Some brands are well known for their customer loyalty. Subaru customers, for instance, are famously devoted and, according to Autoline host Sean McElroy (forward to the 3:31-minute mark) who cites a report from Experian Automotive, 72.1 percent return to that brand when it's time to get a new vehicle. That's just high enough to edge out Ford, who sees 72 percent of its customers return to the Blue Oval. Despite these high customer retention numbers, they don't have anything on the industry leader in this metric. Tesla beats them all and it's not even close.
McElroy says, "Over 80 percent of people who buy a Tesla, go back and buy another one." While it's obvious there's is a great advantage to having so many owners return to the big electric T — the precise figure is 80.5 percent — McElroy points out that, for traditional companies, at least, there is another reason to celebrate this kind of loyalty: advertising expense. To get new customers, the established automakers spend a lot of money on ads and other things to convince consumers to darken their doorways.
The California automaker famously doesn't buy ads. You won't see a Model X during half-time of the Superbowl, for instance. At least, not on Tesla's dime. Instead, they rely on giving customers a positive experience. There are no intense sales pitches from staff in their stores. For many issues, Tesla service can come to the customer rather than the other way around. And then there are the vehicles.
Not only do Tesla owners enjoy the experience of an electric drivetrain, but the software in the cars is constantly improved, sometimes dramatically. For free. This is something that company CEO Elon Musk contends is responsible for the value retention of its vehicles. Said he on Twitter recently (embedded below) "Continuous, free over-the-air software updates is a big part of why a Tesla retains so much value over time."
Of course, being a human endeavor, the California automaker is not perfect, but as these numbers show, it's definitely doing something right.
True, but this will improve dramatically over next several months & all Tesla cars ever produced (except early Roadsters) will get improvements for free. Continuous, free over-the-air software updates is a big part of why a Tesla retains so much value over time.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 17, 2018
Source: Autoline via YouTube