The Tesla Model Y, the entry-level electric sport utility vehicle, is not perfect.
Tesla's latest vehicle, which hit roads in March 2020, impressed legendary manufacturing expert Sandy Munro. But in a June 2020 Inverse interview, Munro highlighted a major issue that Tesla still needed to address — to Munro, the finish just looks terrible.
"I don't like the paint job at all," Munro says. "That's a bad paint department. I would be sacking the guy in charge and, during the shutdown, I would have had a whole new paint shop put in."
Want to know more about how Tesla has upped its game in manufacturing, what you may not know about the Model Y's construction, and how Tesla fans reacted to Model 3 criticism? Read the full interview, only on Musk Reads+.
The issue is one of the biggest complaints from Munro, who was otherwise largely positive about the vehicle. Munro, the CEO of Munro & Associates, has garnered a solid YouTube following of over 100,000 subscribers. In his videos, he calmly details every aspect of the Model Y, picking the car apart much like a forensic detective might a crime scene, and explains what his findings reveal about the manufacturing process.
Paint is an area where Tesla may improve soon. The Giga Berlin factory, currently under construction, is set to feature what Tesla CEO Elon Musk described in April 2020 as "the world's most advanced paint shop." The firm plans to upgrade the existing facilities in Fremont, California, and Shanghai. Musk wrote at the time that "it’s hard to retrofit these improvements to an operating paint shop."
With the new paint shop, Musk told fans they can expect "more layers of stunning colors that subtly change with curvature."
A car sporting a prototype version of the new paint was spotted in July 2020:
The Model Y is part of Tesla's three-phase plan to transform the company from niche automaker to mass-market producer. It started with the Model 3, a sedan that launched in July 2017 with a planned entry price of $35,000. It continued with the Model Y, and is expected to conclude with the Cybertruck is late 2021.
Beyond these three, Musk has already announced Tesla will launch a $25,000 vehicle in the coming years. The reveal was made at the September 2020 Battery Day, where Musk outlined advancements that will boost battery range and reduce prices.
Besides the paint job, the Model Y impressed Munro.
“I've never recommended an electric vehicle before, ever," Munro says. "Never. Nobody's. But I have some friends of mine that wanted to go green and they said, ‘Should we get a Model 3?’ And I said, ‘Why don't you get a Model Y?’”
Find out why in the full interview.
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