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Did you guys go through this pre-purchase agony?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by TommyBoy, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. TommyBoy

    TommyBoy Member

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    I imagine the story is the same for some of you. It's $101K car and $110K with tax, license and registration. That's not peanuts. I can put around $60K down and finance the other $50K. I'll get $10K back from the Fed and State incentives so I'm really only financing $40K. We have no mortgage, our kids' college savings is done and the 401K is doing fine. But still I agonize over:

    1) Will Tesla go under? They've sold 21K cars, are a media darling, stock through the roof, new model coming out next year, etc. But what if Elon moves on to something else? What if he's pushed out? What if Tesla is acquired? What if just ONE car catches fire? What if the crash tests are horrible and a flaw is found that makes the Model S the most DANGEROUS car on the road?

    2) It's a $100K car. How much is a fender bender? It's a wide car. Door dings and scrapes are going to SUCK! Right now our cars have been paid off forever and they just work. How much will I be bothered as an early adopter taking it in for problems?

    3) What about resale value? The guarantee from Tesla has a lot of caveats. I'd go through Alliant. What if in two or three years this car is worth $40K. WOW! I just spent $70K to drive a Model S for three years!

    There are so many unknowns. I know the answers to all of the above. I've been lurking on this forum for 6 months and have read EVERYTHING. I'm still going to do it and I haven't heard a single one of you state that it was a huge mistake.

    My other choice was my boyhood dreamcar - 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S - but that wasn't family friendly (two kids), my wife would NEVER drive it, I'm a big dude and that's a small car, maintenance is very expensive, and the Model S absolutely SMOKES it.

    Just thinking out loud here, folks. I appreciate this forum.
     
  2. LagunaDallas

    LagunaDallas Member

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    If you've read everything on here, you know that you have to take on some risk and just take the leap. I've had 31 cars, most of which were leased so I could walk away and not worry about resale value, so I know where you're coming from. This is the most phenomenal thing I have ever purchased. And I have to add that I had a really fantastic Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet that didn't get driven for 2 weeks after I took delivery of my Tesla, so I drove it down to the local dealer and they made me a great offer to purchase it (so I sold). Zero regrets.
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    1. Elon Musk has a proven track record and has stated that he won't leave until 50% of the cars on the road are EVs.

    2. No Roadsters have caught fire and they've been out long enough to tell.

    3. There are several threads where the Model S has been in an accident and it was the other car that got trashed.

    4. What if a 20 km asteroid hits tomorrow?

    I assume similar to any other premium / luxury car.

    It doesn't drive like a wide car. Get full coverage paint armour and most scrapes will be fixed by replacing that section of armour.

    Based on my experience, not much. When the master charger failed while I was on vacation, Tesla flew out a Ranger to fix it. The only time I lost was the couple of hours that the Ranger took to do the repair. Try that with your BMW or Mercedes--and they've been in business for many decades.

    A car is an expense. A premium or luxury car even more so. Always assume that resale value will be close to zero regardless of car. The Model S is not cheap to purchase but driving is very low cost. Put a bunch of miles on it and compare it to what you would pay for a S class or 7 series and it becomes a real bargain.

    That's because it's a great car and has superior service to back it up.
     
  4. TommyBoy

    TommyBoy Member

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    Thank you for those replies! I agree with every one of them. The Roadster track record is actually very important to me. Batteries actually out-performing Tesla's expectations!

    I did test drive the 750Li and S-class (not the newest one to be released in a month). Audi A8 as well. All I can say is that both my wife and I said that the Model S was the first FUN car to test drive. All the others were just "nice". She said she hasn't had that much fun in a car since muscle cars from her youth. Whoa!

    Leap of Faith time.
     
  5. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    Even if my $104K Model S value goes to zero in 3 years, I still have the experience of owning a fabulous car. I was planning on buying a 2014 Corvette convertible until I got hooked on the Tesla. I sold my 2003 Corvette, and I am having so much fun with the Tesla Model S. I can't imagine that the Tesla won't hold its value. I didn't even consider their financing to guarantee the resale value. I have so much confidence in Tesla. They have been in the EV business long enough to realize that the future will get better. They took success of the Roadster and built on that success to produce the most compelling car in the world. The Model X will soon be on the road with many reservations for it already in progress.

    Those who never take chances are those that never achieve their full potential or derive maximum enjoyment from life.

    I remember Dave Hill remarking at the 50th Anniversary Corvette Celebration that Corvette Owners live life large. I took that to a new level in graduating from a Corvette to a Tesla. I never advocate foolish expenditures, but I will always spend money for enriching my life.
     
