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Observed public perception of the Model 3 being the inferior budget model coming from 2 Tesla family

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by turtlesz, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. turtlesz

    turtlesz Member

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    I have had my Model 3 for over a month and X for the few months before that. I actually prefer the 3 over my X for it's improved screen interface, zippy city performance, much longer range. X can't be beat in hauling more people and storage and falcon wing doors make it easy to get in for passengers. Hardly anybody bats an eye or shows much interest in the Model 3 in socal, and the ones who do ask if its "the cheap one." While whenever I take the X out people think its some ultra exotic like a Ferrari/Bugatti even though there are plenty on the roads in California. I think Tesla will have no issue selling the Model 3 till the back log is filled but needs to think beyond that. The Model 3 is basically marketed as a one trick pony in that its $35K and thats all non enthusiast people know about it. Tesla needs to do more in marketing the car and instead of stressing on the $35k part which everyone on the Tesla forums knows is not even out yet (or when it will be...). If they marketed the car as an electric sport sedan, A4/3 series/C class fighter and show it can hold its own in that class and that it comes in a variety of trims and price points then it would be slightly less confusing to people who have next to no knowledge about Tesla. Being known just as the "cheap one" is not good for company image and Tesla needs to fix that before its too late. Anyone have thoughts/experiences on this?
     
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  2. dhu1

    dhu1 Member

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    Partly agree with this. I am also from a multiple Tesla household (Mx and 2 M3). The general perception from those who own Teslas are pre-disposed to look down since it is the cheaper one. But those who don’t own a Tesla, still look at it as a Tesla and see it as an expensive car. Having said that, I think when the market gets flooded with SR M3 for $35K then it will just viewed as the upscale Prius.
     
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  3. BOBEDIGITL

    BOBEDIGITL Member

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    100% agree. But I think what Tesla trying to do at first was reach as big of audience as possible. There are many more people buying 35k dollar vehicles as opposed. I'm a day one reservation holder and every so often on facebook or instagram when I post about the model 3, a majority of the comments I receive are "Is that the new cheap Tesla" "Is that the low budget Tesla?". They strongly focused on the whole 35K low price (compared to the S and X) yet I think they left out the other aspects of the car like the ones you mentioned. But in reality, they don't need to explain anything yet to the general audience since the people who will be receiving their vehicles for at least the 6-9 months (in the US) are the enthusiasts. Once they get through the majority of the backlog is when I think they'll really need to change the narrative of the vehicle.
     
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  4. commasign

    commasign Tesla Superfan

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    The Model X falcon wing doors are genius. Definitely get more looks with those open than anything else these days.

    As for the Model 3, Tesla definitely went in the direction of understatement. But there may be some halo affect once we start seeing Model 3 P cars on the road and showing up in youtube and magazine reviews.
     
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  5. BOBEDIGITL

    BOBEDIGITL Member

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    I live in Los Angeles and for the people that haven't even heard of the Model 3, I get the same reaction you mentioned. A Tesla is a Tesla and there is no difference between the 3 models.
     
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  6. DarthO

    DarthO Member

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    I don't give a crap what anyone thinks. I finally have my Tesla.

    Congrats to those who paid 100K for theirs. I hope they enjoy their Tesla as much as I enjoy my Model 3.
     
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  7. turtlesz

    turtlesz Member

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    Im glad we all enjoy our Teslas, Im just thinking about what will the demand look like once the 400k backlog is filled. Tesla has all these ramp goals of hitting 5-10k per week and all the reservation holders are excited to get their hands on the cars. But if production goals are met and future demand is not there because it's viewed as the inferior step child then people will likely look elsewhere and might not be great for Tesla. Having the performance variants and all will help, but Tesla needs to start marketing the model 3 better on their own website. Basically I view the site as being a upsell to the Model S and X. BMW doesn't cannabilize their own sales and most people view the 3 series as the go to sport sedan and prices vary from 32k-140k, with different trims and options some which are more then the 5 and 7 series. Tesla just needs to make the general public who have minimal knowledge besides the headlines on the news that the Model 3 isn't just a cheap Tesla. Could help by differentiating by handling properties and size and the S could be the luxo cruiser.
     
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  8. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #8 ChadS, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
    While I don't care what others think about MY car, I do care a lot about what other people think about the cars in general, because I want them to buy the cars. (Not just the 3, but PEVs in general). They have to think of the cars as desirable before they will do that.

