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Is the Tesla discrete enough?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by point1, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. point1

    point1 Member

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    This might sound like a weird question, so here is some background information to understand why I'm asking this.

    I work as a consultant in mechanical engineering within the automotive industry. I'll probably order a Tesla this month, but I'm having some doubts about how it will be perceived by my customers. Where I work people generally don't have particularly expensive cars. The average would probably be a car that is 1/4th of the cost of the Tesla. My main concern is that it could annoy some people that a consultant shows up with a too expensive car. Has any of you ever gotten any remarks by customers etc or gotten the feeling that it's too flashy?
     
  2. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    I would think that as a consultant in the auto industry that your clients would find it reasonable that you would drive an American-built car that represents exceptional engineering.

    If that's not the case, then, no, the Tesla is not discrete at all. I have not gone a day where someone hasn't asked about the car. You would then need to consider if a Mercedes E Class or BMW 5-Series would be inappropriate.

    IMO, there's also a case to be made for a splurge on a "green" car, and many will be impressed by this. Some will not.
     
  3. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    I do consulting, and while visiting clients I've never had a negative comment. I've had several "Is your employer hiring?" type comments, but most people just think its a beautiful car. Generally they don't notice the vehicle unless they see me pull up or we take my car to lunch.
     
  4. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Don't let the perceptions of others sway you from driving this incredible machine.

    If anything, they should respect that you have an eye for good design and great technology.
     
  5. jkliu47

    jkliu47 Member

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    LOL no kidding! Do they all end up with the Tesla grin? And I am sure you only display the Tesla's prowess before lunch... not after. :smile:

    PS I bolded the words in the quote.
     
  6. aaron0k

    aaron0k Member

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    If you're thinking about it... then they probably are too.

    Owning an MS at this point in time does bring attention, especially if you live in an area where there aren't many. That attention and those perceptions run the gamut... not all of it is positive.
     
  7. BlueTan85

    BlueTan85 Member

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    I think the OP meant "discreet."
     
  8. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    My wife has a number of customers that are local auto dealerships. While she normally takes the Tesla when she's doing a lot of local driving, but she won't if it's visiting dealerships...for probably obvious reasons :)
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I'm sure this will come across as a nitpicker's corner item, but the original title actually had me wondering what the subject was. Like should they form multiple companies or somesuch.

    (discrete vs. discreet)

    Also, when I think of discreet it's more along the lines of privacy and security than about showiness/flashiness of an expensive vehicle.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If this is a concern, I would err on the side of the lower cost and less flashy flavors.

    More specifically...
    If you're getting white get the flat white rather than multi-coat.
    Skip the pano roof.
    Get the cloth interior instead of leather.
    Don't get performance..
    Maybe don't get the tech package. (Though it's hard for me to recommend that for any Model S purchase.)
    Get the original 19" wheels (i.e. not the 21s, and not the aeros).
    No kids seat.
    No parcel shelf.

    Under the covers stuff (supercharging and dual chargers), don't affect the "visible" aspects of the vehicle so choose those based on budget / preferences not based on perception of clients.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also: don't keep your car sparkling clean. I'm not saying mud it up. I'm just saying let it get dusty. There's a natural gut reaction of "oh, it's a prissy car" if kept too clean and also some might perceive "it's a bit dusty" as "he's busy doing work, rather than 'wasting our money' on frivolous things". And a final point on this... after every detailing I get a lot more eyeballs than day to day driving without one -- which is the opposite of what you're going for.
     
  10. astrotoy

    astrotoy Member

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    Obviously, color choice can help a bit. We deliberately choose rather plain colors (like grey for our Model S and silver for our Lexus LS). I would stay away from the Ferrari Red or similar colors. :) If you open the frunk in front of a lot of people, that will definitely draw attention. But what I have found in 18 months of ownership, the beautiful lines of the Model S are hard to disguise and get recognized more than most fancy cars. If you are self-employed you can always truthfully tell them it is a company car, and that the boss wants to save money on fuel.
     
