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So, why did you buy a Tesla?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by r3dacted, May 15, 2014.

  1. r3dacted

    r3dacted New Member

    May 15, 2014
    Hello all,
    I am currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University, and am researching customer motivations and perceptions in regards to the Model S. With that in mind, I would greatly appreciate it if some of you are willing to answer a couple of my questions and to share your experiences and thoughts about the Model S.

    1. Why did you buy a Model S rather than a more “traditional” EV such as the Nissan Leaf?
    2. What were your primary reasons for buying a Model S (design, environmentalism, the drive experience, etc)?
    3. What were your perceptions of the Model S before delivery? Have they changed with the experience of ownership?
    4. What are your experiences with the Tesla store? How does this differ with experiences you may have had at a car dealership (customer service, store layout, etc)?

    Please feel free to contribute any other opinions, perspectives, or experiences.

  2. Mnlevin

    Mnlevin Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    South Florida
    First of all I believe you are off when you state "more traditional car" Nissan Leaf. The Tesla is a much more traditional car. It looks like what a luxury car should look like, not some cartoon character which is what all the other TRADITIONAL manufacturers cars appear to be. So that would be a major issue, it looks beautiful like a car should and drives like a traditional car, even more so.

    Next, the primary reason would be the unique feature that it doesnt use GAS. I was intrigued at first, but when we did the test ride 3 years ago at the factory, I was sold on the fact that you could get a beautiful luxury car, with amazing performance, low maintainence and no gas station stops, not to mention getting off of Arab or even Texas oil.

    Have had the car for over a year and it has been the best car ever. There is no better experience and I have had Cadillacs, BMWs, Lexus and all other quality brands. this is the best.

    THe Service Center experience is far and away better than any dealership. Everything that is painful about the dealership is gone at the TESLA store and service center. Just a much better way to do business.
  3. jerry33

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

    Mar 8, 2012
    1. If by "traditional" you mean an EV with no range and no battery thermal management system, then I guess that's an okay definition. The Leaf is basically a converted gas car, and has many limitations because of it. I wouldn't call it "traditional".

    2. Range, driving experience, environment, not having to go through a dealer, and I don't like to pay money to the oil companies.

    3. I expected to get a car that would just work and be low cost to run and that the purchase would be painless (other than parting with the money). After 24,000+ miles it appears that's what I got.

    4. Never been to a Tesla store. Just ordered online. I'm not sure why you'd do anything else.
  4. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2013
    Seminole, Florida, United States
    1. It wasn't even a consideration. The Leaf wouldn't handle my daily commute, anyway. I wasn't in the market for an EV, I was in the market for a beautiful car that wasn't every 5th car on the road. I like to be different.
    2. I guess I answered 1&2 above
    3. My only perceptions before delivery were what I read here... I had never driven one, not even seen one in person before I ordered. My perceptions certainly changed since ownership, reading and experiencing are vastly different. I adore my car.
    4. I have never visited a Tesla store. The service center near me was recently changed to both a store and SC, so I have checked it out when in for service. Here's the difference - I have never looked forward to visiting a dealership service center. I like going to the Tesla SC, they know me, I know everyone there even though I have rarely been there, and when I have been, I've gotten to see some lucky soul taking delivery. And I always imagine how they are feeling, that giddy excitement I felt, and how their life will be just a little different now! Oh, the store looks cool and had it been there in 2013 when I ordered I would have visited for sure. Only to see the colors in person.
  5. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

    Dec 2, 2012
    Georgetown, ON
    The reasons I bought a Tesla :
    -It is an EV and I wanted to stop using gas.
    -the testdrive of the car sold me as it is not like any other car I have driven.
    -the range per charge.
    -I believe in the company, and what they are trying to accomplish.

