When Tesla’s Model Y was initially released, design and engineering consulting firm Munro & Associates, led by Sandy Munro, did an extensive teardown of the new vehicle. The teardown revealed some significant changes to its predecessor, Tesla’s Model 3, a vehicle Munro had initially been quite critical of.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk welcomed Munro’s criticism and in early January he implied that some of Munro’s feedback had been considered in the design of the Model Y. “Munro’s analysis of Tesla engineering is accurate, both pro & con. I think he will appreciate some elements of the Model Y body design,” Musk said.
Aside from critiques on fit and finish, Munro’s teardown of the Model Y received a very positive review. At the time, Munro said, “The results are shocking. There’s a big, giant difference between the cost of the Model 3 [in 2018] and this Model Y in 2020, and the cost went down significantly!” Such a cost reduction is impressive for a larger vehicle.
Recently, a customer of Munro & Associates brought them a newer Model Y that was produced in July. Even though the production date is just a few months later than the Model Y Munro had torn down, Munro found changes to the vehicle’s design.
Specifically, Munro noted the “Octovalve”, Tesla’s unique approach to integrated thermal management in the Model Y. He mentioned that they found 13 changes to the Octovalve design in the newer Model Y. “I couldn’t get one design change through in a year when I was at Ford Motor Company,” noted Munro.
Musk has often pointed out pace of innovation as a competitive advantage for Tesla, and Munro agrees. “That’s why they’re kicking some serious butt,” said Munro.
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Disclosure: Rob Maurer is long TSLA stock and derivatives.