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What type of purchasing experience do you prefer?

What type of purchasing experience do you prefer?


  • Total voters
    64
As many of you know, the NADA has been trying to stop Tesla sales. I live in VA where we only have a single store. The VADA is trying to prevent a second store from opening in Richmond. If you would like more information on this you can read about it at the below link.
Tesla seeking to open Richmond facility

The VADA feels that it is in the public's best interest to have independent dealerships sell Tesla vehicles. Well, who is better suited to provide a response to that than the people who have purchased cars from dealerships and Tesla? I ask that if you meet this criteria that you take this survey.

Also, please provide a summary of your purchasing experiences.
 

ggr

Expert in Dunning-Kruger Effect!
Moderator
Mar 24, 2011
7,238
31,017
San Diego, CA
Yesterday my wife bought a new car (Mazda 3). She told them up front that she'd done lots of internet research, and they gave her "the internet price", no haggling. They still tried to upsell the various extended warranties, alarm systems, paint protection, etc. From walking in with a cheque to getting the delivery briefing about how everything worked was still about an hour and a half.

(The Mazda 3 is a placeholder for the Model 3, after her trusty Subaru was written off by being rear-ended.)
 
The worst experience I've had buying a car was at a local dealership. Lots of pressure, completely ignored anything I said unless it involved giving them money on the spot. I ended up walking out. Still bought the model of car I was interested in, but not from that dealer.

The car-buying services do a nice job of removing a lot of the hassle. My credit union has one which I've used in the past. I picked the car up from the local dealer which took longer than I thought was necessary, but overall it was a much better experience. If I'd had the car delivered to my house I think it would have been better still.

The best experience was of course Tesla. The test-drive was completely pressure free, the focus was all on demonstrating the car, and making sure I got to try out all the major features. When we got back to the store there was still no pressure, no questions about what payment terms I could afford, or "lets get some paperwork for you to start on". I genuinely felt I could thank them for the experience and walk away without anyone thinking their time had been wasted. Of course I'd already reached a "shut up and take my money" state of mind, so just handed over the credit card and said "you'll be needing this".

From there, the actual buying experience continued to be pressure free. Options weren't pushed, and given the type of driving I do, the advisor even suggested that AWD wasn't necessary, so could be removed if I wanted to save money or select other things instead. I agreed that I didn't need it, but I did want it. Then I was told about the 1 week until confirmation process - which I thought was a fantastic idea, especially as California has no cooling off period for car purchases. I think that more than anything else in the buying process shows that Tesla wants happy customers, and is more concerned about that than trying to close every deal.

The pickup process was nice too, minimal paperwork, then on to explaining the controls and pairing the phone.
 
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IMO
Prior to purchasing my Tesla, my experience purchasing cars was very one sided and centered around used cars. You see I worked for CarMax for over 20 yrs. In that time I saw the used vehicle retail experience revolutionized by a company with a customer centric approach to selling cars. That included a no haggle approach, quality vehicles and integrity based company values. In many markets there was push back from the entrenched old school automotive dealers - but in the end the whole market customer experienced was changed for the better by simply having a retailer with a different business model in the market. Tesla is doing the same thing with new cars that CarMax did with used cars - revolutionizing the selling model.

In my opinion Tesla embodies those customer centric qualities. My Tesla experience has been very customer centric from the order process thru delivery and including ordering other accessories from the SC. When Tesla first started challenging the entrenched dealer groups, the groups attempted to sway public opinion by dismissing the business model with statements like ... 'it's high end car sales catering to the wealthy'. However the Model 3 announcement and broad public response wiped out that argument. Those same dealer groups are now fighting Tesla using archaic legislation and arguments based on the idea that the public needs dealership protection when purchasing a new car. As a consumer I find this argument to be insulting and patronizing.

In 2015 new car sales were at 17.5 million units and franchise dealer used car sales were approaching 15 million units. Dealers don't argue that we need protection for used car sales, where interestingly enough their profit margin is greater and frankly many late model used vehicles rival the quality of new cars with warranties still in place. Using the Dealer logic this protection argument should apply to all cars. The reality is that they can't use that argument because there is no archaic protectionist legislation in place for them to hijack for their purposes. The dealer reality is that they are scratching and clawing to hold on to whatever incremental profit they can get out of the consumers and get a piece of the Tesla pie. I say to them - stand on your own merit, do such a good job that the manufacturers don't see how they can compete. In other words - do what any other businesses do - compete in a free market place on your own merits. As a consumer - let me make my own choice where I want to purchase my vehicle.
 
