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The Buyer's Dilemma

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Nik, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Nik

    Nik Dreaming no more :-(

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    I've now worked myself up to the position where I may be ready to put down the deposit for the Model S. One thing that holds me back is that the dilemma that accompanies any technological purchase - in a year's time the product will probably be better and cheaper.

    There are certain disadvantages to being a very early adopter for EV technologies, such as the current lack of infrastructure. Battery technology, too, will only improve, but these are things I understand and can live with.

    What I'm more worried about is the improvements made to the car over the first couple of years. From reading some of the threads about Roadsters, it seems that quite a lot of changes were made between early cars and the later ones. Whilst manufacturers will never intentionally make cars worse, it seems that some of these changes were fixes to things that maybe ought to have been right in the first place. Given the current 18-month lead time to get an 'S', I'd hate to have to get it knowing that not only did it have glitches, but that the next version was already announced and it included fixes.

    Can anyone describe the evolution of the Roadster and comment on whether the knowledge gained can be applied to the 'S' directly? Did the Roadster use the Alpha/Beta/RC(?) product development lifecycle?

    Regarding the above (from 'Photos from Milan Store' thread), were the first European roadsters equivalent to the then-current North American version, or to the first North Amercian version. In which case do we understand the quote to mean that the EU 'S' will/should incorporate a 3-phase charger from launch, or within 6 months of launch. I'm reading the former in to it.

    Nik
     
  2. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    I think that Tesla has learned a great deal from the roadster, and will incorporate that into the S.

    As far as the S getting more features, fixes for engineering/production mistakes ect. as time goes on, that is bound to happen as with any product. This may only be a firmware change though.

    I thought about waiting too because I would prefer to get a Model S Sport, but the waiting is bad enough for the original Model S. Then if they announce something better after waiting for the Sport, then you have more waiting for that better model and the cycle could go on and on....

    It all depends on how quickly you want a Tesla.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Comparing Roadsters to Model S is a bit of 'Apples to Oranges' at this point. There are so many things different about Model S compared to the way Roadster evolved.

    Certainly Tesla learned a lot of lessons from creating the Roadster, and many of those are likely applied to Model S, but they are also evolving their whole approach over time.
    I never heard anyone call Roadster variants "Alpha", or "Beta" like that. They used the EP, VP, and then 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 terminology.
    Will we see Model S 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, ... ? I dunno.

    Anyways, with any product you buy, particularly one with a lot of technology they tend to seem dated soon after you buy. There is the usual "how long do I sit on the fence?" waiting dilemma. Sure you could wait, and possibly get something a bit better, but then will have missed out on time (years?) of the chance to have had one sooner.

    If it mattered enough you could always try to sell an early model, and then buy the latest and greatest if you see something you really wish you had.

    I suppose these are all fairly obvious observations though...
     
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    Sure there are going to be improvements to the S as time goes by, but at least with the S you are starting with an EV that is already superior to what other EV buyers will be getting from other companies. A couple of years down the road your older S might not have all the new improvements Tesla will be adding along the way, but it still will be better than anything else out on the road over the next several years.
     
  5. Adm

    Adm Active Member

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    Also, by the time you will get your Model S, you'll be getting around number 4000, at least, and even though numbers will run by much faster than with the Roadster there will have been a chance for Tesla to fix the first bugs.
     
  6. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Nik, prior to putting down your deposit, you should already, basically, have a handle on the lack of infrastructure issue based on your driving needs.

    I would suggest to you this...if the lack of infrastructure (charging away from your home or work) makes the Model S "fail" your range requirements, then you should probably wait a bit.

    However, if infrastructure is not an issue, the time spent driving a guilt-free, incredibly unique performance vehicle is pure gold and should not be passed up imo.


     
  7. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    NIK...

    I understand your concerns but if you wait because of the fears of "next years model" or lower prices then you may never acquire the Model S. Therefore, continue your research on the Tesla Motors and the Model S.

    Keep in mind that Tesla Motors can not afford to make any mistakes on the Model S deliverable so rest assured that if you purchase a Model S if may very well be the best purchase you will make. Well maybe after a Mac...LOL
     
  8. Nik

    Nik Dreaming no more :-(

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    That's a fair point, assuming they deliver all the 'Production' series in number order.. I would be after an EU RHD version. These may get done in batches, which would slightly alter their position in the queue.

