Tesla is Doing Damage Control With Euro Fleet Buyers After Price Cuts Shave Residual Values

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Fleet buyers usually get a better price than individuals because of the large volumes they purchase, but Tesla is offering deeper discounts to some European leasing companies after previous price cuts caused a significant decrease in the values of their vehicles. That, plus expensive repairs, have driven a wedge between the American automaker and its partners on the old continent.

Tesla will give discounts (unofficially, of course) to fleet buyers if vehicles are in stock, and the automaker said it would work to address buyers’ complaints about service and parts availability. Many have accused Tesla of ignoring those problems over the years, and it’s now feeling the pressure of intense Chinese competition.

Tesla ran into similar complaints in the U.S. when owners discovered their recently purchased vehicle values dropped considerably when it cut new prices. Fleet purchases are especially important to the automaker in Europe, where they make up around half of overall auto sales.

The automaker’s actions might help its cause with fleet buyers, but they might not go far enough. Some leasing firms have looked to Chinese automakers after taking a hit from Tesla. Residual values have tumbled so hard that discounts may only represent a portion of the damage done. It’s also worth noting that the discounts have been available since last year, but we’re just now learning about them, thanks to Tesla's lack of PR.

[Images: Tesla, Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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8 of 33 comments
  • Aja8888 Aja8888 on May 21, 2024

    EB, only gear oil changes once every ~100 K miles, I would guess. Unless, of course, the owner doesn't want to bother.

    • See 2 previous
    • Jeff Jeff on May 22, 2024

      Just the opposite Aja8888 stated he change the gear oil at 100k miles. An ICE vehicle has more frequent motor oil changes an EV has no gas engine meaning no motor oil or oil filter to change.

  • Ash78 Ash78 on May 21, 2024

    Now that we're on the topic, I think Apple owes us all a ton of money for bringing out new phones every 1-2 years and devaluing the one I have! /s

    Depreciation has always been a part of car ownership, far more so now if you're getting into EVs. I think it's just the discrete nature of these depreciation events (ie, price cuts) that have everyone wringing their hands.

    I'm too price sensitive -- not necessarily to BUY an EV -- but for the fear of what a truly disruptive battery tech might do to them. Split the differene with a hybrid or PHEV and you've reduced your car's reliance on battery tech as the primary determinant of value.

    • See 2 previous
    • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on May 23, 2024

      Some of us on this site are neutral about EVs and don't feel the need to go on and on about how bad EVs are.

      Said another way, some of us on this site are neutral about EVs and don't feel the need to go on and on about how great EVs are.

      Funny you didn't demand THOSE people to STFU.

  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.
  • Foo Eh. Net present value is in the red, once you add in rapidly rising insurance, late by months basic repairs-and-no availability, battery replacement, future hazmat recycling fees, and even faster depreciation. Wait until litigants win for "too heavy" in accidents... The math is brutal but if you value virtue signalling, some will pay anything.
  • Lynchenstein @EBFlex - All ICEs are zero-emission until you start them up. Except my mom's old 95 Accord, that used to emit oil onto the ground quite a lot.
  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.