Having hit 6,000 miles on my Model S it was time for a tire rotation. I called the Highland Park service center. The person who answered the phone said they were very busy and could they get back to me later on. Not long thereafter I received an email that offered me several dates available for the service request. I countered with a different date. The reply came quickly and indicated that day would be fine. They would valet my car to the service center, perform the tire rotation and return it to me.
From that initial phone call they captured my cell phone number and matched it to my information on file. They knew my home address and had already lined up potential service bulletins that might apply to my specific car.
Exactly at 8:30 am last Saturday, as promised, my doorbell rang. My car was driven away and I went on with some gardening chores I was looking forward to doing. About three hours later my iphone rang. They were all done and leaving the service center.
In less than twenty minutes my Model S entered my driveway and was driven directly into my garage, exactly where I park it. The gentleman who drove it emerged from the car, plugged it in and handed me the key.
The tire rotation had been performed along with a couple other minor updates. My Model S had been vacuumed and hand washed, including tire shine. All of this at NO charge.
I’ve had dozens, perhaps a hundred or more service experiences with other car makers. None of them, absolutely not one compared to the experience Tesla provided.
Tesla continues to get things right. They’re not perfect, but in ten short years they have an amazing product and it seems they have the energy and determination to keep advancing.
I was at the Highland Park Service Center on Monday, January 20, 2014 to pick up my all weather floor mats and got a surprise. As I was waiting for the service guys to install them in my Model S, a car carrier with four brand new shining Teslas pulled up.
Everyone was so excited as this was the first Model S delivery to this facility. So great to see my fellow Chicagoians embrace this fantastic new car.
On December 20th Tesla opened their largest service center in the Midwest right here on the North Shore, Highland Park, Illinois. I visited the center yesterday and Evan gave me the full tour. This facility will serve as a showroom, sales, a delivery site for lucky new Model S owners and of course service. It also has 4 Superchargers on the south side of the building for 24/7 free charging of your Model S.
When you think about service for your gas car it means regular oil changes, periodic maintenance and of course those times when something is wrong and you have to take your car in. I would be the first to say that today’s gas car dealer service experience has improved significantly over the last ten years. Clean, comfortable surrounds for waiting, better explanation of services and fairly accurate time estimates on when your car will be ready to get back on the road.
Model S service is a very different animal all together. The facility is super clean with the floors, walls and ceiling painted white. That’s how they started the work on the Fremont, California factory. Painting everything white. Since the cars don’t use oil or gas, the environment appears to be more like a lab than a garage. There are no exhaust fumes to deal with so the doors can be kept closed which means less cool or warm air being wasted. The guys that service the car are technicians, not mechanics because software management is a big part of the work that might be done. Growing up the nickname for mechanics was “grease monkey” because these guys had to crawl all around inside the hood and under the vehicle and emerged covered in gas, oil and grease. Probably the dirtiest a Tesla tech will get is when he rotates the tires. Each service visit ends with a full, free charge of the battery pack so you can roll out in style.
There is an inherent challenge in owning a Model S. If you do need service, you will have to take it to Tesla. It’s comforting to see they are taking service after the sale seriously.
Tesla is striving to be a very different car company. They are working to make money on the sales of the car, not on financing or service. This at the root of why many traditional car dealers are trying to block sales of Teslas in their state. If the paradigm shifts that significantly, the business model will be disrupted, causing a major overhaul for many of the players along the way.