Last edited:

NikeWings

Active Member
Apr 7, 2016
2,117
2,848
California
I transacted entirely online and loved it. Understanding the transformational role Tesla was playing as it avoided traditional distribution methods, I willingly and gladly accepted the website glitches, conflicting comments from the untrained front line and inconsistent communications. Regardless of the process imperfections, (which are relatively easy to fix once prioritized to be), its far better than playing all those silly games at a dealership with pesky players, false faces and condescending tones.
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,781
South Surrey, BC
As many of you know, the NADA has been trying to stop Tesla sales....The VADA is trying to prevent a second store from opening in Richmond.... The VADA feels that it is in the public's best interest to have independent dealerships sell Tesla vehicles.

The VADA is a very powerful lobby group. It's purpose is to protect its members and NOT the public. This is what they say about themselves:

"VADA is one of the most successful and influential lobbying groups in Virginia. In the past decade we have made enormous strides in strengthening Virginia’s laws to protect dealers from unfair trade practices."

Not once will you find the word "public" mentioned when they describe what they are about.

That tells you all there is to know about this special interest group. Their sole purpose is protect their own interest at the expense of the public's interest if the two interests are conflicting.
 

Chopr147

Active Member
Apr 3, 2016
1,948
1,470
Wantagh, NY
Boy, you can open a can of worms with this question!
In May I went to the Lexus dealer because THEY keep telling me to turn in my ES350 for a new one at a great price! All kinds of promises. So I do. All I wanted was another lease with the same deal I already have and was told on the phone no problem. I had to go back and forth with the saleswomen (who would go to the mgr. each time etc....) for 4 and a half hours!!!! I ended up getting the deal originally promised but was so ticked off at the process that I decided this is my last Lexus.
Tesla: 2 test rides. All my questions answered. Ordered online like I was buying something on Amazon. Every Tesla "sales" rep. (idk what to call them) was excited about the product they were selling but not one pressured me into buying one. And guess what? I ordered an S and plan on ordering the model 3 when that Lexus lease is up :)
 
Boy, you can open a can of worms with this question!

That is exactly what I wanted to do! I would like Mr. Holcomb (DMV Commissioner) to be able to reference the views of people who have purchased from independent dealers and Tesla. What better way to determine what is in the public's best interest than to hear from those who have experienced it. A free and open survey which I'm sure will land on the side of a free and open market...
 
Having just picked up my new Tesla 90D, I will comment that this is the way that buying a car should be. I get that it is expensive, and that expectations are higher because of that. The entire experience has gone smoothly and on schedule. Communications has been just right. Folks were helpful, and not pushy. Especially at delivery. Great delivery process. This is the way that the car purchasing experience should be done.
 
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Having just picked up my new Tesla 90D, I will comment that this is the way that buying a car should be. I get that it is expensive, and that expectations are higher because of that. The entire experience has gone smoothly and on schedule. Communications has been just right. Folks were helpful, and not pushy. Especially at delivery. Great delivery process. This is the way that the car purchasing experience should be done.

Congrats on the new 90D!
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,162
1,975
NJ
While I like everyone else much perfer the Tesla buying experience, the service experience is a different story. The lack of competition for service means that you have to pay whatever Tesla feels like charging. The battery coolant service requires access to the Tesla diagnostic/service software and can't be don't by an indy shop or DIYer. Same goes for alot of other repairs that will be required once the cars are out of warranty.

While Tesla service has in general been exceptionally good so far, the price they charge is crazy and there is nothing to say that the service won't decline in the future.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,162
1,975
NJ
The problem is that alot of work on a Tesla requires the Tesla diagnostic software. Without that software there are only a few things that an Indy shop can do. While its possible that someone will develop a 3rd party software that would allow an indy shop to replace parts or do things like a coolant flush, its quite likely that Tesla will just release a update that breaks the software, either purposefully or just accidentally.
 

Chopr147

Active Member
Apr 3, 2016
1,948
1,470
Wantagh, NY
Today that works out fine. 5 years from now when over 1 million Tesla's are on the road ,there will be a need for more service centers. And depending on the Model 3 reliability they could be overwhelmed. (hopefully not) With my S on order I am a little weary about any problems. Reading this forum the S seems to be very reliable but, there are some horror stories. Even electric motors come out with some unexplained lemons.
 

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