The announcement of the $35,000 Model 3 arrived with some major drawbacks. In order to achieve the $35,000 price point for the Model 3, Tesla has decided to shift towards online sales. To do so, a large portion of Tesla showrooms will come to a close. As a result, Tesla owners from across the globe have sprung up in order to fill in the gaps.
Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected.
Some Tesla showrooms in higher traffic areas will remain opened but a majority will exclusively seek online sales. Tesla will offer little to no test drive locations and will instead rely on their return policy. If you purchase a Tesla without a test drive, you will be able to return it for a full refund within 7 days so long as you have driven less than 1,000 miles.
Over the next few months, we will be winding down many of our stores, with a small number of stores in high-traffic locations remaining as galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers.
A post made on M3OC by its founder, Trevor Page, showcased Tesla owners’ commitment towards the auto manufacturer. Through the power of the internet, potential Tesla buyers can now reach out to local Tesla owners for private test drives.
Given that Tesla will be closing most of their stores over time I think it’s time we offer new potential buyers the opportunity to reach out in this thread to find a local owner that is willing to help them with test drives or rides.
Many owners have already shown interest in helping potential customers choose their next car despite there being no real incentive to do so. Tesla owners are simply acting out of the kindness of their hearts and love for the brand at a much needed time.
A shift towards online sales sounds great in theory, but many onlookers think this current decision could negatively impact sales in the long term. It’s one thing to sell online to a Tesla enthusiast and another to the mass market. Many skeptical of the brand will instantly be turned off without the ability to tire kick. While the current network of Tesla owners are helping to ease new customers during this online transition, I’m sure many will still feel somewhat apprehensive being forced to purchase a car this way.
In a leaked email sent by Elon Musk last year, he stated that 78% of Tesla Model 3 sales were done online and 82% of customers made their purchase without ever taking a test drive in 2018.
At this time, We will just have to wait and see what Tesla has in store and how they will continue to disrupt the industry. For now, this small group of Tesla owners are doing their best to increase sales and fill in the gap due to widespread store closures. Who knows, maybe this is the right route to take. Maybe with stores closing, Tesla might bring back their referral program to incentivize more owners to jump on board.