  6. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    Jerry...Great advice. Bottom line. Yes, it is a leap of faith. Yes, not everyone is willing to take it. Yes, while VERY unlikely, it could go the way of DeLorean. Given all this, I would do it again in a heartbeat, and will, as I have an 'X' reserved.
     
  7. TommyBoy

    TommyBoy Member

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    Those who never take chances are those that never achieve their full potential or derive maximum enjoyment from life.

    What a great line! I just told my wife that Clark Howard bought one and she was all over it! She listens to Clark every chance she gets. He's the guy that took a Hawaiian vacation and ate three of the dinners with his family at Costco since they all could eat for $12 and the food was good!
     
  8. evme

    evme Member

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    Any company can go under, all the US car makers almost did. The only way Tesla can run into any issues I see though is out of nowhere some breakthrough is made and everyone has access to 500 miles EVs for 30k in 2-3 years. But you have more chance being hit by a bus. Stock theoretically has no effect on Tesla other then free publicity and they can make offerings to raise cash. From what Musk said, new model comes out once every 5 years. Unless you mean the X. If so the X and S don't really compete. Also,they haven't sold 21k yet but will sell 25k this year.

    Musk said it himself he is not going anywhere for at least 5 years. He has veto power so pushing him out is impossible and would be suicide. Acquiring Tesla will not effect your purchase, but a buyout is highly unlikely considering again Elon and co has veto powers. A forced buyout would be crazy expensive and would not get anywhere since they would have spend multiples of the company value only to have Elon still there with veto powers.

    No EV has ever caught on fire so. And by chance one does, the cells are sealed so damage is contained. Also the energy density of lithium-ion is nowhere close to that of gasoline so even if something does get out it will be exponentially less. Keep in mind gasoline cars catch on fire all the time, 200,000 per year. One just randomly exploded in a garage next to a model s at an airport. As far as it being the most dangerous car on the road, there have been already a few instance of crashes and nobody has yet to be severely hurt. Considering Tesla did tests at higher then required standards that is unlikely.

    Isn't a lot of the stuff covered by new vehicle warranty? Tesla service centers should be doing things at-cost according to elon.

    If Tesla keeps the same car for 5 years as mentioned, the resale value should be good. That said, keep in mind all luxury cars lose resale value faster then non-luxury cars.

    Well there is a saying, "you can't predict everything in life". You can buy the exact same thing as the guy next to you and get a dud or an exception that surpasses all the rest. The best way to justify it is to look at it as buying something you like and believe in.

    PS I will probably go through the same thing when buying mine lol
     
  9. callmesam

    callmesam Member

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    Elon recently "clarified" that he won't leave to handle Space X until making 300K cars/year. I took this to mean until after Gen 3 launch. 25K sales 2013, 50K 2014, 100K 2015, 200K 2016 = 3 year 100% growth progression.

    4 years if everything happens exactly on-time.

    If he sticks to 50% of cars on the "road", there were 60M cars sold/year with 8M in the US. alone. Range of 4 - 30 million TESLA sales, making Tesla the largest car manufacturer in the U.S.

    Projected sales would be equal to ALL sales in the U.S. (2012).

    90M cars currently on the road in the U.S. = 45 million Tesla sold in the U.S. before they are 50%.

    Auto Sales - Markets Data Center - WSJ.com
     
  10. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    OP, I also agonized over the amount I wanted to spend on a car. Like you, even though the kids can still go to college on my dime, retirement will still be on track, and the debt situation is minimal, the price is still agonizing. The time-value of money and the $ I could have in the future if I just kept the same amount invested is pretty significant. So the rational part of me knows this is not a sound financial decision.

    But I love cars. My last car was also a big decision but I have no regrets: it's so much fun to have a car that makes you smile just by turning around and looking at it as you walk away. So yeah, I've read everything, lusted after it for years, and now I'm going to buy a Model S. The Consumer Reports article sealed the deal for me. Well, that and my lovely wife who finally said, "stop talking about it so much and just get the car already!"

    I'm not so worried about the things on your list: Insurance covers accidents. There's some early-adopter risk, but that's part of the fun for me. Resale value on used luxury cars is always going to be a punch in the stomach, no way around that. For me, the stress is over the price of a freaking car. I'll get over it.

    It's going to be fantastic.
     
  11. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    My process wasn't as angst filled as yours but, considering the most expensive vehicle I ever owned cost 35K new, it took a while to wrap my head around it. I've wanted an EV for a while now but all the others have terrible range and were thus non-starters. The fact that the Model S is brilliantly executed and has integrated technology better than any other car made the leap a lot easier. The thing that closed it for me was the power and smoothness of the driving experience.

