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Automotive veteran Sandy Munro thinks that Tesla’s build quality issues can be solved by one simple step: caring more about the product.
A recent interview with Alex Guberman of E for Electric revealed that Munro, while a Tesla fan, is concerned about the build quality issues that have been talked about with the company’s most recent vehicles, especially the Model Y.
When talking about the problems the electric automaker was having, Munro certainly didn’t hold back. He used past examples of his career as his evidence that something in Tesla’s production lines doesn’t seem right.
“When I was at Ford, I was brought into plants because the quality was poor,” Munro said. “I was not a very pleasant person to deal with if I didn’t get what I wanted. If it wasn’t perfect, I was not your best friend. I’d move people out. I’d move new people in. Occasionally, I’d fire only executives or supervisors or managers. I’d fire them because it was their job to make sure that everything worked.”
Munro is not entirely confident that the same thing is going on in Fremont.
“I don’t think that happens at Tesla. I don’t think they care enough to really go in and do what they need to do to make the body a perfect product.”
Tesla has battled numerous points of criticism from automotive enthusiasts and some owners of the company’s vehicles. However, many of these issues have been confronted openly by Elon Musk, the CEO of the electric automaker.
In a leaked email from June, Musk told company employees that minimizing the number of errors during production was crucial to the future of Tesla. “It is extremely important for us to ramp Model Y production and minimize rectification needs. I want you to know that it really makes a difference to Tesla right now,” Musk wrote.
Tesla has experienced some supply chain ramp challenges, which is expected with new products. Add the month-and-a-half layoff that the Fremont plant had due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are undoubtedly going to be some issues with manufacturing.
Musk highlighted that the Model Y was the top priority for production and manufacturing engineering in the email as well, indicating that the quality control issues would be confronted head-on.
It is important to note that all automakers experience issues within manufacturing from time to time. Not every car that rolls off of a production line is going to be a perfect prototype. Whether it is built by a robot or by a human, mistakes are going to happen. It is the car company’s job to fix the problem by finding solutions, which Tesla has been vocal about doing.
Munro has been openly supportive of Tesla’s mission and products in recent memory. After teardowns of both the Model 3 and Model Y, Munro has encountered several media outlets that have attempted to pull thoughts about Tesla from his mouth.
While most interviews have shown Munro’s support for the electric automaker, Guberman had the unique opportunity to hear some of the more critical thoughts that the auto vet had to say about Tesla’s cars.
Tesla is expanding its production line for the Model Y at the Fremont factory to keep up with increases in demand. The addition of supplementary production lines could help the company keep up with its targets and not rush the manufacturing process, which could also improve the build quality of the electric crossover.