Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today that the automaker is releasing its fleet vehicles for sale as part of its end-of-the-year push to help deliveries before its federal tax credit for electric vehicles start to phase out.
As we exclusively reported on the Electrek podcast yesterday, Tesla had yet to release all its fleet vehicles as it still had some inventory vehicles available, but sources said that the company was considering to do it in the coming days.
It’s something that the automaker generally does in the last few weeks of a quarter to boost sales and renew its fleet.
Sure enough, Musk announced on Twitter today that the automaker is “releasing all vehicles for sale” in order to help deliveries where buyers can’t get new cars by the end of the year:
Tesla is releasing all vehicles for sale today where original customer can’t take delivery before end of year.
Reminder to US buyers that $7500 tax credit drops in half in 2 weeks. Order online https://t.co/46TXqRrsdr or visit stores.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 15, 2018
We are talking about Tesla loaners, display cars, and test drive vehicles being released so that Tesla salespeople can offer them to customers.
Though Musk specifically said that it’s only “where original customers can’t take delivery before the end of the year.”
Sources say that Tesla still has some significant number of vehicles in inventory at some delivery hubs, especially the new Model 3 Mid-Range.
Tesla retail employees have also been relaxing the rules in order to facilitate “order matching” for customers placing new orders.
For example, if someone ordered a Model 3 with standard 18″ wheels and the same Model 3 with 19″ wheel is available in inventory, Tesla has often offer the upgrade for free, according to sources familiar with Tesla’s retail operations.
Sources also say that the automaker has also offered people with leases to end them early and get a new vehicle by the end of the year.
As we reported earlier this week, Tesla also made other moves for the end-of-the-year push including an extension of the referral program, a cancellation waitlist, and more.
That’s pretty standard from Tesla around this time of the year, but Musk making it public is new and it’s evidently due to the start of the federal tax credit phase-out.
I am more concerned about the delivery hubs having too many Model 3 vehicles with the new Mid-Range battery pack.
It looks like Tesla produced large batches of them and might have overshot the demand for it.
That’s pretty surprising to me. As Seth pointed out last month, there’s a good argument to be made that the vehicle is a pretty good deal in the US with the full tax credit.
But the goal was to offer an option to those waiting for the base version before the end of the full tax credit and the truth is that it is still more expensive.
I knew it wouldn’t convince all of them, but I thought the version would still be production constrained.
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