Recently, Munro has been becoming quite unhinged lately
, talking far outside his competency and constructing conspiracies from whole cloth, which I believe definitively confirms my previous posts that he is not a source that is reliable or competent on these matters.
On that front, we completely agree. LOL I appreciate the tear-downs for sure, though yes, they are strategic about what they say, what they show, etc. I did watch his 2 part video the other day on 'a better engineering' process, and parts of it certainly felt relevant to my history with any complicated subject, whether it be software development or building submarines. But even that is taken to the extreme in his 'the factory takes it over and tells the engineers to get the hell out of my way'. My experience on that front is that companies that operate that way are already broke and dead. You can't talk about continuous improvement and have sacred cows or silos like that and still be in business. His examples are all from the 90's, understandably, but a LONG time ago.
Same with his fascination with frunks. Sure, it's a feature, and he prioritizes features above all else he says. And sure, it's cool. But do that many people really care? And how many people want to open 2 hatches to get to their stuff? If it was a great feature, it would have no hood and all the storage in one spot. I for one could care less about a frunk. shrug
It just doesn't move the needle for me. And if it's not as big as the one in the F-150 Lightning, then go home.
So he contradicts himself a lot. I'm sure your experiences are similar.
Even though I am on Twitter, I do not get much into the "Tesla versus another automaker" discussions that much. I do not trade stocks and I do not follow vehicle deliveries.
I used to try and challenge it on Twitter from a public education perspective, but I have pretty much given up now.
I HAVE a Twitter account, that's all I can personally say for Twitter.
To me, it's mostly a self-fulfilling echo chamber, largely of rage for people who have itchy trigger fingers and too much time on their hands to not think through a coherent thought. Of course, I say that participating in a narrow focus group board here as well that are all people who've already drunk the 'EV koolaid', myself included (and said with great affection). LOL So what do I know. And we won't even touch Facebook.
I did see, however, that some were postulating that Diess was using Tesla's new Germany presence as a device to motivate VW union leadership into more efficient operations. That could be a good/necessary move on Diess part or a miscalculation. I really have no way of knowing.
But whatever the case, frankly, non-Tesla automakers are in a Lose-Lose situation most of the time no matter what the topic of conversation or news story.
Yeah, we won't know for sure. Maybe he's more sly than we give him credit for. LOL He is up against probably one of the largest, if not THE largest, employment bases in Germany. If VW crashes, it will be very hard for some of the towns where their largest employers are VWG factories.
As a fellow engineer, I very much like tearing things apart, looking at the output of obvious decisions, and seeing where they came from maybe. We all know as engineers, there are no perfect solutions, just optimum ones given a set of constraints and initial conditions.
The casting, for instance, and to your point, are interesting. They do seem to cut down on a lot of manufacturing steps in the front end (sure you know better than I do, just surmising from my own experience and looking at it). But it also comes with some interesting trade-offs. It seems to make the cars more expensive to repair, if they even can be repaired, and my own experience is that casting can be very brittle. But I'm not a mechanical or structural engineer. I don't know much about the Tesla ones per say, but I enjoy the opportunity to talk with people about them like yourself and others.
And I love the people that apologize for Tesla's factories, and in particular the NUMI plant in California, when they talk about the ESG focus of Tesla. That plant has had constant labor strife, been sued more than once (and lost), had people working in super crappy conditions to meet build numbers that just HAD to have come at the expense of quality, etc. And we could go on and on about where most of the lithium is coming from to build all these batteries (it ain't sourced locally), and on and on.
Anyhow, yes, the legacy manufacturers all have their issues. VWG in particular seems to be making some big moves, and they feel like probably the right ones (at least on the software side, where I spend more of my time these days at work). But they are very uneven in their execution. They need to get some market fundamentals rights as well that just aren't there right now. Why does VW throw in their connected platform for free for 3 years while Audi charges $399 for 18 months of access? And I haven't even looked at Porsche, etc. All the YouTubers focus on the car, but none of them really talk about the REAL cost of ownership other than 'yeah, no oil changes'. Big deal, that's all I've had for 3 years of my Audi and those were part of the price of the car.
Is 2026, the rumored date Diess has set for the 'half to hit this next gen platform' mark going to be soon enough? I don't know, but it's likely if not it won't be because of Tesla, it will be because of the Chinese. When that market dries up to foreign competition because domestic sources are good enough or better, that's going to take a lot of wind out the 'wests' sails, since the most massive growth for many of them have been in China up until now.
Anyhow, I've rambled a bit here I know. But I do find places like this board hopefully as a 'more safe space' to be a bit intellectual on these topics and have some good discussion, just like this one. I appreciate the conversation, the thought, etc. that we can put into them here. And not some limited character string in an ephemeral, off-the-cuff form like Twitter. Hope all of you do too.