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Responding to the "Rich Man's Car" Comments

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by leilanimunter, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. leilanimunter

    leilanimunter Member

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    I have been posting all the good news that keeps flowing on Tesla and one repeated thorn in my side are the people complaining that your average Joe can't afford a Tesla. Interesting that it happens mostly on my FB page although it has happened on my Twitter as well. Yesterday when I was posted about the great safety ratings, these comments were made "another car for the rich to afford..." and "At 60 grand let's get back to reality for the masses okay?" so this is what I wrote on my wall today and already people are getting mad for my response: https://www.facebook.com/leilanimunter/posts/10151804592924371 I would be interested to hear other ways you deal with this type of criticism.
     
  2. lorih

    lorih Member

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    Nice response! You inspire me. With everything you speak of (cars, environment, animals), you are passionate, outspoken, straightforward but never obnoxious. Keep the faith girl!
     
  3. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I, for one, can stand on my high horse very easily here, and tell anyone who tries that criticism on me to swap my income with one-third, or even one-quarter, of his/hers for the past ten years, and see how many microseconds elapse before drowning.

    I have spent my adult decades living well below my means - and my means have been very modest. Anyone who complains that your average Joe can't afford a Tesla has to refute me, who earns far less than any average Joe and can afford one. But very, very few people have the same lifestyle, or have the same consumption priorities, as we have. And even fewer people like to be lectured to, so a little more sensitive discretion than I have is in order here.
     
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Your writing is excellent as usual. Another thing I add is that Tesla's first car was $120K and their 2nd car is now $70K and they promise the next one will be $35K. They just have to wait for batteries and get to mass production to get the prices down.

    Oh, and I usually include refrigerators to the list of "formally expensive" appliances. I think it's good to have one thing they can't imagine living without.
     
  5. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    #5 Raffy.Roma, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
    You are right Leilani, but in my opinion you should read the words of complaint with Tesla not as a real criticism against Tesla but as feelings of impatience expressing the anxiety of people that would like Gen III be produced today.
    It could be called AOTETWLGIIIBPI (Anxiety Of Tesla Enthusiasts That Would Like Gen III Be Produced Immediately) disease. :cool:
     
  6. GlennAlanBerry

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    Well, as you have seen by now, there are a lot of people who enjoy making negative comments about Tesla, and EVs in general for a number of different reasons. Some of these attacks are politically motivated, often from people who somehow equate Tesla with "big government" and environmentalism as some sort of threat to them personally. Then you have the economically motivated attacks from people who have a vested interest in the ICE infrastructure status quo. Next, you have the people who are "short" on TSLA in the stock market, who may have a huge financial interest in Tesla doing poorly and driving down the price of TSLA stock. Finally, some people are just trolls, who simply want to provoke a reaction.

    Since you are somewhat famous, and very visible on the web, you are going to draw some of these attacks, unfortunately. I would try not to take them personally or let them bother you. After all, you have a Model S, and you know how amazing it is, and they don't... :)
     
  7. leilanimunter

    leilanimunter Member

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    Good advice, thank you ;)
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I think you nailed it.

    I paid $1,600 for my first cell phone in 1987 because a year before, they were going for around $3,000. (I had to remove the seats in my car just to install it!).

    You're right in that new technologies start out expensive then gradually come down in price. I like Tesla's model of coming from the top down where they can compete pretty much head-to-head on price rather than the traditional model of taking a $15,000 ICE and turning it into a $30,000 EV.
     
  9. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    I am the 'chief geek' in my group, and am constantly asked what the best (fill in the blank: cell phone, computer, camera, car) is to buy. My stock answer is: next year's model. It will invariably be better, faster, cheaper. Don't get mad...just freeze the technology and appreciate it for what it is.
     
  10. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I first ask them if they have heard of the 'trickle down effect'. Trickle-down effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    and if they get it, then great, if they don't then do they own a smartphone or cell phone? or Microwave? or even a rotary phone?

    If they still don't get it, I like to quote this: The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me) | Blog | Tesla Motors

    After I read that, I was all in.
     
  11. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I don't think we should give a political or economical interpretation of any criticism to Tesla. In my opinion the key of success of Tesla is in keeping a neutral position about any criticism which will be done to Tesla. Environmental problems concern everybody and have not political colour.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Your response is bang on.

    When they come back and say $35k is still a stretch for them, you can point out that they will be saving $200 to $300 a month using electricity instead of gasoline. That goes a long way towards making those car payments. And once the car is paid off, it's all gravy.
     
  13. PokerBroker

    PokerBroker Member

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    Tesla is always going to be a premium brand, even with their mid-size offering in a few years... Let Kia figure out the cheap EV for the average Joe for $18,000... It won't keep Tesla from making money and owning the premium marketplace.
     
  14. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    I understand the reasoning behind this argument. But at the same time – that IMHO – would be to disregard reality. And disregarding reality is never a good thing to do...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Everything is politically charged – one way or another. And TSLA can’t escape that either.
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    A $50,000 pickup truck that is simply a commuter car could be a rich man's car to others. Any line you draw at 'affordable' for the 'masses' will be too high or tools to a particular person's liking. All they can do is make it as affordable as possible and as expensive as the market will allow.
     
