Published on December 9th, 2018 |
by Paul Fosse
December 9th, 2018 by Paul Fosse
It seems like every week there is a new deadline given by Tesla. I’ve only had a couple of marketing courses, but I seem to remember a huge problem in sales is people are 99% ready to buy, but are just not quite ready to pull the trigger. If you give them a reason to decide, some will decide to buy, some will decide to wait, but you will at least get some of the people off the fence to pay the bills.
Last week, it was the deadline to order by November 30th to get delivery in 2018. This week, it is to order by Monday, December 10th, with a referral code to get free Supercharging for 6 months (you can use mine or someone else’s if you prefer — they all give the buyer the same benefits). If you wait, there are 3 disadvantages:
- They might not offer a referral award till the first of the year.
- If they do offer an award right away on December 11, it might be less generous, since they are starting to focus on building cars for international deliveries and may just depend on the fear of missing out on the $7,500 tax credit to drive sales in the United States. Previous referral awards have been both more generous (free lifetime Supercharging plus a $1,000 credit toward the purchase of the vehicle) and less generous ($100 Supercharging credit).
- It is harder to find the car you want available for delivery by December 31, which will make it more difficult for you to be eligible for the $7,500 tax credit.
In the next few sections, I’ll cover what has changed in the last week as far as the tax credit and Tesla Model 3 availability.
Tax Credit Update
Although there are several proposals in Congress to enhance or extend the federal EV tax credit, there are also proposals to kill it and the news this week is that the Trump administration, prompted in part by the recently announced GM plant closures, seeks to end all subsidies for plug-in electric vehicles. They stated they wanted to end it in 2020 or 2021, but end of the year lame duck Congresses are quite unpredictable. So, instead of being cut in half next year (as is the current law), there is some chance the EV tax credit will be eliminated for 2019.
Tesla Model 3 Availability Update
Checking the Tesla.com website on December 8th shows a mix of good and bad news. The bad news if you are in the eastern United States: your chance to order a new Mid Range or All Wheel Drive Model 3 for 2018 delivery has passed. You choices are more limited than what I wrote about a month ago:
- Order a Performance Model 3 now.
- Order a Model 3 for delivery at the Fremont Delivery Center.
- Call the local Tesla sales office and inquire about inventory and demo cars for sale.
It is likely that you will have to compromise on your option and color choices if you live in the eastern United States and want to get a Model 3 other than a Performance model. The news for the people in the rest of the US is good. All Model 3s are still available for order for December delivery! Those in the west might have a week or so to order, but this is likely the last call for those in the central United States.
$35,000 Car Update
The news for those waiting for the $35,000 car wasn’t good this week. I noticed three worrying things.
First, the previously mentioned attack on the EV tax credit isn’t good news.
Second, the European Model 3 introduction and its warm reception there, which we wrote about here and here, show that Tesla is focusing on international sales of the Model 3 after the first of the year. In addition, there are mixed messages on the US–China trade and tariff war, but there is some chance that China will reduce or eliminate the tariff for Tesla soon. Furthermore, there was news this week from the mayor of Shanghai (in the same article) that the Gigafactory 3 may be up and doing some final assembly of Model 3s in 2019. We know that domestic demand for the Mid Range, Long Range, All Wheel Drive and Performance models will slacken a bit after the first of the year when the EV tax credit is reduced, but if Tesla can keep its factories busy selling the more expensive cars into Europe and China, it may delay the $35,000 car further.
Third, there are reports that Elon Musk recently sent an email to employees that it now costs $38,000 to build the $35,000 car.
Fourth, the Tesla.com website usually reduces the delivery estimate for the standard range battery by one month every month on the first of the month (if no delay has been announced). But on December 1st (and today) the site still lists “Standard Battery available in 4–6 months,” the same as it has listed since November 1.
All of these signs point to a further delay in the $35,000 (or a reduction in the EV tax credit available to buyers). So, if you are holding out for that version of the car, this might be a good time to reconsider.
Whether you have been waiting for close to 3 years for a Model 3 or just heard about the car recently, I’ve tried explain how the ending of the referral program, the reduction of the tax credit, and the Tesla’s success in launching the Model 3 internationally all make this a very good time to order a Model 3. Everyone’s situation is unique, but especially for those in the Eastern and Central states of the US, this might be your last chance to get the car you want at the best price.
You can use my Tesla referral link to get 6 months free Supercharging on a Model S, Model X, or Model 3. Here’s the code: https://ts.la/paul92237
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