SolarCity To End Door-To-Door Sales; Will Expand Online, More Retail Sales At Tesla Stores



Tesla Solar Panels & Powerwall – pick some up from local Tesla retail outlet today!

SolarCity, after being acquired by Tesla last November, is now on a diet undergoing a serious transformation, and is being integrated into Tesla’s more established sales channels.

Tesla Solar Roof

One of the latest developments of SolarCity’s evolution, is a resignation from the door-to-door sales approach.  And apparently, that change can’t come soon enough, within a month according to Tesla.

The focus instead will turn to something the EV maker knows a little something about – on-line sales, and will also include retail sales inside Tesla stores (and by other retailers, including Home Depot and Best Buy).

All this to prioritize preserving cash over increasing the sales of solar systems, and also to lower the costs of acquiring new customers.

Around 1,000 people are now employed in door-to-door sales model, and at least part of them will get the opportunity to continue work in other areas.  Reuters says of the changes:

“The move comes at a time when growth in sales of residential solar systems has slowed in key states, including California, where Tesla is based. Industry watchers say consumers in more mature solar markets have tired of the industry’s aggressive sales tactics.

“We believe this decision reflects what most of our prospective customers prefer, and will result in a better experience for them,” a Tesla spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Tesla has built its luxury electric car brand on exclusivity, whereas SolarCity marketed its systems to a wide range of consumers mainly by promising cost savings.”

source: Reuters

Category: Tesla

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8 responses to "SolarCity To End Door-To-Door Sales; Will Expand Online, More Retail Sales At Tesla Stores"
  1. Brandon says:

    Hey I thought it was supposed to be in April that Tesla is revealing the pricing on their solar shingles.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Tesla is having problems with some its solar shingles, and is delaying the roll out of two of its four solar shingle products. No word yet on whether the timeline for the Model 3 roll out will suffer a similar fate. I hope not.

      1. Brandon says:

        If the solar shingles are delayed because of reliability issues as you say, I’m not totally surprised, because solar shingles are challenging that way. Many brands of solar shingles have had issues already with performance.

    2. Alan says:

      Yeah, I have been waiting for this news also, we were supposed to be able to order in April ?

      Not heard anything regarding pricing or module efficiency ?

      Maybe they will announce something on Wed when they have their Q1 results announcement ?

  2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I’m glad to see that Tesla is changing SolarCity’s failing business model to something which hopefully will be more successful. As the adage goes: One definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Good to see Tesla isn’t doing that!

  3. Doggydogworld says:

    I said since day one Tesla acquired SolarCity to restructure it behind closed doors. Dramatic downsizing as a public company would have damaged Musk’s reputation as an infallible wunderkind and, by extension, damaged Tesla’s credibility.

    SCTY had 17k employees a year ago. I expect this to be 3-4k a year from now.

  4. John says:

    Maybe the slowing sales is because of the fact that Solar City basically becomes a new power company for it’s customers. Solar City owns the equipment (panels, inverter, etc), the customer merely leases the system. They only average about 10-15% savings per month for customers here in Nevada, and at the end of the 20 year lease they say they will sell the system back to the customer for “fair market value.” Yet they don’t reveal that “fair market value” cost at the time of the lease contract so who knows how much that will be to purchase a 20-year old antiquated system? Oh, and they also pocket all the gov’t tax credits because they own the system, not the customer. Honestly, the only 2 advantages of leasing from Solar City are 1) No out of pocket expense and 2) A fixed, locked in power rate.

    I tip my hat to Solar City because they’ve managed to capitalize on this generations “I want it now” mentality. It’s the same generation that fails to sharpen it’s pencils and do simple math and realize that BUYING (not leasing) a solar system is the only way it makes financial sense.

  5. MTN Ranger says:

    I would probably have looked at Solar City. Unfortunately, they are illegal in my state.