A month and a half wait for a Tesla service is both a good sign and a bad sign, they can’t keep up with the demand and supposedly even warranty jobs are being pushed back to similar timeframes (I take that last point with a pinch of salt as my warranty issues have always been handled quickly and with a suitable loaner) but that isn’t to say the cars are bad but like everything it has the odd little imperfection that someone paying £100,000 may notice. The good news is Tesla are selling tons of awesome cars that thousands of UK customers love!
Currently, Tesla UK have only 4 service centres and 2 that will be opening very soon (Bristol & Edinburgh).
Should we be comparing Tesla to BMW / Audi etc?
I’ve seen many people on various forums compare Tesla to other much larger car companies and that is frankly not really fair at the moment. We should be comparing them to smaller brands (e.g. McLaren, Lotus etc) but for this we will continue with BMW & Audi.
Here are the sale figures:
Audi UK: 166,709 cars sold in 2015
BMW UK: 167,391 cars sold in 2015
Tesla UK: 5,567 cars sold in 2015 [source]
When it gets interesting:
In Q1 2016 2826 Model S were sold, if my numbers are correct that makes the UK Tesla fleet around 10,743 cars in total (including 1176 Roadster) obviously you would have to deduct those cars SORN/exported etc but those numbers are fairly low, this rapid growth in Q1 2016 has obviously caught up with the service centres who’re now overwhelmed with requests for service + warranty claims.
How many service centres per brand?
Audi UK: 129 (from a rough count on their website)
BMW UK: 158 (from an even rougher count from their website)
Tesla UK: 4 (from a very accurate count from their website) with 2 more to open soon
Service centres per car for just 2015 figures and ignoring all previous sales:
Audi: 1292 cars per service centre
BMW: 1059 cars per service centre
Tesla: 1391 cars per service centre (Remember Manchester only opened in October 2015)
Now the reason things are slowing up at the moment is Tesla have sold 2826 Model S in Q1 of 2016
Should you be entitled to a loaner?
Everyone believe Tesla just have tons of cars lying around ready to be given out as loaners, whilst this is partly true, they only have a certain amount.
I’m pretty sure on every occasion Tesla will try and accommodate you, I’ve had 2 Tesla loaners + 1 Mercedes in the past so have never been without a car.
Try and get a similar loaner from another ‘premium’ manufacturer/dealer, you probably will end up in a Ford Fiesta or Audi A1!
If this rapid increase in sales (both at Tesla & other EV manufacturers) continues at a similar trend to 2015 (who knows if it will?) we would go from 2,826 Model S sold in Q1 to Q2 figures of 3,249 (+15%), Q3 4,158 (+28%) & Q4 6,370 (+53.2%).
Giving 2016 sales figures of 16,604 Teslas in the UK + the previous 7,917 from 2015 and previous giving a grand total of 24,521 Teslas and then we have Model 3 to come!
Divide that by the 6 service centres that should 100% be up and running by the end of Q4 and we would be looking at 2,767 cars per service centre by end of Q4 & that’s JUST 2016 sales add the previous years cars (extra 7,917) and you’ve got 4086 cars per service centre!
In other words, they need to roll out more and more and more service centres to cope and expand the current ones.
How will this be improved? (In my opinion)
- A large push of new service centres (Milton Keynes, Nottingham & Leeds)
- Expansion of West Drayton (already confirmed by Tesla but further expansion needed)
- A reminder to everyone purchasing a Tesla that you’re buying the future, you’re pioneers, there will be mistakes along the way but you will look back in 10 years time and can say, I was one of the first and I still love my Tesla / Apple Car (joke).
- Further improvements at Tilburg to check the car is 100% ready for collection in the UK prior to arriving for collection
- Bringing back ranger support, I can’t see this personally happening but you never know.
So why can’t Tesla keep up with service?
Lack of parts seems to have been a big issue in the past, this seems to be slowly getting resolved, but most still have to come from Tilburg or most likely from the main factory in California to Tilburg (via 6 week boat) I presume all parts are custom ordered (due to the colours/finishes etc) so having stock is even more difficult to keep in the UK, let alone at Tilburg.
What will the future look like?
This (click to expand)