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New owners and early adopter owners: Do I detect a major difference?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by artsci, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    This is just an intuitive hunch but my reading of posts on this web site and my experience with actual owners suggests a major difference between those of us who were among the early Tesla adopters (2013) and those who came later. Motivation for buying the car and attitudes about Tesla seem to be very different. It's difficult to summarize and gross generalizations are always risky and unfair, but I do think there's a notable difference. Early adopters seem to be more grateful to have the car, less likely to complain, and more interested and supportive of other owners and the Tesla community. Newer owners seem to be more status driven, more likely to complain about service and other matters, more concerned about "luxury" appointments and the like. Of course there are always major exceptions but this is a pattern that seems to hold true.

    Opinions? Let the flaming begin:)
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    First!

    Nothing useful to add, just want a front row seat for this.
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I'm just wondering how many new owners will stand up and say 'oh yeah, that's me, I totally am not an early adopter'.

    This will not go well.
     
  4. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Artsci, I wonder of there are any generational differences fueling this. I'd have to go back to 2012 and there about to look at the polls, but if you remember, as I'm sure you do, we either put down $40k or $5k and had to wait anywhere from 1-3 years for a car. There was no leasing, so we paid for our cars in full (loan or not). I think as a group we were a bit more patient (delayed satisfaction), although I'm often impatient! We were prepared for imperfections. There weren't many Teslas out there so when we needed service we got immediate treatment.

    Now, there are CPO, used, leases, etc. If you want a new one, you don't have to wait long. SCs and service centers are filled. Perhaps the age has shifted to younger buyers. Perhaps the expectations are too high for newer buyers.

    Perhaps the newer buyers will be more like the "older" buyers after a year or two of driving the car and being reminded of how great it is.

    Status: well, we got ours before all the good press. Before everyone realized how great a car it is.
     
  5. aaron0k

    aaron0k Member

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    I think you're on point. However, consider this is/was "new technology" and early adopters are always going to be more passionate. The nerds and sycophants were Gen1.
     
  6. Roadrunner13

    Roadrunner13 Member

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    #6 Roadrunner13, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
    Actually, you might just have found why this thread may fizzle out...
    People won't come forward!
    Unless someone starts showing name lists...
    >:->
    (supposed to be devil grin)

    Edit: You've already been proven so right and I so wrong :)
     
  7. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I would agree with the first half of your thesis but not the second half. As the Model S buyer has become more mainstream, I do think you'll find that buyer is less forgiving of issues and expects the Model S to compete with other brands in similar prices in similar ways.

    I'm certainly a newer buyer but I didn't buy the Model S for status the same way I didn't buy the Prius for status. There were a dozen reasons and not one had to do with how I think others will perceive me. One thing I've noticed that comes up more frequently than any other forum I've seen is that it's often said by owners that the Model S is twice or three times as expensive as any car they'd previous purchased. I fit that bill. My previously most expensive car was a car I paid $31K for that had sold for $68K 3 years earlier. The most I'd spent on a brand new car was $50K.

    I think the difference you see in supportiveness of newer vs older members here is simply experience. I also see older members far more likely to attack newer members for complaining about lack of storage, lighted vanity mirros, , and the dozens of other odd things that you'd never find missing on a Luxury car that you do on the Model S yet I don't see newer members attacking newer members over these complaints.

    The older members have seen, read, and experienced more and are in more of a position to be be helpful even if they're not always so. I wonder if supportiveness and helpfullness could be quantified as a ratio of rep points / duration of membership?
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Well since we've already started with calling people complainers, status-driven, nerds, sycophants ... I think it probably won't fizzle. But I'd love to be wrong!
     
  9. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Fizzle? I think not :)
     
  10. ZachShahan

    ZachShahan Member

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    We had a discussion about this with regards to the X in an unrelated thread recently, and it got pulled out and is now a separate thread: Are Model X buyers still ?

    I think you are correct. And my general argument was this: The Tesla Model S is generally now #1 or #2 in the premium sedan category in the US and Europe. It is no longer just a car for early adopters in that niche market. Of course, the car has won nearly every car award imaginable and gotten great coverage in the mainstream auto and tech press, which has brought in a lot of buyers who otherwise wouldn't know about it if they weren't of the early adopter brand.
     
