Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from Wired, Gothamist and Details.
Service departments are important for car dealers. And with more and more automakers trying various ways to keep you from taking your car to an independent shop, there's new concern over Tesla's service strategies. But actually, Tesla isn't doing away with taking your car in. They're just making it more reasonable to keep up with regular servicing.
The first and most striking way Tesla kills the dealer service department cash cow is downloads. As part of its sales pitch, Tesla says you should think of its Model S sedan as "an app on four wheels." That may sound like vacuous Silicon Valley marketing copy, but the company isn't just being metaphorical. Software is at the heart of what keeps Teslas running. These internet-connected cars are designed to self-diagnose their problems. The vehicles can also download software fixes or updates — even new features — much like an iPhone when Apple puts out a new version of iOS. When fixes happen over the air, there's no need for a shop in the first place.
Willets Point has long been a collection of auto shops in Queens, but it's scheduled to change following a move last year to redevelop the area. Now there are more looks into why that deal was done.