Update: We’ve updated the post with confirmation that Tesla will be offering employees early access to Model 3 purchases but will not be offering employee discounts.
A Tesla source has informed us that at least a few employees have been told that they will have first dibs on Model 3 reservations before the general public get access on March 31st. A guess would put this near the March 23-25th timeframe for employees. It isn’t clear if all employees would be eligible for the early reservations.
Currently, Tesla employees only get discounts on pre-owned and floor model Model Ses and will eventually on Xes as well – just like customers. And, just like for customers, Tesla doesn’t offer any kind of discount to its new vehicles other than through its referral program, which currently offers $1,200 credit for the installation of a charging station.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is fairly strict about the “no-discount/no-preferential treatment” rule. When Tesla launched the Model S in 2012, Musk’s cousin and CEO of SolarCity Lyndon Rive asked if Musk could hook him up with a new all-electric sedan, and Musk response was simply a link to Tesla’s online design studio to order the car online like anybody else. Musk has also touted that he bought his Model S like everyone else.
A person with knowledge of the matter has told us that “Tesla doesn’t offer Employee Discounts” but buying advantages could arrive in the form of pre-tax salary.
Considering the Model 3 is the first car most of Tesla’s employees can afford, it makes sense that they would get some sort of early access, but it also has an indirect impact on the cost. The $7500 Federal tax credit for electric vehicles is capped at 200,000 units sold in the US per manufacturer and Tesla is expected to hit its limit in 2018, which means that an early reservation can help ensure the availability of the full tax credit for your vehicle.
Tesla currently has about 15,000 employees around the world and most are located in the US.
Featured image: screenshot of Tesla’s design studio from 60 minutes – potential covered Model 3 clay model circled.