Tesla Model Y teardown begins with Sandy Munro


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Sandy Munro with Tesla Model Y Performance

Munro: the man when it comes to lean engineering and manufacturing.


YouTube screencap

Sandy Munro is a name you’ve likely seen over the years, especially for those who follow Tesla. Munro’s company, Munro & Associates, is a leading consulting firm on lean manufacturing. Basically, you call Munro if you want to build something in the most efficient manner possible.

After Munro tackled a full teardown of the Tesla Model 3, and gave his thoughts on the Cybertruck, it was time to tackle the next big project: a Model Y teardown. Munro’s official YouTube channel began publishing the first parts of the teardown on Wednesday and there will be a lot more to come. So far, even with a pretty major hiccup discovered in the first video, Munro is seriously impressed with the improvements.

Tesla makes for a great case to study as the company’s risen from a startup to mass-production automaker, and Tesla’s early manufacturing issues are well known. It’s easy to forget rival automakers have built cars for over 100 years and have the process down pat.

In the first video, Munro tackles the Model Y’s frunk. I think he had different plans for this video, but it basically ends up being an on-video discovery that Tesla didn’t secure the cowl that hides some of the car’s innards. As Munro goes to take it off, he finds it was never actually secured in place and a clip was missing. When he tries to reinstall it, the hood is then subject to a nasty panel gap. Oops.

Moving along to Episode 2, Munro spends the episode describing his fix for the issue discovered earlier. It involves a redesigned clip missing in the fender. The update design is also far simpler — Munro is pretty good at fashioning less complex components.

Episode 3 moves into the positives, and seriously, Munro is impressed. As he dives into the suspension, he notes the Model Y and Model 3’s are similar, but the SUV gets beefier control arms. At the rear, it’s even more similar; the rear lower control arms come directly from a Model 3. That’s smart parts sharing in Munro’s eyes.

In the most recent episode, Munro has even more praise for Tesla. The low-voltage wiring features corrugated wrapping, which the lean manufacturing guru says is never done. The Model Y should never experience a short with this kind of protection. There are also quick connects to ensure a proper seal for fluids and that it won’t leak. Munro is a big fan.

He also realizes Tesla took some of his company’s advice and created a one-piece trunk component. It’s far less complicated than an aluminum piece the carmaker originally used in the Model 3. Munro also spots a giant aluminum casting that helps Tesla drop everything in accurately every time.

Eventually, Munro plans to disassemble the entire Model Y down to the very last bolt. After that, we’ll be in for a full comparison between the Model 3 and Model Y. Stay tuned.


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