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A Sig Perf reservation holder's take away from the conference call

Hi, I'm #1246 here and awaiting delivery.

I just read every word of the Conference Call that occurred on 25 Jul 2012. Here's my understanding of the conference call and how it relates to my future car and TSLA stock:

1) Facebook photo postings from my friends that eventually make their way to Consumer Reports (a few of them work there) and will laughably show rear seat plastic cup holders that I buy from WalMart and that hang off the rear seat windows in my new $100k+ car will, unfortunately, likely occur. On the Conference Call, Tesla basically said that 98% of the car is done and that only tiny little supplier issues such as pitting of the chrome plating of the door handles and interior trim details are really the final issues that are being perfected and holding up the ramp up in production.

In other words, the front seat, middle console that offers no concealed storage and awkward cup holder positioning (have to practically tear my shoulder rotator cuff to get drink) that I saw at the Mahwah, NJ event would seem to be the one that I'm going to be seeing in my future Model S delivery. Obviously, this same front-seat, middle console does not have fold-out cup holders for rear seat passengers like my Prius elegantly addresses.

Very unfortunate! For my rear seat passengers, it's either going to be cold hands as they are forced to hold their icey, cold drinks in their hands all throughout the drive OR use plastic Walmart window cup holders...

Oh yeah that removable, rear-seat middle console that I sometimes see photos of is not an option for me b/c it takes up precious passenger space and is a strange solution the third row seat of a 90's Dodge Caravan that has to be user removed to make room. I can already see it now as I take 5 passengers to the next destination ("Hang on...I have to remove the rear-seat middle console so you can fit....oh but wait, now where are you going to put your drinks?").

2) TSLA has approx 12200 reservation holders. They seem to be managing their cash flow issues well. All this by with a lot of unpaid marketing vs paid marketing. Demand and word of mouth is strong. Good for them and bravo. They are even considering raising cash solely as a cushion against unforeseen economic issues and/or for R&D purposes - and they don't even have to raise cash. It's just a way of decreasing risk further. Nice. I should probably buy TSLA at a low and ride it up a little pending no EU contagion.

3) Elon is right about the Leaf - Nissan needs to improve on it. For me, this means increasing range. If range had already been increased in the Leaf to EPA 160 miles, I would have purchased it instead of the Model S! BUT acknowledgment of this fact means that Elon really is in touch and has the vision and insight of great CEO b/c he recognizes what the buyers such as myself are thinking. Bravo.

4) Given that 98% of the Model S is already done, it looks like my Hybrid Escalade stock stereo system will continue to blow away the 580 watt Model S stereo and its weak low-range (bass). In my opinion it doesn't even sound like the Model S has a sub-woofer (at least not near as good as my Hybrid Escalade). Very unfortunate!

Overall, although I'm excited about the Model S, my enthusiasm is tempered, and I'm pretty disappointed with the Model S lack of "creature conforts" which by reading other message boards recently seems to also mean no sun visor lights nor rear seat reading lights.

5) If the gov't or Tesla themselves, remove the ability to load up a webpage while driving, I'll be totally anti-Tesla as this would be the last straw. The ability to load up a webpage while driving may sound stupid and dangerous....but not for the passenger riding with me which is what I'm talking about.

Better start stretching out my rotator cuff now so I can get to my coffee....

Please, please, please cancel your reservation so the rest of us unfortunate suckers can get our Model S quicker.


Although I am considering that, I doubt I would do it b/c that's 10k that I would throw in the toilet.

So I'll basically reluctantly accept delivery and just hope 1) Tesla would have fixed the front-seat middle console to include concealed storage space and fold-out cup holders for rear seat passengers, 2) hope Tesla installs a real sub-woofer to the stereo system, and 3) adds sun visor lights and rear seat reading lights.

The driving fun of the vehicle should provide some compensation...but I drive a Prius so it may not help too much.

But yes I am eager to take delivery which is slated for Oct 2012. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up really liking the car more than I expect.

