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An Aftermarket Approach to TM's Opportunity Console

Those with an interest in the development of a viable aftermarket center console option can follow the latest progress of the Center Console Insert (CCI) at: Soflauthor’s Center Console Insert at TMC in the “Tesla Parts for Sale” forum. I posted a new progress report with some rendering of the fabrication design earlier today.

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9872-Soflauthor-s-center-c...

The mods at TMC set up a special thread for the CCI, so with the exception of pointers like this one. That’s where I’m posting progress reports and fielding questions/comments.

I hope you stop by to see (and if you're so inclined, comment on) the latest progress.

Looks great. Fit and finish question.....
Will the leather and the CF match the factory's patterns and colors? If not - it would be better to go in a completely different direction. All leather instead of CF (if the CF does not match).

The black leather will need the same texture, color and sheen as the factory or it will look off - or its so close but not quite there - it won't look right.

Good luck on your R&D.

@cmcasden:

Sorry for the long delay in answering. Somehow, I missed your post.

Aftermarket "color/texture matches" are a challenge, no doubt. We've worked hard to find upholstery matches that are very, very close, but because we don't have access to Tesla suppliers and because even within a Tesla color range there may be variation from batch to batch, we can't guarantee a "perfect" match. We're confident that color/texture match will satisfy the vast majority of Model S/CCI owners.

The standard CCI deck is a textured black plastic (looks very rich and would blend nicely in any interior decor) which can then be overlaid with various optional finishes — CF, gloss black, and we're working on wood veneers.

Bottom line, color, texture and overall style are so personal that we can't possibly hope to meet the stylistic needs of every purchaser, but we do think that our standard CCI with appropriate options will make most CCI owners smile.

Year-End Status of the CCI:

Our Alpha production prototype is now complete and is installed in my Model S. Read about it over at TMC ...

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9872-Soflauthor-s-center-c...

Happy New Year!

For those of you who have signed up for the CCI waiting list, you'll be getting a New Year's Day link for exclusive access to pics and a video of our CCI Alpha Production Prototype.

Everyone on the list as on 10:00am EST, January 1, 2013 will get the link just before you begin watching bowl games. The rest of you will have to wait a few days :)

Here's the link to our website:

http://www.teslaccessories.com

Photos and a video of the CCI Alpha Production Prototype are now available at our website:

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/Our_Products.html

Based on feedback from our CCI List members (who have viewed the photos privately this week), we've already made a number of small design improvements (not shown in the pics) that will be part of the finished product. For example, the corners of the storage box opening have been rounded to provide a more aesthetic look, and the USB outlet has been moved 30mm left to avoid the possibility of obstructing the Model S 12V power outlet.

We’ve posted a CCI Progress Report over at TMC. You can find it at:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9872-Soflauthor-s-center-c...

To summarize: We’ve added some new pics of a tan alpha CCI in a Model S tan interior. The upholstery color correspondence and the general color flow within the interior space are excellent. We’ve also provided a more detailed description of a CCI ordering process that encompasses our Signature and Production List members and future customers. In addition, we've made a few updates to our FAQ and provides early estimates of fulfillment times. All have been posted at our website.

Well done. As informative and thorough as you could be at this point.

That's my tan interior (literally) :-)

I didn't realize how much the driver's seat leather was wrinkling. Doesn't look as bad as that in real life.

@Nickhowe: Now that you've identified yourself, many thanks (publicly) for allowing us to use your Model S as a "model" for the tan interior. Beautiful car, BTW.

If there's anyone on the East Cost of South Florida (i.e. between Miami and Jupiter) who has the elusive grey or white interior, please let me know (contact me via the teslaccessories.com website). We need a Model S to use as a model for the grey and white interiors as well.

Some new videos will be posted at our site over the next two weeks. Stay tuned.

Love what the alpha looks like on your website. Any chance you'll have an option for a carbon fiber finish on the deck to match the interior of the P85? If the leather stitching pattern matches the black leather stitching in the car itself, this console would look killer.

@Mr.B: Sorry, somehow I missed your post. There will be a CF option. In fact, the final CNC'd version of our CF prototype is being fedexed to us today for evaluation.

Just to keep those of you who don't visit TMC up to date, here's a brief progress report: We’re on schedule for a late February product release. Our primary focus over the past week has been deck trim—both finding appropriately corresponding CF and veneer finishes, assessing the best way to fabricate them, and finding vendors capable of doing the job correctly. We continue to debug various aspects of fabrication and assembly.