    To answer your question about the experience with the Tesla store... I felt like I was buying something from the Apple pressure, no salespitch. Very relaxed atmosphere. The associate was available to answer my questions, but did not try to sell me the car with a salespitch.
  6. Pilot_51

    Pilot_51 Member

    Jan 18, 2014
    Metro Detroit, MI
    1. I'm not into cars in the traditional sense, I've always only cared about EVs. I did consider the Leaf and Focus Electric as a stop-gap to the Model S, but decided against it after I saw the safety ratings of the Leaf and read about some disconcertingly common and potentially dangerous technical problems with the Focus Electric. I also determined that their range during winter might not provide the desired flexibility for my 50 mile daily commute.
    2. Tesla is a game changer that I've been closely following for about 6 years (before Roadster production). There's so much about both the Model S and Tesla that sets it above the rest, more than I want to type right now. When I started my current job about 2 years ago, I've been saving up as fast as possible with the intention of buying Model S. Didn't go exactly as planned as I wanted to pay with cash, but I think in this case a year of debt is better than another year of stressful carpooling.
    3. Before: Dream car. I've only seen a handful of them and never had a chance to ride. I learned everything about it online. After: Not there yet. I have no doubt it will be everything I expected if not more.
    4. The nearest Tesla Store is about 240 miles (4 hours) away and I didn't need the store to make a decision. I research and buy just about everything online anyway, why not a car? I have minimal experience with dealerships and when I did go to one, I wasn't the one shopping or in for service; they were all quite friendly, though there was always some sense they were hiding something (valid or not, I don't know).
  7. AMN

    AMN Member

    May 24, 2013
    Minneapolis, NYC, Bozeman
    Tesla isn't successful because they made an electric car. They are successful because they made an electric car that looks great, performs great, safe, practical, and is easy and fun to operate. This car would sell well even if it had a gasoline engine. This is critical and has been Musk's mission from day one - to make an electric car everyone will want because it does everything well.

    We bought our Model S because of its novelty. All of these 500HP Porsches, BMWs and AMGs fight for customers by preaching "new and innovative" features... it's so boring. I loved the interior of our 2013 AMG Benz... absolutely gorgeous. And loved its Adaptive Cruise Control. That's it. Unloaded that bad boy a month ago because it was sitting in the garage collecting dust. Still have a 911 turbo for fun but we are really done with gasoline powered SUVs and sedans. There is no going back to that.
  8. JonathanD

    JonathanD Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    OC, CA
    1. I'm a car guy, I wasn't shopping for electric vehicles, I was shopping for a great car that did everything I want. The Leaf has bad range, poor performance, and is ugly. Hybrids were also not in consideration, I don't like the complication of two power sources with limited benefit. From an efficiency standpoint I would buy a diesel before I'd buy a hybrid.

    2. I've been following the company for years, I love the approach they took with the model s, built from the ground up to be a pure electric vehicle that could compete against the finest luxury cars on the market. After test driving it, it was clear this is a car with few or no compromises and feels like you are stepping into the future. The exterior is aesthetically pleasing, the utility aspect blows everything in its class out of the water. Performance is on par or superior to competitors. Safety is best in class. It is an excellent car in its own right. In addition to all that I would say you are making a statement by purchasing a model s, but not like a prius or a leaf. It's not about enviro-elitism. It's a statement that says this is the future and I have decided to be part of it.
    3. Don't take delivery until June 6 but I know this car so well by now that I have little double I'll be an enthusiastic owner.
    4. The Tesla store was a great experience, no gimmicky sales tactics, no haggling. The reps are subject matter experts first and foremost, not generic salespeople who may or may not have knowledge about the product. Maybe that will shift if and when they are able to produce ample supply to meet demand, but for now it's a pleasant, zero pressure environment.
  9. DA808EV

    DA808EV Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    1. Because of the range. The Leaf or any other EV will not give me the range I need on a charge.
    2. I liked how it drove, how it looks, and b/c I can use the carpool lane. If I'm going to be driving 100+ miles per day, I wanted a car that I enjoyed.
    3. No real perceptions before taking delivery or after.
    4. Experience at the store were great, very helpful and friendly. Wish it was the same dealing with my delivery specialist.
  10. HHHH

    HHHH Member

    Jun 11, 2013
    Henderson, NV
    Why did you buy a Model S rather than a more “traditional” EV such as the Nissan Leaf?
    What were your primary reasons for buying a Model S (design, environmentalism, the drive experience, etc)?
    What were your perceptions of the Model S before delivery? Have they changed with the experience of ownership?
    What are your experiences with the Tesla store? How does this differ with experiences you may have had at a car dealership (customer service, store layout, etc)?