  16. Richard_B

    Richard_B Member

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    I keep seeing these arguments as well. I can say that I saw one of the first plasma TVs. It cost $25,000 and the guy in the TV store said they could never be mass-produced because of problems with the pixels. I was so stunned with the quality of the picture I said right then and there that one day I would own a plasma TV. I now own a 60" plasma TV that cost less than $4,000. As you say, it's the same with every new electronic gadget or invention. I remember when CDs first arrived (I saw them in Italy in 1983 before they arrived here). At a time when a new vinyl album would go on sale for $5 a CD was over $30 and remained over $25 for years (Man, was it expensive to replace every Beatles album!). I bought one of the first commerically available Beta video tapes of the Wizard of OZ. It cost $80. I remember seeing the first computers and first Walkmen. (Man, am I dating myself here). Everything was insanely expensive when it first appeared. That's just the way the world works: rich people have to be the early adopters so that economies of scale can kick in and everyone can afford them. Complaints right now are just sour grapes. I read an article that attacks the car because the stock price is unrealistically high and the view out the back is restricted (Tesla is impressive - but it’s not a real car company yet - The Globe and Mail). It's one of the stupidest attacks on Tesla that I've seen. Let it all roll on by like water off a duck's back. You'll have the last laugh.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I keep seeing these arguments as well. I can say that I saw one of the first plasma TVs. It cost $25,000 and the guy in the TV store said they could never be mass-produced because of problems with the pixels. I was so stunned with the quality of the picture I said right then and there that one day I would own a plasma TV. I now own a 60" plasma TV that cost less than $4,000. As you say, it's the same with every new electronic gadget or invention. I remember when CDs first arrived (I saw them in Italy in 1983 before they arrived here). At a time when a new vinyl album would go on sale for $5 a CD was over $30 and remained over $25 for years (Man, was it expensive to replace every Beatles album!). I bought one of the first commerically available Beta video tapes of the Wizard of OZ. It cost $80. I remember seeing the first computers and first Walkmen. (Man, am I dating myself here). Everything was insanely expensive when it first appeared. That's just the way the world works: rich people have to be the early adopters so that economies of scale can kick in and everyone can afford them. Complaints right now are just sour grapes. I read an article that attacks the car because the stock price is unrealistically high and the view out the back is restricted (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/driving-it-home/tesla-is-impressive---but-its-not-a-real-car-company-yet/article13867560/). It's one of the stupidest attacks on Tesla that I've seen. Let it all roll on by like water off a duck's back. You'll have the last laugh.
     
  17. Julian Cox

    Julian Cox Banned

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    popped this on your facebook....

    That's a great point Leilani, I think it is important to make a distinction between who is making the "car for the rich" comment. Sometimes the comment is just spin from folk who could easily afford a Model S but are mocking the change that Tesla represents (no patience for that). On the other hand these comments speak of the frustration that comes with the huge desire to ditch the pump and own a piece of the Tesla story while that is still years out of reach. I think that should be honored as a market calling for Tesla to serve as soon as possible. They are doing that in a careful and methodical way to make sure that it will definitely happen. They need to be careful and get everything right along the way in a world with many vested interests that would be delighted to see them fail.
     
  18. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    I wouldn't take much stock in the negative feedback on the Model S. I can't afford it, but I'm not complaining. (Just waiting for Gen3) :)

    I just see the "rich man's car" argument as grasping at straws. They can't call it vaporware, it's a reality. They can't say that no one is buying it, there is a waiting list. They can't say it isn't fast, it is. They can't say it isn't sexy, it is. They can't say it isn't an amazing car, it is. They can't say it's dependent on govt loans, anymore. This is really the last argument that they can have against Tesla.

    What it all boils down to, is that while there may be legitimate criticism and concerns over the Tesla price tag currently, there is a significant segment of this country that will attack anything they perceive as "green" or "environmentally friendly". I read an article not too long ago about the hundreds of thousands of jobs that could potentially be created by energy efficiency measures. I thought it was a great article and fairly enlightening, and you would think something like energy efficiency would be totally noncontroversial right? Nope, wrong. The comment section of the article was filled with rage over "Obama" and hate towards... energy efficiency. Don't ask me to explain it or understand it, I really can't. But there really does exist a strong anti-environment, and even perhaps pro-pollution movement that cannot be reasoned with in any sake of the word.

    Be sure to engage with and inform reasonable skeptics, there are plenty of reasonable skeptics out there. But as far as hardcore anti-"green" people, you are never going to win with them. The best thing to do with them is debunk their lies and misinformation. That is your best bet.
     
  19. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    I usually reply by asking how much they spend on gas each month--$4/gallon in California. I then explain the tax deductions that make the car more affordable. Then I mention that I get car pool lane access which saves me time. Since I have my own business, every hour saved is time I can make money. I ask them if they think the price of gas will go up or down over the next ten years--I have locked in my transportation costs for the next 10 years. Then finally I admit that I am a Tesla addict and I cannot help myself.
     
  20. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

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    I usually tell people that if they are considering a BMW 5 series, Mercedes S class or Audi A7 then they should also check out the Tesla. Same ballpark price range. We have enough luxury cars (albeit mostly 3series and a4's) that people disassociate the price w/ the functionality.
     

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