The electric car specialist's first small SUV has learned from past mistakes, says a manufacturing expert.
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International automotive manufacturing expert Sandy Munro – previously a vocal critic of Tesla – has praised the latest efforts by the electric-car maker in building its new Model Y compact SUV.

The upcoming Model Y is based on the brand’s existing Model 3 sedan platform and shares approximately 75 per cent of its components with its smaller sibling to reduce manufacturing cost.

But Munro – an advocate for 'lean manufacturing' who regularly shares industry critiques on his YouTube channel, Munro Live – has been an outspoken critic of Tesla's designs in the past, with many of his concerns centred on the Tesla Model 3.

In particular, he took issue with the Tesla Model 3 for using “dinosaur technologies”, citing Tesla's convoluted welding and casting methods in a 2018 interview.

"If [the Model 3] came out decent with all the [body and panels], they’d mop the floor with everybody,” Munro said.

Above: 2020 Tesla Model 3

After Munro publicly aired his grievances on the Model 3 in 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took note, sparking a design discussion between the pair that resulted in Munro making more than 200 free suggestions to Musk.

Now, Munro has shared his first impressions of the Model Y in a new video – and he's impressed.

Although he initially cautioned his praise by saying "Tesla still has a bit of a problem with fit and finish," he pointed to elements of the new Model Y and said: "This is a lot of good stuff."

Pointing to a single part in the new Model Y that previously comprised of 100 components in the Model 3, he said: "I like that".

In particular, Munro praises the more modern manufacturing techniques utilised in the Model Y's production, as well as the simpler castings used for the rear section of the car and revisions made to the wiring of the Model Y SUV over the Model 3 sedan.

Deliveries of the Model Y began in the US last month, roughly six months before its planned release date. There has not been an announcement made by Tesla Australia regarding the model’s future locally.

You can watch Munro's breakdown of the Model Y's chassis and wiring improvements in their playlist here, and in a couple of key videos below.

Munro's teardown