Musk Tweets Tesla Trying To Trim Car Buying To A Tap


Says returns should be even simpler

It seems Tesla is discovering that selling 6,000 vehicles a week this year is quite a bit different from selling 1,000 over that same 7-day period last year. Yeah, the whole thing of scaling up of manufacturing capability is obviously a big change, but here we’re talking about the simple act of handing completed vehicles over to their new owners.  Just like the electric automaker is working to increase and streamline its manufacturing process, so too it is trying to get a handle on serving a huge increase of customers at the store level.

The bottleneck here, apparently, has to do with contracts. Some customers are having to hang out in stores while waiting for old-fashioned contracts to be issued and dealt with. To combat this Tesla is trying to get rid of this step altogether, reducing the red tape part of the handover process to just a tap on a screen. Unhappy and want to return it? That too should be far more simple than the current process.

We learned this from the very top of the company’s corporate structure when CEO Elon Musk tweeted out a response summarizing the effort to the family member of a frustrated car buyer. It seems the Model X buyer was experiencing a long wait at the Tesla store and her brother-in-law got involved, tweeting out an alert of the issue to Musk.

Responding rather quickly, Musk tweeted out(embedded below) that the company was trying to eliminate the contracts altogether, simplifying the process to “tap here & you get your car.” He also added, “Then, if you don’t like it for any reason, just return it like any other product.”

This makes sense to us. Since Tesla customers already handle the majority of the red tape online, the handover part should just be a matter of identity verification and, voilà, you’re introduced to your awesome new vehicle. Returns, now a potentially dragged out process, should be like returning anything at the retail level: a simple showing of a receipt and a handing over of the unwanted merchandise.

While any coming change is too late to help this particular customer — going by the tweet timestamps, she may have been there for four hours or so — hopefully, they can be implemented sooner than later. The volume of cars being produced by the company’s Fremont facility is still increasing and it’s not nice to keep customers waiting additional hours in a store after they’ve already waited as long as two years for their cars to be built. Time is, as they say, of the essence.


Source: Twitter via Teslarati

Categories: Tesla

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20 Comments on "Musk Tweets Tesla Trying To Trim Car Buying To A Tap"

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I will happily wait for the Tesla Model Y, under any (non-Zombie Apocalypse) circumstances, no matter how long the line, production backlog, “cannot connect to server” notice, reshuffling of paperwork, power outages, broken water cooler, hiccups, stubbed toe…

There is no crying in Tesla Delivery, Returns, or Service!

Exercising patience is a virtue!

What’s Tesla’s return policy? I did a quick check of their site and did not fine one.

He was speaking in the future tense.

I understand, but still somewhat expected there may be something given Elon’s support for the idea of just returning the car if you don’t like it for any reason. From what understand they don’t do that now, instead, they work to fix any issues, but don’t allow a full return outside of those jurisdictions that may have lemon or cooling off period laws in place.

I agree I am inrerested in what they have in mind, especially if the vehicle has already been registeted. The person returning would be elligible for federal credits (until phased out) as well as local credits or rebates. Subsequent owners would not. I am not saying Tesla could not figure out something fair and efficient. Even with no tax credits involved if the car was already registered Tesla would then be taking back a used car that has depreciated to some degree to the next buyer. I am interested in how they go about making that posdible.

Tesla used to offer a 30 return policy on their X leases.

They cancelled it shortly after launch.

I’m just guessing, but it’s probably dependent on location of sale. State by state, country by country.

It would be great to simplify the process. Yet this is just another area Tesla is going to have live with the system. Normally the paperwork has nothing to do with the dealer(Tesla in this case). It’s bank, state, local, title, etc… documentation. Everyone wants their own document. You purchase from the dealer, but that paperwork goes to a lot of different businesses. A single signature sounds like a great idea until you find your single signature on something you didn’t review.

Brilliant on many levels…When you buy vehicles you have to sign contracts, that can include federal, state and even local ones, they’re often to protect YOU the BUYER from a notoriously predatory industry…Sounds like you’re entering a rental agreement at the time of delivery and you will later need to sign those contracts on your own time or return it…This means far less time spent by the Tesla sales staff yet I’m sure they’ll be some Tesla assistance provided if asked…

Yes sales is also a tedious process and ramping from 1,000 / week to 6,000 / week is not an easy task. Still for the company that managed to product 6,000 / week, selling should be somewhat easier task.

Hope they achieve it soon.

Not mentioned in the article is sometimes there is a delay in getting the purchase contract which occurs in the weeks before delivery. You need this contract to give to your bank or credit union to get a loan.

My delivery process in May only took about ten minutes. You can’t beat that.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

When we bought a $120K piece of equipment, there was no damn contract.
We got a loan from the bank, it funded in our account, we paid for it and loaded it in the truck with shipping insurance.

Why the hell does it take so damn long to buy a friggin Car!!!!

50% of US citizens have poor credit. The banks are just trying to cover their a$$. Insurance on the vehicle, gap insurance, gotta check your income to see if you can repay the loan… Everybody trying to cover every angle to prevent lawsuits later. Or in the case of a lawsuit, you have already signed over all your rights.

How long did the bank loan take? I feel like you’re really misrepresenting the complexity of getting a bank loan. A car purchase is significantly less of a hassle than that.

We purchased a used car from a dealer and paid cash (check). It still took three hours.

Once Tesla cars are capable of full autonomy, they can “DELIVER THEMSELVES” to customers. 👍‬

That may have been part of the impetus for autonomy!

Tesla delivered ~10k US cars in December 2016. Last month they did a bit over 11k. July should be 18-19k (we’ll see). That’s a big jump in one month, but not even twice as many as 19 months ago. They added a lot of delivery centers and personnel since then to prepare for Model 3, which they expected to deliver in these volumes 6 months ago

The store near me only gets a trickle of 3s. I can’t figure out what’s going on and the sales lady had no idea when the pace would pick up.

Once again, instead of a focus on boring blocking and tackling, we get Musktweets of a glorious future.

Looks like 5 Tesla stores in CA (why are three right next to each other, it’s not MacDonald’s). If that’s right, and all sales were in CA, that’s 1000 deliveries per store per week, or 200 per day. No wonder they need a quicker process.
But looking across the whole USA there are lots of Tesla stores. So even in that 5 stores was really 50, then that’s about 20 per day, still quite a lot.
Once they go international that quantity will be spread out even thinner, so really it shouldn’t be that big a problem. Getting 7,000 vehicles transported out of the factory sound like a bigger logistics issue to be honest. If a transport can take 6 cars, that’s 166 transports per day, or about 7 per hour!

Highly questionable opening paragraph. I don’t believe for a second that Tesla is just now learning that scaling from 1k cars/week to 6k cars/week is a non-trivial challenge.

And if, by some astounding set of circumstances, Tesla was blind to this painfully obvious fact until now, then they’re woefully unprepared to be in the car business.

A much more accurate comment would have been to say they’re continuing to deal with the complexities and challenges of scaling up production.