We’re slowly tweaking our web site and will continue to do so over the next month. At the request of dozens of people on our CCI Wait List, we just posted a reasonably complete set of installation instructions, demonstrating that described installation (in words) takes a lot longer than installing the CCI :) If you have interest, see our Installation Notes:

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/InstallationNotes.html

In addition, we’ve added still more pictures of the CCI in our Gallery:

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/PhotosAlpha.html

with an emphasis of the storage, cup holder, and phone caddie functions. For those who wanted to see just how the USB cable plugs into the Model S, we’ve included a few pics.

Our waiting list is growing every day and we encourage those of you who have interest to get on it, or your wait for a CCI will be longer than you’d like. You can do so via our Contact Us page

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/Contact_Us.html

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding two new videos: (1) an Installation Video and (2) a “Before and After” Video . In addition, we’ll be updating our original video to reflect the final version of the CCI.

Finally, we’ll be announcing pricing in February.

Play Slideshow button produces blank black page in FF.

@BrianH: Thx, Brian. Will look into it, but at the moment, getting the CCI out the door takes precedence over the web site :)

I asked a tesla rep about an insert and he said that tesla would make one by the time i will have delivery, say mid may.

@Kiteulf: I don't believe that's going to happen. In fact, in discussing this with store reps in Miami, Dania, White Plains, SF, and LA, what I've gotten is exactly the opposite impression. There is no indication whatsoever that TM has any immediate plans to populate the "opportunity console" with anything even closely resembling the CCI. At this point, it looks like TM's nod to those who requested more storage was the open shelf (a.k.a., the "cubby") that was added just before deliveries began 4 months ago.

For those who are following the CCI as it moves toward release, I've posted an update over at TMC:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9872-Soflauthor-s-center-c...

I've also included a pic of a CCI with grey upholstery and a first impression of our carbon fiber deck surface.

We continue to be on schedule for a late February product launch. To get on our growing waiting list, visit:

http://www.teslaccessories.com

For those of you who are following the progress of the Center Console Insert (CCI) as we move toward launch, a mini-progress report is posted at TMC:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9872-Soflauthor-s-center-c...

Over the next three weeks we’ll be releasing a continuing stream of information in the run-up to the launch of the Center Console Insert (CCI) for the Model S.

The CCI will be offered in two different configurations:

(1) The Standard CCI is offered with a black textured deck that complements all Model S trim options nicely. It will be available with Black, Tan, or Grey upholstery.
(2) The Custom CCI will allow you to select a deck trim that coordinates with the trim on your Model S — Carbon Fiber, Lacewood, Obeche Mat and Gloss, and Piano Black. It will be available with Black, Tan, Grey, or White (special order) upholstery.

Additional information (including other upcoming events and dates) is posted at TMC:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9872-Soflauthor-s-center-c...

We’ve also published new pictures and a new video of the Standard CCI at our website at:

Pics:

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/PhotosStdCCI.html

Video:

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/Our_Products.html

Check back here, at TMC or at Teslaccessories.com for further information.

I like your pricing policy: "Send lotsa money; we'll return any leftovers. Promise!"

;)
Kidding! Sorta.

@Soflauthor - I admire your motivations and it looks like you've created a great product. I have a suggestion that might help you; it might be a good idea to do a pricing survey on your website. I know you've invested considerably in your project and have to recover your fixed costs in addition to making a per-unit profit. However, I kind of get the feeling that the "market" is expecting the CCI to cost $300-$400, and might balk at $1000+.

A survey will tell you what the market is willing to pay, and with that information you can optimize your profit long-term. Thousands of $350 sales might be way better than a small number of $1000 sales. I believe this is called the Price Elasticity of Demand, and if your survey is structured properly I think you can determine this (I'm no expert - one class in college).

Just a thought - best of luck to you!

Agree with Getting Amped Soon. Price point will determine whether I will buy one from Solflauthor or wait for TM to come out with something and compare their pricing. I emailed my rep two days ago and he came back saying TM is still planning to offer an Opportunity Console option but there is no specific time it will be ready.

+1 @Amped Soon

Consider what Tesla is charging for their floor mats versus what you can get from aftermarket outlets, and $250 for the parcel shelf. Even at $1K, Soflauthor's CCI will probably be less than what TM will want for their OC, when they get around to it.