  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Good point.

    Also, if you have a lot of materials you carry on your trips you could point out the carrying capacity and shape is quite convenient.
     
  12. russman

    russman Member

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    #12 russman, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    To be honest about your question, no the Tesla is not discreet and people will judge you. That's part of the reason I don't really tell people who would judge me. It's just the way it is. But as others have said, that shouldn't keep you from buying the awesome car.
     
  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Yes it is. They come in ones, which what you need from a car.

    The above was a joke.

    Anyway, I figure that a car is as discreet as its owner. So, get the car, don't talk about it unless asked, don't look flash, don't get a vanity plate and, most important of all, don't park like an *******.
     
  14. point1

    point1 Member

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    Sorry about the thread title, english is not my native language. I meant discreet :)

    I will probably get the regular 85 kWh, black, with the standard rims, and textile interior, the pano roof I unfortunately need because of the roof rack capability. Maybe just park it far from the entrance. Just wan't to be discreet, in the sense that I don't wan't people feeling that I'm overpaid or anything.
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    No worries and welcome to the forum! :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Nah, not unfortunately. I love my pano roof and you have a built-in excuse "I need the roof rack" if anybody gives you grief. So it's purely in the WIN column. :)

    Also, the "negative on Tesla" people will be happy you gave them something to complain about "oh really? that's dumb that you have to get the roof to ..." so they can focus their energy on something that's (relatively) trivial about Tesla's decisions rather than about your spending choices.
     
  16. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    I have the grey and I don't really get a lot of attention in my car. I don't know if it is the color or people in New England just don't notice. I expected to have a lot more Tesla Time, but it hasn't turned out that way. Unless you draw attention to the fact that it is a Tesla, most people just assume it is some nice foreign made (from the US perspective) sedan.
     
  17. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    I would not recommend parking in back. A Tesla parked in the back of a lot, especially if it is away from other cars, draws more attention.

    As an introvert who never was into flashy cars, I would suggest if you treat it like any other car it will draw less attention. If you treat it differently than any other car, it is more likely others will as well.

    I have a friend who is a real estate broker. He had the same concern, especially since he is driving clients around.
    He mentioned what a great response he has had from clients. I don't believe he has had any negative reactions from clients.

    To add to Brian's list, don't get the spoiler :tongue:
     
  18. flashflood

    flashflood Member

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    Interesting question! Tesla is in a somewhat unique niche: although it's an expensive car, it's not really viewed as a luxury car like a Mercedes S class (or Rolls Royce or Bentley if you want to go even higher-end). It's just viewed as a cool new technology. The Model S inspires admiration, not envy; most people are just excited to see one in person. It's a great conversation starter.
     
  19. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Don't skimp on the car. If they are going to be upset by a Model S I doubt they'd be less upset with a 60kWh without tech package than an 85kWh with tech package.

    I wouldn't worry about it. If you don't show up in Tesla jacket and hat and tell everyone how awesome the car you just got is I don't think they'll mind. Sure some might but you can't so everything based on what a few unhappy people might think. Best of luck!
     
  20. golfski

    golfski Member

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    Like most people have said the car does draw some attention, even in very dense Tesla populations (Seattle, SF, etc...) but who cares. The fact is that people spend their money on things that are a priority to them, its all personal opinion. I have in-laws that spend $500+/week on groceries because they shop at Whole Foods (nothing wrong with that) and get take-out often, but give me crap about having a 70k car, to their 25k VW. I shop at Safeway, use coupons, etc and I spend less a month on my car + groceries than they do. I don't have a lot of possessions, but the ones I have, I would rather have nice ones which are unique and fit my taste and will last.

    I do make a point to tell people that I have one of the cheapest Model S's that you can buy (60kWh, non-tech + SC + Pano), alot of people assume its a 100k car off the bat. I didn't chose my configuration because of perception but because of what I stated above, I got what was important to me.
     

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