By on September 26, 2018

tesla model 3

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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37 Comments on “Tesla Flings Incentives, Builds Volunteer Army in End-of-Quarter Push...”

  • avatar

    Heck, when I was a kid I was in the Kiss Army. Now we have the Tesla Army. Time marches on.

    Seriously, it speaks to Tesla’s brand when Tesla owners are willing to take their own time to sell cars.

  • avatar

    Some context here. At the current rate of sustainable production Tesla model 3 is ranked #5 in auto sales, and if you include trucks #7. That’s very impressive. The leap from around 18,000 to 51,000 is late, but there it is.. Also when you include the sales of S and X models, they’re pushing roughly 250,000 sales/year.

    Also, the recent install in Australia of a massive power grid energy storage/ ballast unit has been so successful that more are in the pipeline to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

    There is also a trend for traditional energy companies towards green installations – in Vermont this for profit experiment is successful, and uses Tesla power walls as part of the infrastructure. What’s interesting here is that while reactionary politics uses global warming denial for fun and profit, energy companies, based on profit motives and accurate assessments, see the writing on the wall. And on that wall are Tesla storage battery systems.

    Tesla is an energy company, as much as it is a car company. They’ve been through rough times,and Musk should really STFU, but I wouldn’t bet against them.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Fake news!

      TTAC is that TSLA is producing bad cars that nobody wants, and pushing them into the ocean just to raise the stock price as part of Musk’s exit strategy.

      • 0 avatar
        dash riprock

        “Fake news!

        TTAC is that TSLA is producing bad cars that nobody wants,”

        More fake news!

        Every Tesla built is already sold!

        Tesla, never ever, employs sales incentives.

        Tesla will achieve 5,000/week production of Model 3’s by end of Q4 2017

        The one thing people should have absolutely zero doubt about is model 3 production at 10,000 by Q4 2018

        Funding secured

        • 0 avatar
          dash riprock

          Thai guy is a Pedo!

          Thai guy must be a Pedo or he would have sued!

          Auto body shops are the cause of the repair delays!

          There are no car transporters!

          and to steal someone else’s tweet….

          “Elon Says”
          ‏ @ElonBachman
          6h6 hours ago

          Musk: [makes breathtakingly stupid claim]

          Shorts: “Gosh, that looks like a breathtakingly stupid claim”

          Fanboys: “Shorts are criminal idiots. How can u doubt Elon.”

          Musk [later]: “That was a breathtakingly stupid thing to do. Lulz!”

          Fanboys: “Elon we ❤️ you!”

      • 0 avatar

        I’m no Tesla fanboy, but I can appreciate that Elon is doing the impossible, and I’m jealous.

        But still even if you hate him, according to, the Tesla Model 3 outsold all other midsize luxury sedans combined in August 2018. That is amazing. I can’t think of any other new car introduction that outsold every other car in its class, combined.

        Maybe it is pent up demand, and really it prolly is. But damn, thats cool how they crushed the whole class in sales.


    • 0 avatar

      Are you familiar with the term pent up demand? Once those people who pre-ordered finally get their vehicles the sales of the Model 3 will fall off a cliff.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        @Scottdude, this is a legitimate concern I am afraid.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @Scoutdude: That really hasn’t happened with the Model S or X. There are new customers all the time.

        The phenomenon you describe happens with fad cars.

        • 0 avatar

          …and when the sales drop, they’ll introduce a leasing program. Then the sales will crank up again.

        • 0 avatar

          @SCE, now let’s be accurate, in the 2017 Q4 earnings call and the 2018 Q1 call, EM stated emphatically that they wouldn’t build more than 120K S/X in 2018, of which they are right on track to do. If you think I am misstating the case, feel free to Google the transcript of either or both of these calls. Please point me to those additional sales, July 2018 was off 17% in comparison to July 2017, but I anticipate basically what EM said. I should believe him, right? Funding secured, right?

          If you really think that there are still 400k Model 3 deposit holders that want to pay $50k+ with no tax credit available in the US, then you too need to put down the Kool-aid.

          There was a question regarding moving S/X to the new 2170 (?) Model 3 li-ion cell and EM specifically said that won’t happen this year. S/X are very dated vehicles at this point in time, plenty of pre-owned loaners available, old battery chemistry, and the numbers presented on the earnings call seem to actually match what was said. S/X is way late to the party to upgrade the interior, but they’ve also got to release the Model Y prototype to gather some deposit $$, and the Semi seems to be stuck in neutral. Let’s not forget the pickup, which according to one tweet was EM’s favorite project.

          Have to have facilities to build these things.

          edit: mcs, writing lease paper is not as good as a cash transaction, I agree that is probably next but that’s why all the financial execs have departed.

