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Tesla vs car dealer experience

Discussion in 'Model X: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by dutchinchicago, May 2, 2016.

  1. dutchinchicago

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    Like any normal human being I hate the car dealer experience. I applauded Tesla for finding a way to remove this part of the car buying experience.

    Now three months into my Tesla buying experience I am not sure which one I prefer. A DS who does not pick up the phone or reply to e-mails and Tesla constantly changing the delivery date and delivering cars to people who ordered months after you makes me long for the horrible car dealer experience. It is horrible but at least there is an end in site. They at worst can keep you for four of five hours but after that you drive out with a car, you get a shower and start enjoying your new vehicle.

    I know I am going to forget about all of this once I have my fantastic new car but that does not make the current experience any easier. It looks like I have at least another two months before I will have my car but who knows. This is Tesla. It could be another year, it could be next week. Apparently it is impossible to predict.

    How can Ellon stand behind this process?
     
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  2. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    I've got similar experience I'm working on buying one but both sales reps i've spoken to just don't return calls can't be reached by email... But they expect me to drop 100k on a car... I have a hard time giving money to people i can't even get on the phone. I'm going to buy one but I'm having 2nd thoughts about getting one directly from tesla
     
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  3. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    Just wait till you have a service issue, the service center is backed up for months and you can't go anywhere else. Or when you just want a simple brake fluid change and the Service center demands $700 for it and you can't go anywhere else.
     
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  4. mzpolo

    mzpolo Member

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    When you order a Ford, you get a very similar experience. You are told 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. You don't have any idea where the car is in the production process nor does the dealer. And you find out when your car will be delivered when the dealer calls you and says "your car is here".
    Expectations folks.... If you order an S now, you have an identical experience to the big three. If you order an X you are ordering a production constrained commodity, with a rather large list of buyers in front of you. You know that going in. You know that the production and delivery of your car is dependent on the configuration you choose. Just because you order a Tesla, doesn't make you anything special. Sorry folks, this is how the world works.
    Expectations folks.... real expectations please!!!
     
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  5. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    #5 eye.surgeon, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
    I've ordered several cars from the factory, most recently a Range Rover. The local dealer is great but had zero input on when it would be delivered. From the time I ordered to the time I got a call saying it's here I had zero contact from the factory or the dealer. I survived.

    Just stop bothering your DS. They will let you know when they know. They're too busy to hold your hand.
     
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  6. CitizenKane

    CitizenKane Member

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    I actually like that Tesla buyers have higher expectations than Tesla just meeting current industry standards. Tesla is changing the whole distribution model and for it to be worth it I think the customer experience should be clearly better than in the old system. I am also confident Mr Musk agrees with this. So please don't criticize those who criticize :)
     
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  7. Leodoc

    Leodoc Member

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    What he said!

    I ordered a Dodge Charger Hellcat....outside of pestering their SRT people...the dealer was clueless. Once the car left the final assembly point (canada)....it took over a month to get to my dealer. The dealer thought it was getting there one day...then another day...then just basically said they were clueless. Next thing I know I'm getting a call that it's there.

    I had a similar but better experience with Audi. The only difference there was that there was an audi guy on a forum i followed. He was able to give accurate updates on the vehicles. I even know what ship it was on as it crossed the atlantic. I would frequently follow the ship online to see when it'd get to it's port in the USA.

    Expectations people...no one manufacturer is better than that next.
     
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  8. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    What y'all are describing is the difference between ordering a car that is being built to order in small quantities still (and batched depending on options) and buying a car off the lot. It has nothing to do with direct sales vs, dealers.
     
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  9. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I agree to a point. I still think there's something to be said about the single point of failure (only being able to go to Tesla for many things) and the communication issues Tesla has.

    When it goes right, I think it's a great experience. However, when it doesn't and the buyer is left in the dark, I can see it being frustrating, especially when there's really no other option (you can always just say screw it and go to another dealer if your local GM/Ford/Whatever isn't answering your calls).

    If Tesla can improve communications and then scale it with the 3, they may have something great going for them.
     
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  10. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    You may want to e-mail [email protected] with your question(s) and indicate the trouble you've had in getting your DS to respond. You can also call them at (888) 518-3752.
     
  11. nautical

    nautical Member

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    i don't know about other brands, as i've only custom ordered one car in the past (else have purchased available inventory on the lot). BMW had a near real-time system that showed exactly where your car was in production (e.g., in the paint shop). then, they included the vessel # that you could track your car as it shipped across the atlantic. from there, it was 2 days in customs and onward to my local dealer.

    this tesla experience has been so opaque and feels incredibly disorganized. i got my "hey secure financing" email, then was told "no, car won't be ready for 2 months" when i asked my DS about it.
    they better up their game before the 3 enters production. they can't even handle 2 high priced models at the moment.
     