    On the company stability front, I don't believe they will go away. While it's always a risk, they seem to be pretty strong. Two successful models and a broadly expanding market (Europe now, Japan soon) mean they will be around for a while. Except for Texas, they seem to be winning the dealer association fight and will have distribution. The fact that they were able to pay off the federal bailout loan early says they have aggregated their financial feces.
     
  12. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    We committed to Tesla very early (April 2009), so we are clearly not risk-averse. But having been an entrepreneur and company founder myself, I feel I can "smell" the right stuff. I smelled it right from the start. Tesla has had many near-death experiences, so did my company, it goes with the territory. With each challenge they have wriggled through, they prove themselves that much more exceptional. When one is faced with the exceptional, it is very difficult to let go of one's past experiences and cautionary tales, but that is the only way to really leap forward.

    Our car is a Signature, built during the height of the scale up in November, and has had three significant problems, two of which were disabling, one on our very first road trip-- for Christmas with the family, no less. In every case, Tesla service was nothing short of heroic. I don't think of those folks as service providers anymore, I think of them as colleagues on a priceless adventure. I think of them as almost family. We work things out, we BOTH go the extra mile. I have patience; they stay late to get it done. This way of enjoying a young product may not be for everyone, but for those who take the plunge, it is even more of a delight than if the car was perfect from the outset.

    We are part of the beginning of something very special, the transformation of one of humanity's most impactful industries. The striving is even more rewarding than instant perfection, because it is earned.

    Go for it. Welcome aboard.
     
  13. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    I forgot to mention that although I didn't have any second thoughts before purchasing the Tesla or during the wait for delivery, I did have concerns about spending so much money. I don't have any regrets about buying the Tesla, but I did have a large cash outflow that causes some concerns about potential cash positions in the near future.
     
  14. LagunaDallas

    LagunaDallas Member

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    Since the above cars are on your list of considerations, check out what a 2-4 year-old 7-Series or S-Class is going for on the used market. A friend just bought a low-mileage, really clean 2009 750i (same as current body style) with an original MSRP of $102K for $38K. Even if the Model S depreciation ends up being significant, I'd be surprised if it was any greater than the competition.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Despite the dealer issues here in Texas, I think it's a testament to the company that people here in TX are willing to deal with any inconveniences necessary to put this car in their driveways. There are 2 in my small office parking garage, and numerous others popping up all over Dallas. I gave a client a test drive last week and he just ordered his, and will meet up this week with another client who is sold on the car but just wants to drive one before finalizing (since we don't have a showroom in Dallas where you can test drive). These are all very financially savvy people --- the 2 in my office garage are ridiculously successful wealth managers --- and made the same leap of faith as the rest of us.
     
  15. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd buy a super car, yes, for me a $110K car is a super car. we plan on keeping it for the duration, particularly if the residual value drops. we are happy with the S the way it is and can imagine owning it for a decade or two. part of the Leap for us is knowing that we are supporting an amazing company that is working to reach economy of scale on a more affordable mass produced car in order to disrupt the oilogarchy. we are in this to support change as well as own a kick ass car! 10K miles in 4 months tells me we are having a very good time of it!!!!
     
  16. Teriyaki88

    Teriyaki88 Member

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    Can't speak for other but for me it was like this.
    It was like having a secret high school crush. You think about rejection, humiliation, etc but also think about how wonderful thing could be. You finally ask that person for a date, and that first kiss (in this case the first drive) makes it all worth while :)
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I'll simply point to the large fraction of Roadster owners who bought Model S (myself included).
     
  18. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Depending on how you define "go under" (bankrupty?) some did.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @TommyBoy

    This doesn't work for everyone, but it does for some of us:
    Think back to when you put down your reservation. Has anything changed negatively with Tesla (the company) or Model S (the car product) in a way that matters to you? Has anything changed positively that matters to you? Weigh these two against each other and decide whether it's a good decision to move forward with the purchase. This should be done with any non-trivial purchase, IMO.
     
  19. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Yes, it is a large amount of money for a car.
    After I got my MS, I showed it to my sister, and she couldn't believe I had bought the car because she thought I was always too tight-fisted with my money.
    I still am: you can only spend THAT dollar ONE time.

    But I see making such a commitment as being a HUGE change in thinking about what is a real car capable of, what is possible, what am I positioning the next generation of cars, not just for me but for other (future) buyers.
    To be advocate for change is an awesome thing.
    To have put your money on the line and to be a part of it is EVEN BETTER.
     
  20. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    ^^^This in spades! Exactly the way I feel. Especially given the other extreme (stealerships) that we have all undoubtedly experienced.
     

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