    I had a good chat with the Model S specialist at Tesla UK on my way home today. He tells me that they have about 30 deposits for UK cars. If they've all come in evenly then that's only two a month, so I can probably afford to wait a little without adding too much time to the delivery date.
     
  9. Jkam

    Jkam Member

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    Without trying to hijack this thread too much, do you think the first batch of Model S will retain its value? There is some talk that many of the original Roadsters are collector's items. Do you think the original Model S will be similar?
     
  10. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Highly doubtfull. Maybe the sig series, but the later roadsters are much better. Especially the sports or cars with adjustable suspension etc.
     
  11. ljbad4life

    ljbad4life Member

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    I understand the OPs dilemma, but as a future model s owner I am totally on the other side of the fence on this issue. I would rather Tesla keep up with tech rather than be 5-10 years behind like Lexus (their radio, navigation, which just became hdd based, recently supported iPods, bluetooth streaming etc). I would have no fear purchasing a Model S because I know the tech in it is current. Yes tech gets outdated quickly, but if new tech becomes outdated, how about tech that's already outdated by 5 years before you even buy the car!
     
  12. Nik

    Nik Dreaming no more :-(

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    The tech obsolescence I'm ok with, I was more concerned by comments like qwk's a couple of posts up: "later roadsters are much better. Especially the sports or cars with adjustable suspension etc." Even with all the engineering expertise in the world, second-generation cars are often improvements on the first. Better HMI, better handling, better steering etc. All the things that the buyers of the original series fed back. With this car, the length of the waiting list means that by the time Iget my car the 1.5 (or whatever) version will be taking deposits and Elon & co will be out saying how much better it is than the series 1.0. It's possible Imight not have got the S by then, and I'm worried it might be a bit galling.

    Or maybe they'll be too busy with other models to do major updates to existing cars more than every few years.
     
  13. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Buying a new car (any car really) is a bad investment from the standpoint of putting money into something that you expect to retain or gain in value. Of course it's good to look for cars that will likely sell for more years down the road but that's tough to tell with something this new.
     
  14. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Unfortunately I think only you can answer that question. By following more of a technology dev cycle than a car one, Tesla is rolling out improvements more rapidly than legacy car makers. So you should view the Model S like buying a new TV. Will next year's version be better? Yes. Can you wait a year? Well, it depends if this year's is "good enough" to satisfy your needs now or if you'd rather wait.

    I am glad I bought a 2.5 Roadster as I like the improvements they made. But it happened by accident - Tesla fell off my radar and then due to a job change it became a possibility. I think if I wanted one and had the means a couple years ago I don't think I could have waited for some possible future improvements.
     
  15. howabout2

    howabout2 Member

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    This is an interesting subject. I am of the opinion that you should put the deposit in now. As others have pointed out, the waiting game can be infinite. There is always something better just over the horizon.

    From my perspective, I'm not too worried about the battery technology or performance getting outdated in a year or two. Yes, that will happen, but I think it will be a gradual thing and not something that happens rapidly. For example, I wouldn't expect a sudden doubling of battery efficiency in the first year.

    Of everything that may change with the Model S in the years I own one, the most significant potential future change that would have me itching to upgrade: OLED screens.

    I really like the idea of a 17" display as a center console. I don't quite love that it will be an LCD display. I think it's inevitable that the LCD backlight will be a little annoying at times. A light-emitting technology such as OLED, rather than the light-obscuring LCD, would be amazing for the Model S' displays.
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    not



    .
     
  17. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    What do you mean????
     
  18. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Hopefully it is LED backlit LCD. If so I wouldn't worry about it being too bright at night. They can easily control the level. Also it will last a lot longer than electroluminescent.
     
  19. ljbad4life

    ljbad4life Member

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    so you are ok with companies holding back improvements just so they can stick to a 5 year-7 year schedule? I would rather wait 1 year to have improvements than wait 5 years. I would have bought a certain car 5 years ago, but I refuse to pay for 10 year old tech (both interface and electrics)
     

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