Elon Musk does not play by the automotive industry’s rules but introduces his own whenever he decides he needs to. His Apple-like Tesla stores, which do away with conventional dealers and have caused quite a stir in the U.S., are a very good example – and his latest move is even more impressive.
In a letter addressed to customers who have expressed interest on the new Tesla Roadster, Musk is offering a free Model 3 as soon as they put down a $30,000 deposit, probably to keep them warm as the Roadster will arrive at some point in the next decade.
This is, indeed, quite a shocker, as demand for the Model 3 has been off the scales and the Silicon Valley-based automaker has been struggling to fulfill current orders. Some employees have claimed that this is due to the large part of sub-par components received by suppliers, but Tesla has dismissed those allegations.
In any case, the quality of the Model 3 is a hot issue, as some claim it’s an issue while others have been more than satisfied with it. Which might, or might not, indicate an inconsistency in the automaker’s quality control.
Although it’s too early to talk about the pricing of the Roadster, it surely will be an expensive product as it’s the fastest Tesla ever, with a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in under 2 seconds, which is just jaw-dropping, a top speed in excess of 250 mph (402 km/h) and a maximum range of 620 miles (1,000 km) with a single charge.
This is hypercar territory, thus we expect the Roadster to be priced accordingly. What remains to be seen is the number of people who are willing to put down such a hefty deposit for a car they won’t see any time soon, especially from a company (in)famous for its delays (the entry-level Model 3 won’t arrive until late 2018), and how Tesla will manage to deliver the Model 3 and at the same time not push back existing customers’ orders.
A tall order indeed; but, then again, Musk put his personal Roadster on orbit using his SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, so he evidently believes everything’s possible.
Update: Yes, this was an April fools’ day story