One more thing that I find concerning is the possible short-sightedness of diverting precious resources to unnecessary features. For example, there appears to be a memory function to the rear lift gate allowing the user to control the height at which the lift gate (hatch) opens. Yet the Model S is a sleek, low-profile car, not an SUV that might hit the garage door when lift gate is opened fully. And why would you want to open the lift gate halfway or three-quarters only anyway?

The resources for design, engineering, and creation of the lift gate memory function could have been better used for cup holders and apt he addition of a subwoofer.

Does this have anything to do with those two senior engineers at Tesla that suddenly resigned several months ago??


Did somebody crap in your cornflakes this morning, or are you always this cranky?

If the issues you cite are so objectionable, then don't buy it! There's a big difference between constructive criticism and whining. You're a whiner. But, I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that.

I truly feel that EVERYONE has a right to voice his/her opinion. If something eats at you, no matter how small it may seem to others, let it be known. Yeah, some might see this as whining (myself included) but hey... THIS IS AMERICA! Knock yourself out.

I do agree with one thing said here... if you feel so strongly why not cancel? So you'd be out $10k, big deal. That's a small price to pay when paired with the idea of spending $100k+ on a car you don't like?! I see NO logic in that.

The resources for design, engineering, and creation of the lift gate memory function could have been better used for cup holders and apt he addition of a subwoofer.

I read that as "I and my family drink and eat in a car a lot, and I have bad hearing which I lost playing my stereos too loudly when I was young".

Good playback is not loud playback. Who needs more cupholders, IMO car has already several too many, which space could have been used better as storage space.


I am American and was brought up taking long family road trips where everyone had drinks and snacks, and all the cupholders they could need. However, I am not as concerned as a lot of these posters about the lack of cupholder space. Why? Because it is going to be a LOOOONG time before I trust anyone with a spill-able beverage or crumb-producing item in my new baby!!!!

I do hope the interior continues to be refined before I get my Sig 939, but I will likely not notice if it is not as fancy as a BMW, since I am upgrading from a 1994 Dogde Dakota. I've never had leather interior before, and I am given to understand it stains less easily than cloth, but who wnats to take that chance!

+1 from me too. Nobody is going to be eating anything in my car, and drinking anything else than water from water bottles. Eating is best done sitting down inside while the car is charging outside ;)

Forget the food and cup holders, what about the backseat passenger that wants to read a book when the sun goes down? It will be shut up and listen to the bassless radio (which by the way has nothing to do with volume).

Anyone plan on having a woman as a passenger? She will be none too thrilled while I hold a flashlight so she can check her makeup and/or apply lipstick before attending an event. We can sit in the parking lot with the cabin light on, centerstage, while others watch but should we really need to?

These are shortcomings that need to be addressed in a luxury car, period. No, I'm not going to wait until version 2, but for all the innovation that went into building this car I find it hard to believe no one can locate an LED with a slim form factor.

Read a book? iPads and Kindles are self-illuminated! Which is also the "make-up" solution. Put the front display screen on a white webpage.


OK, so I don't particularly like the cupholder situation today, but also feel that the situation is not particularly dire. Frankly, the fact that the #1 complaint about the car is cupholder location probably means the car is pretty damn good. I've owned plenty of cars with mediocre cupholders and even downright bad ones, and I did not consider that a major flaw.

I think it is a bigger deal on my Audi TT that has a similarly bad cupholder location because it is a manual transmission! This means I actually need to use both hands quite regularly in my commute, and really just want a sip of coffee at traffic lights and have to reach behind me to do so. Yet my TT is my favorite interior due to it's flowing simple design.

Oh, and I'm glad they are considering a programmable stop point on the hatch since I have to close my garage to open the trunk of my TT (or hold it while getting stuff out). This will be a nice feature as my garage is under my living room and therefore has limited upper clearance.

The Model X might have some real issues with this on the Falcon doors, not that I'm their target market, but it will not be an option for some folks.

Frankly, the fact that the #1 complaint about the car is cupholder location probably means the car is pretty damn good.

Oh, and I'm glad they are considering a programmable stop point on the hatch since I have to close my garage to open the trunk of my TT (or hold it while getting stuff out). This will be a nice feature as my garage is under my living room and therefore has limited upper clearance.

