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Canceled my Roadster order

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by tonybelding, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Hamilton, Texas
    Wednesday I spoke with a Tesla sales manager on the phone and made it official, that I'm canceling my order for a Tesla Roadster and getting my deposit back.

    So. . . What happened to the dream?

    The biggest thing that happened was that time and waiting dulled my enthusiasm. At the time I ordered, I was expecting delivery in about a year at the longest. At the time I cancelled I'd had my deposit in for 18 months and was still 6 months away from getting a car. You've got to understand, these high-performance sports cars are never about logic -- there was never a truly rational reason for getting one. It's all about passion. Unfortunately, passion has a shelf life, and mine expired.

    The Tesla Roadster is still my dream car. It's God's chariot. But looked at objectively, it was never really a good fit for me or the way I live. I'm country folk, not a movie star. I don't have expensive tastes. To give you some idea. . . Last night I had canned spinach, baked beans and grilled Spam for supper -- and I liked it, because that's how I was raised. I was enthralled by the Tesla Roadster for a while, so that my fascination with it overruled my usual sensibilities, but now that's over and I'm going back to my comfort zone.

    As my enthusiasm ebbed, I also had some anxieties that didn't ebb. So. . . What happens if Tesla goes out of business in a few years? Right now they appear to be doing great, all the stars appear to be aligned for Tesla, but even the people at Tesla would admit, I'm sure, that starting a new car company is a risky thing. (That's part of the reason why I admire them, for taking such risks.) The company's future rests mainly on the Model S now, which none of us have even seen yet. So, I could imagine being stuck somewhere down the road with a $100K paperweight that nobody can service, full of aging batteries that nobody can provide a replacement for.

    Canceling wasn't without risk either. I was in line for a $92K (plus options) car, but the price has since gone up well above $100K. I could have taken delivery and then turned around and sold it for a profit. That was tempting. I can easily imagine myself years from now crying into my drink about that first-year Tesla Roadster that I almost had "for a song" until I got cold feet and let it slip away. However. . . Sales taxes would have eaten into the difference, and after two years of being wound up over this car, I just wanted to be done with it.

    So. . . Where do I go from here?

    I am selling my Lotus Esprit V8, I have it up for auction now. I've had an educational -- and expensive -- three years with it, and it's time to move on. Now I'm in a position to take a fresh start and reevaluate what I want in a "fun" car. I still want a fun car, but it's time to reconsider what kind of fun I really want to have.

    I'll also be keeping an eye on electric car developments. I'm still totally convinced that our country needs to make a move to electric cars, we need to get off the oil drum. It's fascinating to see how this field is developing, and I expect to keep watching it closely and commenting on it. However, logically, I was never the best person to spearhead that movement. I don't drive much. There are an awful lot of gas guzzlers on our roads, and many of them are going to be around for years to come. Logically, those cars ought to go to people like me, while the electric cars should go to people who commute and put a lot of miles on them every day.

    To help save our country from oil addiction, I should drive a Hummer. If I got it from someone who drives 12,000 miles per year, and I'm here driving 3,000 per year, that's a big improvement. It's just too bad that I despise Hummers. That doesn't fit my idea of a fun car.

    Then again, from a purely pragmatic standpoint of getting from Point A to Point B on a daily basis, my 1995 Pontiac Bonneville is still running strong and has many years of service left. It's comfortable, it's dependable, it's spacious. Yet, it's not my idea of a fun car either. So, we'll see what I figure out.
  2. DDB

    DDB Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    #2 DDB, Aug 1, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008

    You of all people I was looking forward to unbiased reports of performance and reviews. I can't really blame you. I have thought about betting the house quite literally, but I don't have the guts. Soon enough there will be plenty of choices. Moreover, if Telsa ever figures out production, how the heck difficult could it be for an inventory?--just look at the Detroit 3's massive inventory of vehicles people don't want.

    I'm glad you've still got an eye towards EVs though, but a Hummer?--don't even think about it. How about a Volt, Karma, or whatever else EV that pops up down the road. Soon enough...
  3. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

    Aug 17, 2006
    Slovenia, Europe
    Hey Tony, Look at my sig :)
  4. FLXX

    FLXX Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    If anybody else is thinking about giving up his order please contact me. I´m willing to pay top dollar for any early delivery. Precontract and deposit no problem, I´m serious :biggrin: .
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    [FONT=&quot]Wow Tony, that hits hard. The antithesis of Martin's delivery news.

    I wonder, (and don’t remember) did you ever see, ride in, or drive the car?
    I do notice that a lot of our Posters are from the Bay area where the excitement is kept alive by local pride, news, the chance to see one on the road and the various local events. Here in LA we are probably second in Tesla awareness with the first dealership that we can go over to and pet the car.

    By the way, what number are (were) you? At $92K that puts you earlier than 500ish and now that the car is at well over a 1000 buyers and into the next year, that means someone who puts down the new $109K price will have to wait another year to get the car and have a less collectable version. I would think well heeled buyer could easily absorb those taxes. And what about Texas green rebates? CA has a $5K incentive that includes the Tesla.

    I believe that Elon's ego will keep the company going far longer than anyone will ever think it should. That's a good thing for owners and EVs in general.

