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Tesla switches again and some fans lose patience



Brian O'Roak considers himself a Tesla fan. Three years ago, the genetics researcher from Oregon was in the arms of a six-week-old baby to deposit a Model 3 bail. When CEO Elon Musk announced at the end of February, the carmaker would finally start shipping More affordable options for Standard and Standard Plus, Model 3, O & Roak initially ordered a Standard Plus and paid $ 3,000 extra for the semi-automatic autopilot Function of the electric manufacturer. Immediately prior to delivery, Tesla vendors convinced him to upgrade to $ 1,000 for a reduced mid-range price. Tesla delivered the car last month.

When Tesla announced late Thursday that it would change its pricing and packaging scheme again and remove the $ 35,000 "affordable" Tesla from its online order forms, O'Roak was upset. "When I heard the announcement, I was pretty frustrated and upset," he says. "I have the feeling that we were lied at the end of February. It does not seem like there is a standard model. "He estimates that he could have saved between $ 2,000 and $ 4,000 if he ordered now and received the desired feature package. His family likes the Model 3 so far ̵

1; the delivery went smoothly, the local service center was impressive and the kids love the fart mode. However, changing prices and feature packages have reduced O'Roak's confidence in Tesla. "We have not even made a car payment," he says.

A Tesla spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the price changes. In response to a customer's Twitter complaint, Musk wrote: "Other car manufacturers are constantly changing prices by varying discounts and rebates according to the buyer's bargaining power. Tesla is transparent and consistent. "

The flexibility of the electric manufacturer has been a blessing and pride for years – proof of how an innovative, data-driven and direct sales approach can change the game of automobiles. "Tesla is very nimble, and they can change their pricing plans to achieve what works best for their customers based on feedback," says Karl Brauer, chief editor of the automotive research publication Kelley Blue Book. "If you see an increased demand for a vehicle or configuration, you can change the package prices. It's good. "

But even for dedicated customers like O & #; Roak – those who believe in the carmaker's mission to slow climate change, save the world and have a damn good time for it – the constant changes that are taking place change Since the introduction of the model S has accelerated, that can be a bit much. Kelley Blue Books brewer suspects that some buyers are hesitant because they see this inconsistency with the pricing and model approach. It seems like there's a new plan every week. "

That is, Tesla discontinued Midrange Model 3 just two days before O'Roak's delivery. The price of the 3 Standard Range Plus, launched at the end of February, increased by $ 500 less than a month later and then increased by another $ 2,000 less than a month later. (However, the price-hike effect comes with some extras: the autopilot, which once cost $ 3,000, is now standard.) Meanwhile, the much-talked-about $ 35,000 standard model 3 introduced as Tesla's starter in 2016 is just market available when customers call or go to a showroom.

And these showrooms? In late February, Musk said Tesla would shut down almost all the brick-and-mortar stores and dismiss the sales force to make only online orders. Less than two weeks later, the automaker returned and increased vehicle prices by 3 percent to prevent the closure of half of the intended stories.

Suffice it to break a spreadsheet. Some online Tesla observers actually have this.

These price changes and strategy changes are not standard for the automotive industry, says Michael Ramsey, an automotive analyst at research firm Gartner. "Every other carmaker in the world does not sell cars to you and me," he says. "They sell cars to dealers who change prices from time to time. But the manufacturer does not set the price, but the dealer sets the price. "That's why Tesla's price changes are really unusual and irritating customers who have already bought their cars for more money," he says.

Tesla fans, a legion of enthusiastic, tech-savvy and very online shoppers, the Reddit Threads and blog comments fill up as they track the progress of soap operas like Musk et al., But shifts are not always bothering, but analysts say that the constant changes may be driving Tesla's growth beyond the tech-savvy and Californian-minded customer base

"I do not think there is any part of the car buying community that is skeptical about Tesla," says Brauer, adding that this skepticism may be due to a cautious attitude towards electric vehicles or to a local charging infrastructure or a tesla. Service Centers Nearby Cars are a serious and long-term investment – the most through Native American is almost 12 years old. It makes sense that buyers strive for stability.

On the one hand, limiting the market to price confusion is not particularly favorable for Tesla, as recent production and delivery figures suggest that demand for Model 3 is waning. On the other hand, Tesla is still a niche business. Last year, 245,000 vehicles were delivered, compared with 2.9 million vehicles sold by automotive giant General Motors. Maybe the musk company does not have to win everyone, not yet.

And it is worth noting that the electrical manufacturer is still breaking new ground with its sales and service approach. More than a decade since the company introduced the Roadster, Tesla is still the only automaker that has released over-the-air updates and gives its customers access to new features (and the ability to purchase features to which they originally wanted to do without) with a few taps. Other manufacturers started just a year ago with limited experiments with this model. "Although Tesla is a sack full of cats and is basically dominated by crises all the time, it's still very cool," says Ramsey.


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