Tesla drivers don’t always know how to turn on their cars, Elon Musk says

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Tesla executives are looking for ways to lower costs after the company posted another three months of major losses Wednesday. One proposed strategy: doing a better job of teaching customers how to turn on their cars.

On a call with Wall Street analysts, CEO Elon Musk said he’s targeting the service division as an area where the company could be saving money. Many customers, he said, visit service centers not because something is wrong with their cars but because they just don’t know how to use them.

“It’s like, how do I turn it on?” Musk said.

Musk said that while the company is expanding its network of service centers, Tesla plans to better educate new customers about the cars’ user interfaces, so they don’t visit service centers as often.

“The best service, really, is no service,” Musk said on the call.

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports stopped recommending the Tesla Model 3 after consumers complained about its reliability.

The cost-saving idea comes at a difficult time for the car company. In the three months ending in June, Tesla lost $408 million, causing the stock to plummet. That profit loss included included losses in the division of the business for servicing cars. The company reported a -23% profit margin for the service business, though that was an improvement from the prior quarter.

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