Remember the scene in Revenge of the Electric Car, where Tesla CEO Elon Musk is standing in a flock of Roadsters and pointing out the defects he is noticing? That’s pretty much exactly what happens today, still, but the car in question is now the Model S and Musk is trying to get every employee, new or veteran, to see things the way he sees them: flawed.
As we learned recently, the busy Musk (who splits his time 50-50 between Tesla and his rocket-building company SpaceX. Yes, he works seven days a week) personally inspects each Model S before it heads out the door. He sees mistakes in “almost every car” but doesn’t send them all back because “In the beginning, we have to be slightly imperfect because. … Our aspiration is to get to cars that are accurate to the limit of reasonable physics.”
What does that mean? Well, Musk said Tesla is going to order laser calibration devices, just like SpaceX uses to build rockets. “This is very extreme for the car business, but for the rocket business this is not,” he said. “If you want to make the best car, that’s what you have to do.”
So, in case anyone was wondering if Musk was a perfectionist, it seems we have our answer.
We’ll have more from our one-on-one discussion, including the full transcript, later this week.