The electric car is being forced on consumers by a leftist multi-billionare. That’s the only way I can describe Tesla and Elon Musk and not be too political about it. A recent article I recently read about the company and its process of manufacturing their new Tesla 3 model is quite concerning and defies the “laws” of manufacturing common sense. To attempt to learn as you go when manufacturing cars before you are truly ready to put it in production is dangerous at best. In other words, Tesla is putting together its line of cars when it hasn’t perfected the means of doing so in mass production and assembly line terms. It’s almost like putting together a LEGO set with no instructions and only a picture.
I cannot say it enough: the completely electric vehicle is still not practical for everday Americans. Until certain technical and engineering challenges have been solved Tesla and others like it will not bring the innovation of fully electric vehicles to the market successfully. And people like me are perfectly satisfied living in our gasoline-powered safe spaces, willing to keep our trust in oil.
The folly of Tesla’s methods for manufacturing its cars is similar to a writer publishing a novel without any edits. Cars and books are both products and if they are not ready for consumers to buy, they just aren’t ready. Editing and research and development have to be part of the processes. You can’t be a Walt Disney and just invent a theme park and vacation industry on the fly. It is perfectly acceptable to try and innovate, but sometimes the old ways work best.
Elon Musk may shun the old ways of the Detroit automakers assembly line but there was a reason that system has worked for almost a hundred years nearly consistently. Of course over the years, robotics has come in to play to make these assembly lines more efficient in tandem with human counterparts, but the basics of assembly lines are as American as apple pie and baseball. They are tried and true. But there is a caveat.
Tesla wants to be a Ford Motor Company, despite their recent tiffs and insult trading with this competitor automaker. The problem is Tesla is too big for its britches and should stop trying to be a mass production company. The reason, Mr. Musk? Your company and your product is still a novelty, available to a select few able and willing to pay out the nose for an impractical vehicle for their own sense of self worth (that includes other rich leftists and the Hollywood types). Plus, the demand for your cars is, pardon the pun, manufactured by elites. As much as everyday people would like to have a clean electric car that looks cool (and they really do look cool), paying $2.65 a gallon at the gas pump is more affordable than the $35,000 starting price (the Model 3) despite other assertions.
The electric car is a lot like the Laserdisc of the 1980s, a technology designed to fill the need of a problem no one was aware that truly needed fixing. Laserdisc was a luxury that wasn’t practical for entertainment consumers of that era. VHS tapes could fill the need mostly cheaper and with equal or better quality. Again, gasoline cars are still the best mode of transportation as far as long-term cost and efficiency and if there is any alternative energy sources for cars that should get more research and more time it is both natural gas and hydrogen.
Don’t come at the American consumer and make promises you can’t keep. If your product is not great, keep working at it until it is ready. If your manufacturing process is still flawed, stop building until you have worked out all the kinks. Tesla, I believe, has forgotten a major factor in capitalism, that failure is perfectly acceptable as long as you learn from the mistakes and readjust to start anew. Do I think Tesla is a failure? No, I consider Tesla a good product idea way ahead of its time with ambitious plans and partial delusions of grandeur.