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  12. dutchinchicago

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    I e-mailed my DS 4 times and tried to phone him twice. I would think that is pretty reasonable. So far only 2 out of 4 times did he reply by e-mail and I managed to get him on the phone both times but only after calling the sales department and have them transfer the call for me. When I get hold of him or when he replies he is very helpful.

    I custom ordered two Mazdas and one Nissan Leaf before. The Mazdas were amazing in terms of tracking. The dealer could tell me exactly where the car was and the delivery estimate from production to delivery was very accurate (this include shipping from Japan). The Nissan was not quite as smooth but the dealer again was able to tell me where the Vehicle was at all times but had trouble with how long it would take to clear customs and initial inspection. In all three cases did I get very accurate information.

    With Tesla I get "It will be produced in March" then "It will definitely go in production this week" then "It will go in production next week" and then "It will go in production some time in May".

    Because this car is so much more awesome then any other car I ever bought I am overly keen to get it and the wait is very taxing.
     
  13. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Yeah, once you get it you'll forget all about the wait. But if Tesla was required to sell through dealers, the wait wouldn't be any shorter or easier, and you'd have all the dealer nonsense on top of it.
     
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  14. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    To be fair, comparing typical car dealers to Tesla stores is apples and oranges. Both sell cars, but the rest is very different.

    Tesla had one car for the longest time. They had no inventory that you can drive off the lot. They had no used cars, they had no alternatives. There was nothing to look at and negotiate about. You want the Model S (or now X) you buy it. No price differences, no matter where you go. With 15 car dealerships within a 15 mile radius here, people go from dealer to dealer and bargain and compare and negotiate. It's a completely different game.
     
  15. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    A game that I have no interest in playing any more.
     
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  16. Ryan MF

    Ryan MF Member

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    Why the need to 'dislike' posts you don't agree with? Don't understand why that option even exists.
     
  17. Monkey

    Monkey Member

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    I order vehicles fairly often -- usually pickup trucks, but sometimes others as needed. For both personal and business use. So far, the Tesla process has been a breath of fresh air. I do feel sorry for those with unresponsive Delivery Specialists. But we've seen over the past few years that some DS's are just not all that proactive until a car is at their location and being readied for delivery. Even with service centers backed up doing Model X QC and seat recalls, I'll take the Tesla experience any day over the traditional car dealership.
     
  18. MattXowner

    MattXowner Member

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    Great thread. Totally resonates. Got email 3/11 saying my car is going into production and almost 2 months later...no advancement.

    Great DS has kept me up to date and actually gave me a features tour of the car.

    After the tour I can only say, wow, this car is incredible. Elon said this is the best car they will likely ever make and I have to agree.

    Hard to be patient when I want this car so badly, but think in lieu of issues on signature cars, better to get one later with no issues than sooner that has to be brought back. My only wish is that I never got the 3/11 email.
     
  19. Colby Boles

    Colby Boles Member

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    I think the difference is that when you order from Ford and they tell you 6-8 weeks, there's a pretty good chance that after 6-8 weeks, regardless of how opaque the process may be, you end up getting your car. I'm at 18 weeks with no updates as to when the car might be done or what phase it is in. Ford tells you how long it is going to take, something Tesla tried to do with "Early 2016", "Mid 2016", and "Late 2016" for different models and options, but now most people's delivery specialists are reluctant to give them any date at all, understandably after many false expectations were set and missed with people's delivery dates. My MyTesla page still shows the car as being delivered in March. How much will I trust the information on this page in the future? You also mention "a rather large list of buyers in front of you" as well as "delivery of your car is dependent on the configuration you choose" as factors in the timing of receiving one's car - logically these would make sense, however the cars seem to be delivered in a much more haphazard fashion, with vehicles ordered later with options that supposedly would be produced later being delivered earlier in many cases.

    Expectations indeed - I don't even really care what expectations Tesla sets, as long as they stick to them. That way the customers can calibrate their expectations from there.

    Obviously, once production started things did not go as planned, which meant that Tesla was not going to meet the expectations they had set. Instead of communicating about the problems and re-setting people's expectations, most DSs just stonewalled.

     
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  20. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    There's a special place in hell for the lying cheats at traditional dealerships. Hope to never need to visit one again
     
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