    I agree with the OP that Tesla is not pointing out a lot of the 3 advantages right now, and price has been the major focus (mind you, a lower price is a great characteristic; but I agree it can be dangerous if it is seen as the ONLY relevant characteristic). But with the order backlog, that's fine - in fact it makes sense to undersell the car for now when they don't need more orders, and try to move people in to an S or X instead.

    I think Tesla is well aware of all of this. As production catches up with the backlog, and competitors come out with compelling vehicles, we should see better messaging on the 3.

    ------------------------------------

    A lot of people still aren't familiar with Tesla at all. Some know every detail of every model. But the majority of the public in my area has heard of them, but are not clear on the differences between the models (even if they know the names, they often don't know the relative sizes, for example). The general way they tend to distinguish them seems to be:

    S: the really quick one
    X: the one "with the doors" (as they raise their arms like falcon wings. They almost never describe the doors with words, they just say "the doors" and use their arms)
    3: the affordable one
    Original Roadster: huh? Tesla made one of those?
     
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  9. DarthO

    DarthO Member

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    Let me back track slightly. I think you guys are correct in that Tesla is not marketing the Model 3 properly due to backlog and high demand being the main issue. I want Tesla to thrive and although the Model 3 is the little brother it is still a wonder vehicle.
     
  10. dsvick

    dsvick Active Member

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    Tesla isn't "marketing" it in any specific manner. As soon as they are more common they will do their own marketing and the perception from the general public will simply be that it's the less expensive Tesla, the same as their perception of the BMW 3 series or the Audi A3 or A4, Mercedes CLA, etc.
     
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  11. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    I also believe that in a couple of years the standard-range M3 will be ideal for government fleet vehicles. There is a large untapped market for city and county vehicles that only are used for 50-100 mile trips per day.

    Maintenance will be a lot less, and refueling can be done at the end of the work day overnight.
     
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  12. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    Where I am everyone is excited about the Model 3. Models S/X are the "old ones" or the "big ones" instead of the new hotness.

    Granted a Tesla is a Tesla and just being a Tesla they get revered. S/X doesn't get the same reaction as Model 3: "OMG that's one of the new ones"

    People drive into the parking lot of our local service center just to scope out any Model 3s which might be outside.
     
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  13. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Most people outside of major cities in California would not be able to tell the difference between a 3 and an S. Even if they could, I would not care.
     
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  14. Trevor B

    Trevor B Member

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    Who cares what others think??? Or is thing more Freudian? Are you trying to overcompensate for some shortcomings???
     
  15. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Owning a model 3 and an S, the general public around me have the idea that Tesla is just too expensive. I tell them that the 3 was built to be affordable (rather than cheap). I emphasize that it's approximately HALF the price of the S. You'd be surprised at how many people in Napa Valley wouldn't own a Tesla because it's too expensive.

    Then I let them drive it. The lights come on. They get it.
     
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  16. jamnmon66

    jamnmon66 Member

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    I believe that it's only human to care at least a little bit what other's think. But my first reaction to the OP's first post is disdain for the type of person who would make that kind of judgement. I care quite a bit that the people who know me think of me as honest, hard-working, smart and loyal. But anyone who would judge me or anything that I own because it is "cheap" slots themselves into a category of shallow, snobby, immature and probably narcissistic... exactly the kind of person who I want to avoid.

    As for Tesla, I think the market is MUCH bigger of people who are looking for value for their dollar than the market of people who like to show off how much money they can spend thinking that it impresses other people. Even the smaller battery non-premium interior version of the car is likely going to be such a compelling product that I think they'll have no problem selling a ton of them.
     
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  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    BMW never had a problem selling their "cheap", "slow" 320d.
     
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  18. T34ME

    T34ME Active Member

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    In my experience, 10% of people think of the model 3 as the "cheap Tesla". These tend to be model S/X owners. 90% of people think of the model 3 as "WOW a Tesla, how can you afford that!" These tend to be people who have no specific familiarity with Tesla other than a high priced electric car that is not good for long trips. This allows me to educate in a casual conversation.
     
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  19. chronopc

    chronopc Active Member

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    The public perception is that Teslas are fiery death traps.

    I personally could not care less what people think. I love the Model 3 and I hope the company does well so that it can continue to provide support for my car.
     
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  20. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    I think the OPs remarks are a little to California centric to be applied to global Tesla sales.

    That's just my Midwestern opinion.
     
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