Tesla to Encourage Customers to Buy Older Models on Website

  • Emma Sandler
  • June 7, 2017
  • 0

Tesla will be trying to encourage customers to purchase either new or used Model X or Model S, ahead of the availability of Model 3, Chief Executive Elon Musk indicated yesterday during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

With increased consumer interest in the Model 3, Tesla recently introduced vehicle upgrades as an end-of-lease option in order to maintain production levels and replenish its pre-owned fleet. When asked during the shareholders meeting if Tesla would offer battery upgrades for older models of Model S and X to maintain their resale value, Musk said it would not make financial sense for consumers to upgrade just the battery pack; instead, it would be better to sell the car and then buy a different one — either new or used.

In addition, he said, the used-car section of the website “would get a lot more prominence” moving forward.

“The used Tesla section of the website is going to get a lot more attention and particularly if the car is four years old, it’s got a lot of mileage, you can buy a Model S for as much as a Model 3,” Musk said.

It has been three years since Tesla introduced its in-house leasing program (and in August 2016 temporarily offered two-year leasing), thus more and more owners are coming off their Model S leases every quarter (soon for both Model S and X) prompting the automaker to manage the end-of-lease experience — in this case by encouraging customers to buy another vehicle. The company will also be calling more attention to used cars and resale value on its website prior to and after the Model 3 release, Musk said. As of Dec. 2016, the OEM has produced more than 180,000 vehicles, based on the company’s quarterly announcements.

The company — which now offers a vertically integrated electrical power system of solar power roof tiles, energy storage, and an electric vehicle — may also entertain the idea of offering a package deal for those interested in purchasing a solar roof, Powerwall, and a vehicle together.

“We haven’t currently considered a package deal. But yes, maybe it’s something to do in the future; so no decision on this,” Musk said.

Financing options for the solar roof will be available in late 2017, the company said last month. Tesla’s current financing partners for electric vehicles are Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank. While it’s unclear whether they will be partners in financing solar roofs as well, it would be an interesting endeavor for Tesla to offer financing for all three products as a package deal.

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