    As for the car being difficult to service if the company does fold, I believe that anyone selling cars in the US is required to have seven years of parts on hand.

    And just think of the classic sports cars that are kept alive by owners buying wrecks and the interconnection of clubs that get together and have batches of reproduction parts made. The Delorean there in Texas DeLorean Motor Company Home is an extreme example as you can actually get a "new" NOS car made from the parts warehouse. I easily imagine the super rich Roadster buyers sourcing and making replacement parts. Besides, Electric cars don't ever break down (they just get in three ways) :redface:

    I know you have made your decision and you are probably aware of everything I just said and that reasoning does not come from the emotional place where you bought the car, but I just had to get it all out.

    How about the Zero? ZERO MOTORCYCLES || Electric Motorcycles || High Performance A two wheeled Tesla under $10K

    I love Spam[/FONT]
  6. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

    May 23, 2008
    Winchester, UK
    Tony, that's sad news to hear. I hope something else that suits your needs appears soon.

    I must say though, I would have given my right arm to take your place on that list - at under £47k it is a bargain compared to the European prices, and within my range... Even paying to reimport the car to the UK, as silly as that sounds, may be worth it.
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Aug 20, 2006
    Silicon Valley
    Tony, thanks for posting your thoughts here. Sorry to hear that it didn't work out to your expectations. It has been fun interacting with you these past couple years. Do you plan to stay a moderator on this forum, and continue to chat about the car you almost bought?
  8. DavidV

    DavidV Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    How about a 400+ whp carbon fiber bodied MR2 that gets a documented 34 MPG. Its like a really efficient gasoline powered version of the Roadster.


    [can't blame a guy for trying]

    -- DavidV

    p.s. the obnoxious rear wing and sponsor logos are long gone...
  9. Laurent

    Laurent Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    SF Bay Area

    I totally understand where you're coming from. A year from now, I might do the same thing if my car isn't anywhere near ready. Until recently, I was waiting for news about Tesla's sedan but I gave up and I got on the Roadster waiting list instead, even though it's not really a practical car for me. However, now that I have one on order, I'm really excited about it and I'm looking forward to driving an electric car that's both good looking and outrageously fast. I won't get it for another year though, so who knows what might happen between now and then. We'll see.
  10. Joseph

    Joseph Member

    Nov 30, 2007
    South Florida
    David, is that your car? kewl
  11. tomsax

    tomsax Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Sammamish, WA
    Waiting for a Roadster

    My wife and I are in about the same place in line, expecting delivery in about six months. A deposit on a Tesla Roadster is a risky investment for sure, but our excitement isn't waning. Popping down to California for the Menlo Park store opening was a good booster shot of enthusiasm, and I actually got a second test drive in VP10 at the LA store (which didn't hurt at all).

    We just bought a 2002 Toyota RAV4-EV for a modest premium over its original list price, which was actually a great deal. They usually sell in the neighborhood of $65,000. Even though Toyota doesn't support the drive train at all, and has no option for replacing the battery pack, they are still going strong and holding their value despite the finite battery lifetime.

    I think the secondary market for Roadsters is going to go nuts when Tesla has delivered a bunch of 1.5 drivetrains and they no longer look like a risky startup but still have a long waiting list.

    It's going to be an interesting six months for sure.
  12. Martin

    Martin Tesla Founder

    Aug 17, 2007

    I am also sorry to hear that you canceled your order, though I certainly understand. If you ever get the urge to drive one again sometime and find yourself in the SF Bay Area, let me know and we can go for a drive.

    For my own part, I am happy to be driving my Roadster - Carolyn and I goofed off in it all day, driving from Silicon Valley to San Francisco to Berkeley and back, taking the long way, driving "in a spirited manner" the whole time, well over 120 miles round trip, with several high hills, ending at 2200 ft elevation. This drive would have been completely out of the question for any previous production EV. Coming home and realizing that the entire day's goofing off consumed ZERO petroleum was a very good feeling.

    Makes it easier to swallow the rest of what I got from Tesla.
  13. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Living with the Esprit, you know better than any of us that the "Lotus heritage" is bound to include a few quirks :smile:. Plus, I'm sure Tesla have introduced some of their own.

    Yet I think there is a good chance that these will be ironed out over the next few years. I think the company is committed to pushing new ideas through the Roadster platform, partly for technology development, partly to scare the crap out of the auto industry. I think 2010-2011 will see the arrival of the Roadster 2.0 (maybe 2.5?) alongside Model S. Just to keep everyone on their toes.

    But it can be difficult to live with a landmark; a testbed. Or maybe just a sports car. Especially if your heart is no longer in it.

    I was also looking forward to reading your no-frills, spinach-and-beans evaluations of this car but the prospect of ownership has clearly been losing its shine for you for a while now.

    The prospect was giving you no peace. You were absolutely right to let it go.
  14. Kardax

    Kardax Member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Minnesota, USA
    The obvious upside to this is you now have $100,000 you didn't have a week ago. I don't know how rich you are, but I gotta believe that amount of money is at least a nice outcome of a single phone call. And really, if Tesla can ever get their production rate above the one-car-per-month thing they're doing now, getting back on the list later won't affect your time-to-delivery very much.

    Of course, you might find your heart's true desire before then :)


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