of getting their vehicles fixed when it's going to be the model that solves all of the automaker's problems. 

via: The Motley Fool/Jalopnik

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