  11. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    #11 Skotty, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
    Even if it were true in spirit, your data will be polluted by would-be early adopters who haven't purchased yet or purchased only recently due to financial limitations of trying to buy a car that costs half as much as a house (yes, I know some of you west coast folks live in places where houses cost 50 billion dollars each, but back in normal land typical houses go for about $150K-$200K).

    This is true for me, I've been a supporter from day 1, but I haven't bought one yet. Looks like I will finally have all the ducks in a row later this year. Been planning on it for years, and is complicated by my decision to support Chevy and the Volt a few years back, as the Volt is depreciating like crazy (trade in currently estimated at $9K for a 2012 model originally listed at over $40K; that's like trading in your 2012 $100K Tesla and getting an offer of around $20K).
     
  12. Roadrunner13

    Roadrunner13 Member

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    ...I was so very wrong... :redface:
     
  13. tstafford

    tstafford Member

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    I'm a new owner and I leased the car.

    The thread is kind of insulting. I'm sorry that the early adopters find the newbies to be whinny and entitled.
     
  14. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    This thread makes me sad.

    (Model S owner since May 2015, since that seems to be important information. :-()
     
  15. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    I think the break point in types of owners was when the P85D came out. As I posted a few months ago in another thread, the P85D attracted performance-chasers many of whom didn't care about EVs in general or Tesla in particular, they're just attracted to the latest hot car. They will move on the the next hot car, unlike most early Tesla owners who would never buy an ICE again.
     
  16. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I'm currently looking for a therapist, since it appears I'm a nerdy sycophant. Want me to look for you, too?
     
  17. DjiM

    DjiM Member

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    This is true for just about every innovative product. Your "early adopters" and your "early majority" are a very different target group. Early adopters can live with some flaws/shortcomings and will still LOVE your product, mostly because it's cool and new. The early majority on the other hand expects a product that meets their needs.

    In marketing / innovation theory, moving from the early adopter phase to the early majority phase is called "bridging the chasm". This imaginary chasm is where/when products fail. I guess that Tesla (at least the Model S) is currently in a late phase of this stage. They are not exactly mainstream yet (except for Norway, where everyone and their mother drive a Tesla) but it's also no longer the exotic it used to be. The early adoption constraints (small-ish supercharger network, lacking software features) are also more or less solved.

    The Fisker Karma never reached this stage.

    Image plucked from the net:
    Crossing-chasm.png
     
  18. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    New owner here and I think you're on point Rick. One caveat though, I find many more (not all) of the earlier adopters resistant to change and a little resentful when Tesla acts like a bigger company (which they must do now to survive) than they were a few years ago. On the other side of the coin the earlier adopters are VERY knowledgable and great resources.
     
  19. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I guess I'll be the first.

    I'm not an early adopter of Tesla. I bought my car 6 months ago.

    I didn't have the need to upgrade my car 3 years ago (2012), nor did I have the funds then to buy a Tesla, nor did I know of Tesla, nor would I have thought it sane to spend the amount of money I did.

    In addition, I would not have sunk that much money into a company which I wasn't sure would succeed. I have no problem spending a few hundred/thousand here and there for toys/gadgets and be an early adopter on that front, but when we're talking about $70k+, sorry, someone that's more established and has more guts will have to lead the way.


    That being said, while I give Tesla flack (on the forums) for things that I think the car can improve on, I don't think I fall into the category of "status driven" or about complain about the luxury aspect of it or any other category with a negative connotation to it, I do it because I want to see Tesla succeed.
     
  20. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    In defense of owners like bmah, I can understand and appreciate his or her sadness, AND I am sure there are any number of later-arrivers who are just as enthusiastic of the Tesla experience and forgiving of its foibles as are the Early Adopters. But "any number" is not "all", "most" or even, potentially, "many".

    By the way and as an aside, the ONLY definition of "Early Adopter" is "All those who bought the car before me, plus me".

    But back to Artsci's first post: your intuition is spot on. Very recently someone who sees between dozens and several dozens of Tesla owners every working day...and has to interact with and be nice to them...told me of that differentiation, using your words almost verbatim. I'll trust that person's observations more than any anecdotal observation we here can provide.
     

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