+5 This feature will certainly save me thousands of dollars. I can always get aftermarket cup holders should I require them. I find it hard to believe someone would complain about it.

jerry3, I am convinced you work for Tesla.

The rear hatch of the Model S is hinged at the roof and opens up toward the garage door. I'm glad there is a memory setting to stop it before it hits the garage door. It's not a trunk deck lid like most sedans. My partner's Tahoe back hatch hits the bottom of the garage door every time it opens sometimes even hitting the real wiper. As far as backseat reading lights go you can use clip on LED booklights for that. I don't allow anyone to turn on the rear seat reading lights in my current car because I don't like the interior of the car reflecting on the inside of the windshield when it's dark outside. Water is the only thing allowed in my car as well. My current car seats 5, although uncomfortably for the rear center passenger because it is a rear wheel drive car with the hump in the floorboard. I haul 4 passengers around with me quite frequently and have never been asked why there are not rear facing cupholders. It just occurred to me that if my car had fold out cupholders from the back of my center armrest with covered storage the person in the center of the backseat would not only be screwed with just the hump between their straddling legs but would have cups between their knees as well. Anyone who doesn't see a difference between a Prius and a Tesla Model S doesn't deserve to own one anyway. Just sell your car as configured to someone who really wants one and get your $10k back then.


With all my critical posts. Hardly likely :-)

Of course, if Tesla would like to pay me, I won't say "No".

-- Anyone who doesn't see a difference between a Prius and a Tesla Model S

Well, the bit about the hatch opening up and possibly banging on the garage door is certainly identical :-)

jerry3 | JULY 29, 2012 NEW

With all my critical posts. Hardly likely :-)

jerry3 | JULY 29, 2012 NEW
Of course, if Tesla would like to pay me, I won't say "No".

I was just pulling your leg jerry3 :-)

In my humble opinion, if all you have to complain about is a cup holder, then TM has done an absolutely stellar job. I for one was not put off by the cup holder, I actually thought it was cool when I saw it. I do have a suggestion. When going for your morning brew, bypass the drive thru and park where you can look at your Model S while drinking your coffee. Thus sparing your rotator cup.


No I'm not a whiner, but I do want perfection in a 100k+ vehicle that is missing features of a used Honda Civic.

I also appreciate good Design simply for design's sake. That's how the USPTO granted me with Patent 8220461 earlier this month.

Here is where the interior design flaws become problematic for me. Maybe they would be important for others also?

1) Taking friends or son from one place to another or on a long road trip. Sure no one should be eating or drinking in the car, but it is just a drink and in the Texas heat, drinking is important! Do I really want to deny my son a drink or have him hold it in his 4 yr old hands all throughout the drive?
2) My wife would like to look in the mirror at right before we leave the car. If we are going out at night, this is problematic without sun visor mirror lights. For me personally, the sun visor lights are not that important, but I'm not thinking about just myself. I'm talking about having a woman in the vehicle who cares about how she looks.
3) At night, there's something that my son dropped, and I'd like to look for it. Without lights in the back, I will have to take out my phone, enter the PIN to access it, turn on the flashlight app and then look. How mind-numbingly lame. With the rear seat reading lights, I'm not talking about reading an actual book. Who doesn't have an iPad these days?
4) My Hybrid Escalade which seems twice as tall as the Model S does NOT have a problem with its rear lift gate hitting the garage or the ceiling. The Model S is a sleek, LOW profile car. Unless you have some non-standard garage dimensions or have a garage designed for people with achondroplasia, there is little to no risk of its rear lift gate hitting the garage. I would have rather had these resources that were spent for this programmable lift gate feature on something more important.
5) I'm not talking about playing the radio loud or vibrating and bass-ing like a 16 y/o's hooptie. My Hybrid Escalade has a deep fullness and richness of sound and low range from any song or source. This is how the Model S should be. Perfection. And even Elon has said such..."If it's not the best, we're doing something wrong."

Finally, the acrid nature of my original post is an effort to draw the attention of Tesla to help them realize the defects of the interior from real life people. You can respond by saying, "I don't need fold out cup holders" - or "I don't want a lot of bass in my stereo" or "I don't want to read or look for items at night in the back seat." But with still some potential time left for whatever adjustments possible before production release, is this really the smart thing to say on Tesla's message board - which Blankenship has admitted himself to reading daily?