I am as cheap as they come, but alas, I have seen the aftermarket mats and am buying the Tesla mats. At some point, it's worth it to me to have the parts that I (and everybody else for that matter) see up close and day-to-day be special. Having the Tesla branding in that case was important to me.

As for the CCI, I really, really, really want to support SoFL as I appreciate someone willing to extend themselves like he has to take financial risks to fill a niche. That type of spirit is what drives this country. It is what makes Tesla great. It also helps that we both live in FL and I want to support my state. Having said that, If Tesla offers something that is only marginally more expensive but offers other benefits (tangible or not), I may have to follow the consumer in me. If Tesla is double the price, well then "Hello CCI".

Good luck SoFL. I'm pulling for you. Choose wisely.

Maybe I missed it, but the "options capability" for the new insert look to be an interesting idea. Everybody has their own thoughts about what looks good and there are several design parts to this insert that I think try too hard.

I do not want a console insert that attempts to mimic the door for instance. Architectural philosophies have changed over the last 30 years. If you are building a new addition to an existing historic building, the thinking now is NOT to try to make it match the existing one, but to make very apparent that it is an "add on".

The designers of the interior of this car did it with great detail and debate. Allowing a third party to come in and try to mimic their design is not cool. While I do not think the insert should be unattractive at all, I hope there will be an option not to include the sad attempt at curvature stitching. Its draws my eye to an aspect of the insert which ought to simply disappear.

All Feb 8th posters,

Very early on, when the first glimmer of commericalizing my early conceptual designs began to emerge, I noted that we would build the CCI using two cost constraints: (1). That the CCI would be priced in the same neighborhood as many of the Model S options, (2) That the CCI would be priced at less than half the cost of a custom installation performed by a local custom shop.

We succeeded in pricing the CCI within these constraints.

The CCI is not inexpensive to build. It requires high tolerance, form fit parts that are generated with computer controlled equipment. It requires hand-crafted customization features ( upholstery and veneers) that require skilled craftspeople. It required many hundreds of hours of design, hundreds more of prototyping, iteration, and revision. It required the solution of hundreds of small fabrication problems and more than few large fabrication problems. It required building a supply chain of reliable vendors.

Finally, it required a not insubstantial investment of capital that's required of every start-up with all of the risks attendant in that investment.

At the end of the day, we will price the CCI based on all of those considerations.

I've had the CCI (in various incarnations) in my Model S for almost 4 months. Not once has anyone noticed that it wasn't original equipment, and when I pull it out to prove it's an aftermarket product, you can see the shock in their eyes. Part of the price of the CCI addresses exactly that -- a product that looks like it came installed in your Model S when you purchased the car.

If you want closed storage, a better cup holder arrangement and a phone caddie, and you want a real center console that conforms to the style of the Model S interior design philosophy, the CCI will meet your needs and it will do that at a price that is fair.

The CCI is a relatively complex three-dimensional entity because the underlying asymmetric curved geometry of the Model S center channel area is ... well ... challenging.

In any event, I thought you might like to see a 3-D rotating image of the CCI outside of its home in the Model S. Here's a tan Standard CCI rotating in space:

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/PhotosCCI-3D.html

Product release is planned for late this month. Still time to get on the CCI Waiting List. Just visit our website.

The final Progress Update prior to our pricing announcement and product launch has been posted at TMC:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9872-Soflauthor-s-center-c...

(post #255)

To summarize, we now have pics of a CCI in black, tan, and grey posted at our website at:

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/Our_Products.html

In addition, we be announcing pricing to everyone on our waiting list late this week and will be ready to launch the product in about 2 weeks.

As I announced earlier at TMC, the CCI will be offered in two versons—the Standard CCI and the Custom CCI. The Standard CCI has a black textured plastic deck and enables you to choose from either black, tan, or grey upholstery colors. The Custom CCI come in deck trim that corresponds to the trims offered in the Model S — Carbon Fiber, Obeche (gloss and matte), Lacewood, and Piano Black. You can choose from either black, tan, grey or white upholstery.

We've just received our finished Carbon Fiber decks (we're really excited because they have an extraordinary correspondence to Model S CF) and we've been able to take some pics of them in each of the upholstery color variants. You can see them on our new Custom CCI page here:

http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/PhotosCustCCI.html

Other deck finishes will follow next week.

Although we're moving rapidly toward a brand new e-commerce website next week, we've reorganized the Products Page on the existing site to better reflect the CCI versions.

Tomorrow we announce pricing to members of our CCI waiting list. Product launch continues to be scheduled for Feb 28th.


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