    1. I wasn't in the market for an EV, I was looking to buy a replacement performance vehicle.
    2. Primary reason was all of the tech, the company's vision, Elon Musk, then not having to pay for fuel.
    3. My perceptions were that it would be a very fast, tech savvy car. They did change with ownership because I didn't imagine it would be this amazing.
    4. The Tesla store is awesome, the people there are super helpful and the experience is second to none. Like the best service industries these days, there's nothing they won't do to make me happy.
  11. vevans

    vevans Member

    Dec 18, 2012
    I own the base model nothing extra except the pano roof and it is better than almost every luxury car out there. It is fast and just an engineering marvel. There is no doubt after owning for a year this is the best car my family has ever owned.
  12. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

    Dec 13, 2013
    Annapolis, MD
    1. Model S shows that an EV can be a high performance, high utility, high quality car, rather than an econobox.
    2. Once we considered buying in this price range, there was no alternative that made sense.
    3. Model S seemed like a Tesla roadster with high utility, luggage and passenger capacity. It still is all that.
    4. It's great to learn about a product from someone who is prohibited from selling it to you. And when has a traditional dealer ever had a chassis sitting out there to show the innards?
  13. Johann Koeber

    Johann Koeber Active Member

    May 1, 2012
    Schweinfurt, Germany
    1. As a roadster owner I wanted more space, more range and more of a 'traditional' car. I like the high performance and at the same time being freindly to the planet.
    3. I was ready to accept less than perfect build quality. I was surprised of the great advances Tesla made qualitywise. I compare it to the test drive car (a very early build) and my first S. My current S was about 10.000 VIN numbers later and the better quality is easily felt.
    4. The stores are great places to discuss everything about the car and to touch, see and feel the colors and surfaces, as well as provide a test drive. The best is that I need not negotiate a price. Just pay list price and feel sure that everyone else does too. Even you are paying a high price you don't feel ripped off.
  14. Apoclyps

    Apoclyps Member

    Feb 28, 2013
    Taipei, Taiwan
    1. My ICE was starting to have engine problems. Instead of forking money over to get it fixed, after twice getting a diagnosis, I decided to go shopping for a new car. My first thought was a Volt, as I wanted something with better mileage and greener. I somehow stumbled upon the Model S and did some research and fell in love with the concept. I had to have it... kinda like an "impulse buy/gotta have the new tech" feeling one gets.
    2. Range, style, sleekness, beauty (these also answer #1). I never test drove the car.
    3. My first premium car so didn't know what to expect.
    4. I didn't go into a Tesla store until after I purchased the car to get merch. It reminded me like a phone/gadget store.
  15. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

    Aug 19, 2013
    Victoria BC Canada
    Well, if you research a bit more on this site, there are several threads that ask nearly the same questions, and you'll get plenty of answers that should be easy to relate to these particular questions. So perhaps join together with your other fellow students who are pursuing the same knowledge... Happy reading! :)

    That said, my answers:

    1. IMO the Leaf is functional (except not enough range), but ugly.

    2. Primary reason: support Tesla in its effort to produce a compelling, affordable, sustainable transportation vehicle to get the world off oil. I'm no environmentalist, but I bought the vision and mission statement, and I've put my money into supporting it. Of course I get that tiny, insignificant benefit of driving a Model S for years. I originally worked out a plan to buy a Volt now, then sell it when the GenIII came out. But add the price of those two cars together and you have a Model S.

    3. Lot of research over the past 2 years, but vicariously since no actual physical experience (seeing one live, test drive...) until a month before purchasing in January 2014. My perceptions of the Model S have not changed, except in *continuously growing* happiness, etc.

    4. Tesla store is a huge improvement over a car dealership, in every way. I won't bother to go into the details, the fact that 80-90% of feedback on dealerships is negative should give you plenty of proof (ok, I made up the 80-90%, but, anecdotal comments I've read skew far more to "ripped off by dealer" instead of "great service, well taken care of by dealer").

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