Monday, July 31, 2017

Tesla Sending Our Cancellation Refunds In "Batches"; The Political Page, T+192 -- July 31, 2017

Updates

August 1, 2017: They must be reading the blog. from Green Car Reports, Tesla won't discuss net Model 3 reservations number; why? The writer didn't say a thing, except to confirm two things:
Tesla won't provide updated reservation/cancellation figures; and,
this little gem:
A rare example of pushback came after it released second-quarter Model S and Model X delivery numbers last month but omitted the number of cars in transit, a statistic included in previous quarterly reports.
Relatively widespread complaints by analysts prompted the company to update its release a few days later: the number of cars in transit had declined from that of the previous quarter.
The revelation didn't necessarily help perceptions of the company's deliveries or ongoing demand for the aging Model S hatchback sedan and specialized Model X crossover utility vehicle.
Original Post

From Tesla: they are receiving a lot of cancellations from folks who reserved a Model 3 for $1,000. The company is, apparently, admitting that ... as an explanation why refunds are so slow. They can't keep up with all the cancellations. From Wired:
Chitti cancelled his reservation on May 17, 2017. He says he was tired of waiting and frustrated by Tesla's lack of transparency.
Yet more than two months later, he hasn't received his refund. "
Every time I reach out I get the same explanation: They have a lot of cancellations to process, they'll prioritize my request, and that my refund should go out in the next batch," he says.
His experience is not unique. Many deposit holders have taken to Twitter to complain to Musk directly about their late refunds.
In a poll posted to the popular Tesla Motors Forum, a majority of respondents reported waiting more than a month to receive their reimbursement. On other message boards, claims of 5-, 6-, and 7-week waits are common, and many say they’ve held out even longer.
“It has been three months,” wrote /r/teslamotors user UnDosTresPescao on Reddit on July 3. “I have called/emailed them several times over the last month and a half asking about status.
Every time they ask for my address and say that a check will be promptly on its way. The check never comes.”This seems as good a place as any to disclose that I, too, was once a Model 3 reservation holder. I cancelled my deposit in April, when an honest evaluation of my transportation needs forced me to concede that the last thing I need in life is a new car. Tesla took just shy of three months to refund my deposit, which I received soon after the company caught wind of me reporting this piece.
I saw a clip of the Tesla event delivering the 30 new cars (to its employees) -- someone once said the Saturn automobile was the ugliest vehicle ever produced -- I did not agree -- but the Tesla Model 3 looked almost identical to the Saturn from 100 yards away.

Tesla's earnings call is this week. If analysts don't ask the question and if Tesla is not forthcoming with actual numbers, I will be quite disappointed.

If refunds are going out in "batches," one wonders how many refund checks are in each batch?

More: I never really thought about that -- situations change over time with regard to car buying. Putting down $1,000 for a car for delivery sometime in the future....I think in hindsight this is going to turn out to be one of the biggest (and audacious) marketing schemes by any auto salesperson: getting folks to reserve a $40,000 car with a thousand-dollar deposit three years in advance. Can you imagine if Ford was able to pull off this advertising campaign: send us $1,000 now to reserve your new $75,000 F-150 five years from now?

A lot of folks put down $1,000, I suppose, just for a conversation stopper, "Yes, I've reserved a Tesla." From someone who was living from one pay check to the next.

But ordering a car one won't see for two years suggests the buyer really didn't need a new car anyway.

And, if her situation changes, that she really does need a new car sooner, she will ask for her $1,000 Tesla deposit back to use on another car.

Millenials want same day delivery. Tesla is unable to guarantee 36-month delivery. A lot happens in three years.

Bolt? I may be wrong. I've suggested the real Tesla story is the effect it will have on the Chevrolet Bolt. This morning, CNBC's auto reporter said very clearly that the Tesla is not to be compared to the Chevrolet Bolt. Two completely different cars; two completely different audiences. Phil LeBeau says the Tesla Model 3 is targeting the "3-series" (BWM) and the "C-class" (Mercedes). That should be an easy bar to jump. Mercedes sold zero Mercedes C350e's in June (discontinued? no it's still there). BWM sold about 500 330e's in each of the last few months. This will be fascinating to watch. All three sell for about $44,000.

Hyperbole. Huffington Post suggests these 30 Teslas could represent the end of the internal combustion era. "This might be the way horse stable owners felt when they first saw a Ford Model T." Incredibly bad -- but easy -- analogy. Electric cars have been around 1884. Electricity has powered rail since 1879. The delivery of tirty Teslas may represent something but I don't think it represents the end of the internal combustion era. 

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