        • 0 avatar

          But the S and X weren’t pre-ordered much at all, then delayed and delayed again ect. Sure there will be new buyers in the market but the fact is they aren’t going to sell 250k per year in a shrinking car market. I expect within a few months of getting rid of the back log 10k units per month will be a great month. We’ll see.

          Plus the 3 is a bit of a fad car.

    • 0 avatar

      probert claims 250,000/yr. not this year only 84,000 sales with only 4 months left. no way no how.

  • avatar

    I know EM has got everything figured out, but if someone happens to have an accident, perhaps using AutoPilot, the “volunteer”, along with Tesla, will occupy the first lines on the lawsuit filings.

    Call me paranoid, but if a company is willing to enlist a “happy customer” to facilitate the delivery of a vehicle, they better have a stack of state-specific “hold-harmless” indemnification documents for all participants to have signed and notarized.

    I get the love, but you can get any semi-competent ambulance-chasing lawyer to take this on.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’m not really sure what you’re talking about.

      Autopilot is an SAE Level 2 system. Be definition, it doesn’t even have to work since Level 2 requires driver vigilance at all times. This is why every lawsuit related to Level 2 autonomy will go nowhere.

      • 0 avatar

        …says the driver with an orange wedged in his steering wheel. The latest gadget was a “smartphone holder”. I don’t care if it’s a SAE standard, an ISO standard, or an intergalactic standard.

        “driver vigilance”? I know, everyone is supposed to self-report. I’m not really sure what you’re talking about. If fanboys are in the loop of customer delivery, time will tell if I’m overreacting. Just because a standard exists has no bearing on deep pockets getting hauled into court.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          What do fan boys delivering cars have to do with anything?

          The “self-reporting” you mention is a button the driver has to push, agreeing to remain vigilant. Oranges or not, failure to press the brake pedal or change the position of the steering wheel just before impact are pretty damning evidence of a checked-out driver.

          • 0 avatar

            so said the woman who spilled a cup of hot McDonalds coffee in her lap.

            The self-reporting I mention is that for every fix there is a workaround, you seem to disagree, that’s cool.

            You really think that having “owner ambassadors” delivering cars has no relevance to the title of this thread “…Builds Volunteer Army in End-Of-Quarter Push”? I guess I misread that part.

        • 0 avatar
          Master Baiter

          “so said the woman who spilled a cup of hot McDonalds coffee in her lap.”

          I missed the part where McDonald’s went bankrupt.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah you did because she got her $$ and life is good.

            MzcDonalds has a bit of coin, if you think volunteer workers are good part-time employees, I can’t sway you nor do I care to. I’ll just sit back and watch this debacle.

    • 0 avatar

      “I know EM has got everything figured out”

      LOL. Maybe he thinks so at around 4.20…

  • avatar

    The Luddites bemoan electrification every bit as much as they adore carcinogenic fossil-fuel pollution in the world’s atmosphere; they cannot seem to grasp why more people don’t remain on the climate-denial preacherman’s wagon.

    Heckfire, all them ol’ re-tahred fellers ’round the pickle barrels at them countryfried stores – got that all figgered out, “jist common sainse!”

    • 0 avatar

      @vehic1, hang on for a sec while I finish my cigarette.

      If your reference to “The Luddites” is to cast a net around the 99% of ICE vehicle drivers, you may have snared the owners of the restaurant where you wash dishes. Far be it from me to understand why all of these idiots are out there killing the planet minute by minute. I told my kids not to bother going to college, as the world they know now will be gone next week unless we can figure out how to stop the madness.

      As to your failed attempt to speak Southern, allow me to give you a better reference:

  • avatar

    Sounds more like a going out of business sale. Come and get them while you still can, once they are gone they are gone…but wait there is more, if you come on down today we will throw in a full tank of fuel and Tru-Coat at dealer cost.

  • avatar

    Give them a brake.If their customers are willing to do that,great.Who cares.A US car with futuristic technology built in the US that finally starts to sell.Fine by me.May they prosper.

  • avatar

    Tesla’s balance sheet says its survival depends on a merger or acquisition. The vultures are circling and when crusty ol’ Warren Buffet weighs in, you’ll know the end is near.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “However, unlimited charging is only available to those purchasing the Model S, Model X, or the dual-motor Model 3.”

    I wouldn’t be swayed by an incentive that could be pulled back any time, without warning.

  • avatar

    I hope those volunteers get at least a couple Tesla-provided blunts to pass around in exchange for their time.

  • avatar

    Forget electricity, TTAC is fueled by Tesla brand Haterade™

    Gotta pump some every day!

  • avatar

    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…

  • avatar

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

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