Tesla Flings Incentives, Builds Volunteer Army in End-of-Quarter Push

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla flings incentives builds volunteer army in end of quarter push

Tesla Motors is currently offering up a bevy of incentives, even a few it once discontinued, in order to maximize deliveries before the end of the quarter. The brand has also reached out to enthusiastic owners who may want to help during its time of need, creating a weird sort of volunteer army for itself.

The company is desperate to prove to investors that Model 3 volume is making meaningful headway before its next shareholders meeting. As you’ll recall, the Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation after the Securities and Exchange Commission began a civil probe into Elon Musk’s August tweet about possibly taking Tesla private. The automaker also fired more than 3,000 employes over the summer and lost several important executives. It’s been a rough year for the brand, which makes having a good quarter all the more important.

While a significant portion of that battle is being waged at the factory, helped by simplified paint options and new car carriers, Tesla thinks it can move enough extra metal at its delivery centers to make up some of the difference.

Musk was at the automaker’s delivery hub in Fremont, California, on Saturday, Bloomberg reports, while Tesla fans picked up slack at other delivery centers. The company is offering $100 credits toward charging, and even free charging, in some cases. While the brand officially ended free Supercharger access, based on its referral program, Elon Musk said he would extend it through September.

The outlet reported that Tesla’s sales staff are authorized to offer 1 year of free Supercharging to those buying non-performance Model 3 inventory vehicles if they’ve purchased it with a referral code and take delivery by the end of the month. However, unlimited charging is only available to those purchasing the Model S, Model X, or the dual-motor Model 3.

Earlier this month, Tesla held an event in which it encouraged customers to come in and nab same-day deliveries with inventory Model 3s, rather than wait months for a custom order. It’s all part of a big push to cull the company’s sizable backlog and finalize as many sales before the quarter wraps.

From Bloomberg:

Musk alluded to the pressure the company is under in an email to employees published as a blog post on Sept. 7. Tesla “is about to have the most amazing quarter in our history, building and delivering more than twice as many cars as we did last quarter,” he wrote. “For a while, there will be a lot of fuss and noise in the media. Just ignore them.”

In the August letter to shareholders, Musk said the automaker expects to become both sustainably profitable and cash-flow positive in the second half of 2018 for the first time in its 15-year history.

Tesla delivered 18,449 Model 3s in the second quarter, according to the shareholder letter, and said in July that 11,166 were in transit to customers. Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino, who has a sell rating on the stock, estimates third-quarter Model 3 deliveries of about 52,000.

While Tesla’s volunteers cannot directly help with those sales, the automaker tapped them to assist shoppers with any questions they might have. Omar Sultan, a Model S driver who intends to get his son a Model 3 and is already married to a women that drives a Model X, recently lent a hand at the Tesla store in Rocklin, California. “We’re complementary to the Tesla employees,” he said. “A lot of people getting the Model 3 are buying an electric car for the first time, and they have a lot of questions about charging that we’re happy to answer.”

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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  • Civicjohn Civicjohn on Sep 26, 2018

    That’s it! Blunts at every SC station, they can book some revenue from those who forgot where they parked, dude, it’s like so hard to remember...

  • Eliyahu Eliyahu on Sep 26, 2018

    Fleet sales to Uber will save Tesla, no blunts required.

  • Kwik_Shift Manuals are great theft deterrents though. 😉Sad when they're disappearing from many makes.
  • Arthur Dailey Confession here. 2 of the previous generation Rogues in our family over the past 5 years. Saw some cost cutting between the 1st and the 2nd one. On the 'new' one there are no cubbies on the back of the front seats, the ignition is not lit, and there is a marked difference in the front seats. The first Rogue has the most comfortable seats I have experienced since the heyday of the PLCs. Despite sciatica could drive that Rogue for hours with no issues. The seats on the 2nd Rogue create discomfort after 30 minutes. And everyone in the family has noticed this.The first Rogue drove seamlessly. Quiet and comfortable on the highway. On both we have averaged just over 29 mpg. The 2nd Rogue needs to be warmed up and driven slowly if left out overnight in minus 30 (f) or -0 (c) weather, otherwise the engine just revs and the speed does not seem to increase. The dealer has been asked to look at this multiple times but each time they claim that there is no issue. It also has the worst Bluetooth interface I have experienced. Otherwise, based on size, cost, the Rogues were chosen over Toyota/Honda. Both were/are leased so not concerned about long term values/reliability. And the 'new' Rogue came standard with heated seats and blind spot warning, which the Toyota/Honda did not without going up a couple of packages.However we should have bought out the first Rogue when the lease ended. During the height of the pandemic, it could have easily been flipped for close to double the buyout cost.
  • AKHusky L2 charger at home. My wife’s workplace has a couple of chargers and she is able to use one about half the time. Our town also has a number of free chargers and I use those occasionally if I’m going to be parked in that vicinity for at least an hour anyway.
  • Jkross22 That's a great looking shifter. Reminds me of the old school late 70s BMW manual - BTW TTAC, that would be a cool article to run - Best looking shifters in the last 30 years. My vote:Audi gated shifter from the R8. Should've offered that on every RS model and let people special order.
  • Ajla Maybe they should not have released several special edition Broncos when they couldn't even get regular trim orders out within a year?I'm not sure who is in charge of Ford's production but they deserve to be very fired.