Teardown guru Sandy Munro sells Tesla reports mostly to Asian automakers

May 8, 2020

Last month, teardown specialist Sandy Munro published a series of videos about his look at the Model Y. Munro is now making the rounds of YouTube by speaking on other channels. When Munro appeared on tech-channel HyperChange, he explained why Tesla has such a decisive lead on electric vehicles — and which companies are truly serious about catching up.

Munro has torn down electric powertrain systems from Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Jaguar, and Nissan. He said that most Tesla competitors are only making half-hearted efforts.

They aren’t serious about what they want to do. They’re trying the same strategy.

And they’re late to the market. They’re saying, we’ll just get something into the marketplace, and they put it into the marketplace, and it’s not really an electric car. It’s kind of like somebody’s impression of how electric cars should be. And it’s using kludgey materials. It’s not a car that’s been designed to be an electric car.

And then they try to squeeze on an old way of doing business into a new product. You can’t do that. It won’t work. You’ve got to have leadership step up and say, look, no more screwing around.

Munro explained that Asian automakers are primarily the ones buying his reports based on teardowns of Tesla vehicles.

I can’t think of one OEM that hasn’t bought our reports in Japan. The Chinese buy a lot of our reports. The reports have sold really well in Korea. But only a few in Europe and one in North America.

 It’s the other guys that are really serious. They want to know everything they can know about what’s going on with Tesla.

If Munro believes that Tesla has a lead now, he believes the Cybertruck will kick things into high gear by creating an entirely new vehicle segment.

I put it in a different classification. People want to call it a pickup truck. It’s not. It doesn’t fall into that class. I think it’s a new class.

Munro believes it’s going to be “an icon.” Five of his employees have a Cybertruck on order.

He believes that based on the Cybertruck’s styling, production will be  “a piece of cake.” However, the stainless-steel body and quasi-bullet-proof glass will be expensive.

Electrek’s Take

Munro has a vested interest in selling more reports, so that has to be taken into consideration.

But it’s fascinating that Asian automakers — including Japanese OEMs who are not gung-ho on EVs — are the biggest buyers of his Tesla reports.

US and European carmakers are doing their own Tesla teardowns. Regardless, Munro is breaking down EVs from across the market. He first got started on disassembling a Tesla at the behest of Audi.

Munro at first dismissed the car based on its poor build quality. But everything changed when he dug into the powertrain.

Once we started looking at the electronics, the motors, and inverters — we had seen a lot of electric vehicles, but we had never seen anything like this.

Some of Munro’s assessments are open to debate. Regardless, he’s playing a valuable role in sharing the inner workings of Tesla EVs with competitors who are serious about trying new approaches and not “the old way of doing business.”

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