You MUST ask or describe your dissatisfaction to Tesla in order to improve and potentially have them address these important issues BEFORE going to production.

I went to the Mahwah, NJ event without a reservation to test drive (slots were all filled according to the website). But I went anyway (I'm from Dallas), asked to drive and they heard me and they allowed it.

I hope Tesla hears and solves these important issues before the ramp up in early 4th qtr. I'd be willing to wait for perfection. I hope you all would agree with me that these missing interior features should not be taken lightly while there may still be time for change!

Timo, yes, concealed storage space is important. Also, better front seat cup holder positioning, fold out cup holders for the back...these are standard items in the console of nearly all non-luxury AND luxury vehicles. I only expect perfection from Tesla and a 100k+ payment. And these features need to be somehow incorporated into the Model S. Tesla needs to hear about this, and I would recommend that people speak to their Tesla Sales Advisors to let them know you would like perfection too.

Unless you don't mind having to use your iPhone's flashlight feature to look for items that are dropped in the back seat at night. Or don't mind a Model S subwooferless stereo system that competes with in sound quality with my beat up 2006 Prius and can't begin to compete with my Hybrid Escalade's stock stereo.

Now is the time to let Tesla know. Before going into production, not after. Afterwards, it will be too late.

Quick question...

What made some folks here come to the conclusion that the preferred sound-system is below average?

I have been in over six different beta S's (including the one I test drove, back in June), and so far, I have been told six time that the sound-system was either not working, or not final. Being the software is far from final at this point, what did other folks hear that makes them feel the sound-system is below average?

I too prefer a sound-system with high quality low-end sub frequencies, and the last four cars I have owned all had a sub-woofer in the system to achieve quality modern sound for music. So, does this mean there isn't a proper low frequency sub-woofer in the S? (there is SURE than enough room for one).

Some of the people on this forum remind me of the old Linux fans who derided people for liking Windows or Macs. It was always inferred that the reasons they didn't love Linux were somehow flaws in the person.

There have been many thoughtful people who have commented. For many people, the interior is a complete swing and a miss. It is not just poorly placed cup holders.

Some people have these thoughts, and it doesn't mean that they are:

  • Pack Rats
  • Old Fashioned
  • Not suited to buy a Tesla

It is possible to hate parts of the car, and buy it anyway. I would just love to see us able to disagree without the condensation.

Constructive criticism is great it will help Tesla make Model S better over time. I too am concerned with the lack of some common day amenities I have on my less costly cars. However, it will not deter me from buying the car.

I am more concerned with the EPA mileage range. I had hoped to actually get 300 miles of range not 265. I can make the 265 work but it will require I recharge somewhere on my route when I drive from Portland to Eugene.

IMO there are flaws in Model S interior, but cup holders or quality of playback are not one of them. For playback the quietness of the car itself makes even my phone loudspeaker sound good. Biggest concern to me is lack of storage space, especially concealed one.

Something that I understand some people see as weakness, but don't consider it as such myself are interior lights. That should be easy to arrange, for back seat maybe place them in headrests of the front seats, for visor lights you could use light tape, maybe even illuminate entire interior using those: if you add enough of it weak light at one point multiplies to illuminate entire interior. In addition to provide shadowless light it would look cool.

Visor mirrors I don't get at all, but OTOH I don't date girls that put makeup on in the car. I don't need "trophy wife".

@ViewAskew: This is AMERICA....

Nope, this is global, so it this Forum, so is the web,so is the car(hopefully), etc.ect......

Is someone raining on your parade? Condensation will do that. Sorry to be so condescending!


The 265 is a moderate torture-test ("5 cycle") figure, involving mixed hot/cold running, with jackrabbitting and 80 mph stretches. In real life, the early beta testers were routinely beating 300 miles/charge in normal daily use. You should have no problem doing the same.

Indeed, I never claimed to be smart. :-). And down with condensation too!

The web informs me it's only 110 miles from Portland to Eugene by car. Even round trip that's way less than the 85kwh range. What speed do you drive at???!!!

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