Electric car company Tesla is going to make repairs faster than ever. CEO Elon Musk announced on Friday a goal to “service your car wherever you are, quietly & quickly” with “no need to bring it to a Tesla service center.” It’s the latest in a series of moves announced by the company — via Musk’s Twitter feed — to streamline customer service as it eyes rapid expansion.
Tesla has moved over the past 12 months from producing around 2,000 cars per week to 7,000 per week in July. That means a lot more customers, with total deliveries exceeding 360,000 cars. Tesla announced in July it had 420,000 Model 3 reservations and had delivered 28,386 vehicles. Repairs have proved a sticking point during this expansion — in Norway, the company has committed to a year-over-year doubling of its service team by the end of 2018, quadrupling mobile service over the summer, after customers complained about waiting months for fixes.
Tesla has been working to streamline as much of the customer service process as possible. Last month, Musk debuted a new eco-friendly delivery system, where instead of wrapping the car and sending it to a delivery center, the car enters a sealed truck at the factory and arrives at the buyer’s house by cutting out the middleman. It was part of a pledge by Musk in March 2017 to make deliveries “more streamlined, less paperwork, less bureaucracy.”
Musk has also been working on changing the purchasing process. One idea is “sign and drive,” where instead of delivery appointments taking around an hour as a technician explains the car, the driver gets going in around five minutes after watching a series of videos. Another is smartphone-based contract purchases, where a user taps on a button to confirm the contract and can return through the same system.
Tesla is planning to expand even further next year with the launch of the Model Y, a cheaper sports utility vehicle in the same vein as the Model 3. Musk has hinted at a March release date for the cheaper car.
With these rapid expansions, the prospect has been raised that Apple could help with operations. Tesla investor Ross Gerber suggested this week that CEO Tim Cook would be a perfect fit for boosting manufacturing.