It is so rare that it deserves to be underlined.
Elon Musk and Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report never retreat in the face of adversity. The electric vehicle (EV) maker, for example, has made two price hikes on its cars since the start of the year as similar moves by rivals have been met with an outcry from consumers.
However, after a story by TheStreet reporting that electric vehicle maker Tesla had implemented an ingenious trick to entice Tesla car customers to pay more, the company has backtracked. As of time of writing, the trick in question is no longer in place.
In an article published on March 25 entitled ‘Tesla and Musk Use Ingenious Trick to Get Buyers to Pay More’, we wrote that Tesla had implemented a clever mechanism allowing Tesla customers to significantly shorten the waiting time for their new vehicle.
To shorten delivery times, customers had to add the company’s premium full-self-driving assistance system at a cost of $12,000.
When they chose the FSD option, the delivery time reduces from June to August 2022 to May to July 2022 for the Model 3, for example.
For the Model Y SUV, the delivery time was shortened to between June and September 2022 compared with October 2022 to January 2023.
No Longer Possible to Shorten Tesla Delivery Times
The delivery period could be shortened to a maximum of seven months. Some smart buyers managed to get around the trick. Since the FSD capability is just software as opposed to a physical piece that must be installed, some customers ordered the driver assistance system option, and then canceled it just before the vehicle’s (shortened) delivery date.
To be sure: The FSD feature enables Tesla cars to execute maneuvers on their own, but it does not make these vehicles autonomous, Tesla warns and reiterates. “The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous,” the company has said.
The trick no longer exists. From now on, when you order for example a Tesla Model 3 even by adding the FSD Capability, the delivery date remains between June and August 2022 and no longer from May to June as TheStreet had observed and revealed.
When the Model Y SUV, when you place an order now the delivery date from October 2022 to January 2023 no longer moves with or without FSD.
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Tesla does not give an explanation.
Faced with the imbalance between demand and supply for electric vehicles and full order books, automotive groups are trying to find a way to produce more despite disruption of supply chains and the surge in raw materials in order to satisfy EV buyers.
Tesla is by far the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles with soon four factories — Fremont in California, Shanghai, Berlin in Germany and soon Austin in Texas –.
Customer Complaints About Tesla
TheStreet has received various testimonials from Tesla customers complaining about the trick. Chris Roat, for example, tells TheStreet that he and his wife, Sue Wang, had originally included FSD on a Model Y order placed on January 13.
“We ordered it in January and got a delivery date of Oct/Nov — so it wasn’t like we added FSD for an early delivery! Interestingly, our delivery date recently got bumped earlier to Mar/Apr (meaning: right now!),” he said.
Roat shared with TheStreet text messages they had with a Tesla representative. In a message sent on March 16, the representative asked them if they could take delivery of their vehicle in March.
“Tesla Update – We currently plan to build and deliver your Model Y in March. Please reply MARCH if you are ready for delivery this month and we will contact you about scheduling your delivery once your Model Y is built,” Tesla representative wrote. ” Please reply DELAY if you cannot take delivery this month and we will reach back out at a later time.”
They answered “March.”
“We scrambled to sell some stock, move money between accounts, and get enough money ready to take a delivery,” Roat told TheStret.
But, “in talking with a Tesla agent, we dropped FSD. For us, the decision was solely based on value vs cost — we felt we’d only use 1 or 2 features, and it wasn’t worth the price tag (of $10k, at the time of our order),” Roat said.
“Because changes could incur delays, I specifically asked if our delivery date would change. I was told no, since it was only a software change we requested. But then, a few days later, our delivery got pushed back to June/July.”
Their delivery date changed immediately. Roat and his wife will now take possession of their vehicle between June 17 and July 29, according to a latest update from Tesla viewed by TheStreet.