Jerome Guillen, Vice President of the US electric car manufacturer Tesla, poses on the last press day on October 3, 2014 at the Paris Motor Show. The Paris Motor Show will open to the public on Saturday.

Eric Piermont | AFP | Getty Images

Elon Musk’s electric car company told customers on Friday that Tesla Service Centers are now offering collision repairs, which the company has been talking about since 2018.

In a customer message titled “Collision Repair is Here”, the company pointed out its ability to repair everything from dents and scratches to “suspension and axle damage” in its own service centers as an “alternative option to a body shop.” ” to repair.

Services, including collision repairs, are likely to represent a larger segment of revenue for Tesla over time as the warranty on its cars expires and the company ships more of them globally. While Tesla reported $ 678 million from a combined services and other segment in the fourth quarter of 2020, the company does not split service revenue separately. Overall, this segment grew 17% from $ 580 million in the prior year quarter.

Tesla operates 140 service centers in North America. The company plans to open more stores, including 46 in the first half of 2021, Tesla President Jerome Guillen announced on Wednesday.

Service has been a sore spot for many Tesla customers over the past few months, to the point where investors asked executives on the fourth quarter 2020 earnings call, “What is Tesla doing to improve the service experience? Tesla had a reputation for being a great one Customer service. Now this is impossible. ” even call a service center and appointments are scheduled weeks later. ”

Guillen replied: “For us, the best service is not service. That is why we have made great efforts to improve the quality and reliability of our cars. In the last two years, the frequency of service visits has decreased by a third, so customers have less often put into service, which is actually the goal, no service. “

He stressed that Tesla also offers a “mobile service,” where a Tesla service vehicle and an auto mechanic go to a customer’s car to fix the problem. Mobile visits now account for 40% of all service visits in North America, and according to Guillen, Tesla plans to increase that number to 50% by 2021.

However, not all repairs can be carried out on a mobile visit. For example, the panoramic glass roof of a Tesla vehicle needs to be replaced in a shop.

Guillen also said that Tesla is pushing all customer communications about the service through the Tesla app – meaning Tesla service centers now prefer not to take calls or simply not to take them.

“The app is way better than the phone,” explained Guillen. “It can recognize warnings right from the car and make a service appointment. There is a written record of all communication between the customer and the service team. You can have pictures in it. You can take care of your payment without entering the credit card and all that to do. You will receive updates through the service. “

Guillen predicted that most other automakers will follow suit.

Here is the full communication with customers:

Collision repair is here

January 28, 2021

Fix minor dents, scratches, and more at your local Tesla Service Center as an alternative to a body shop. Our streamlined repair flow allows for a quick and seamless experience when you need it most.

Collision repair services may include: suspension and axle damage, front and rear bumpers, hoods, tailgates and side mirror caps, and doors, wheels, and all glass repairs.

To make an appointment, select the “Collision and Glass Repair” option in the “Service” menu in your Tesla app and track your service experience with step-by-step notifications.