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Why are people sweating the details?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by chuckd, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. chuckd

    chuckd Member

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    Quite often I see posts on this forum about people being upset with options/pricing changes that often to me seem quite insignificant. I also see lots of questions weighing one option vs another, and it all boils down to 'bang for buck' value for these people. I don't understand that for one simple reason:

    These are expensive cars!

    Any regular ICE car I've ever purchased starts off with a base configuration, and I simply add features I want and leave out others. If the base model was too much, then I looked at a different vehicle. I've never known anybody to purchase a base model of any vehicle anyway.

    Here was my purchasing decision process on the P85D, and I can't believe I'm unusual for this type of vehicle (again, we're talking over 100K cars here):

    1. 70D, 85D or P85D. Perhaps the only real decision I made. I like fast, so I went with the P85D. The rest is easy.
    2. Carbon fiber spoiler, looks cool, add it...
    3. Autopilot, of course yes, why would I want to restrict my expensive car features?
    4. Smart air suspension, of course yes.
    5. High fidelity sound, yes. Why would I want to listen to crappy music on a high-end vehicle?
    6. Premium interior package. Of course, why would I want my expensive car to have a less than stellar interior?
    7. Executive rear seats. Maybe the only other 'real' option to me. I don't need to cart around 5 people, so I went with the comfort and looks of these seats.
    8. Subzero weather package. I live in Oklahoma, but yes! Love a warm seat and steering wheel on the few cold days we get (maybe 10 all year).
    9. Rear facing seats. I don't have small kids, and I like the storage room, so no thank you.
    10. Sunroof. I like the look both inside and out, so of course.
    11. 21 inch grey turbine wheel please, they look far better to me (personal taste here).
    12. Paint - red multi-coat. Looks best to me (again, personal taste).
    13. Black next generation seats. Feel better, and again, very expensive car so why would I skimp?
    14. Carbon fiber interior. Personal choice, I just like it.
    15. White Alcantara headliner..... I like the look.

    All adds up to ~133K. Rebates don't matter (I'm leasing, and I live in Oklahoma so I really don't get much anyway). Push order now.....

    If I had a more limited budget, I wouldn't be buying this car to begin with. I'd buy something I could afford. I don't see buying a +100K car if that's not a no-brainer. Last time I bought a Mercedes, if I whined about the price they would have shown me a cheaper model to start with.

    Sorry, just a rant. When the 3 comes out, these pricing issues will become relevant because it becomes an 'everyman' car. Right now it's not.
     
  2. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    #2 deonb, Apr 19, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
    You're obviously in the 7-series / S-class market.
    The 3, when it comes out, will be in the 3-series / C-class market.

    A lot of people here who buy a Model S and fret about the option prices, aren't in either of those market. They're in the 5-series/E-class market.

    A 70D after fuel savings is a $57k car. So it's definitely not out of place for someone who had a budget that allowed them to buy e.g. a BMW 535i otherwise, and who drives > 15000 miles per year, to instead look at a 70D. Tesla obviously knows this, which is why they heavily market the vehicle like that.

    But in a price range like that, options DO matter. It doesn't mean that you instead need to wait for a 3-series vehicle. You can still be a 5-series buyer and buy a Model S instead, but it's just a bit of juggling to make it fit.


    Also, a lot of people here could afford the higher end vehicle and options as well, but they've never owned a $100k car before, because, until the Model S, there was just nothing interesting enough about a $100k car that made it worthwhile.

    I'm in that boat. my previous most expensive car was around $45k. And I've been umming and ahhing around a BMW M5 for 6 years prior, and it's never been a question about price, more, like... well, I can afford it, but maybe wait for BMW to refine the HUD a bit more, and get Active Steering better, and didn't like the initial SMG flippers, and..., and... just waiting model after model to really inspire me to get one.

    Bought the Model S the first day I saw it. It was just so much more interesting than the M5.

    But it took me a while to go through the options to decide what I needed. It would have taken me a while to go through the M5 options and justify them as well. Not a matter of finances, but some of these options are more expensive than the first few cars I owned! So it's more of a moral dilemma instead of a financial one.
     
  3. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Why are people sweating the details? Because not everyone who wants to buy a Tesla can afford a $133,000 car, or would want to pay that much for a car even if they could afford it. And you don't have to-- you can buy an amazing Tesla, well equipped, for 2/3 of the price of your car. For many buyers, especially EV enthusiasts rather than former Porsche or other high end car owners, that's at least twice what they have paid for any previous car. So yes, we sweat the details of which version to buy with which options. It's so nice that you didn't have to.
     
  4. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    There is a saying that goes "penny wise, pound foolish". People throw away a heap of money and then try to compensate somehow by collecting scrubs. We have general rule of thumb to never buy a car with showroom price above annual income.

    Part of the problem is there is no cheaper Model 3 yet and there is this huge "me want tesla" (me included) that pushes people way above their "usual" car price level.

    The other part is weak secondary market with prices too close to new MS70D price to offer a viable alternative.
    It will take some time for this to sort out, but it will eventually.
     
  5. chuckd

    chuckd Member

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    I guess I just don't get that when it starts out at 85K (realistically closer to 100), that a 2K option is that big a deal. Every car I've ever bought was way above base-price, and I imagine this is everybody's experience that has bought a Model S.

    I'm not bragging about my ability to buy or not buy a car, just that when somebody decides to buy a very expensive vehicle and sweats the comparatively small options, it seems kind of ridiculous given the fact that they are only about 2.5% of the car's value on average. In that case, admire the car from afar but don't impact your financial well being just because you suffer from vehicle lust.

    I guess I meant to ask what individual car-buying logic is. Personally, I pick a car I can afford and add all the factory stuff that I think is 'cool'. I wouldn't have considered the car if I couldn't afford its entire range. Granted, with the Model S if something like auto-pilot was 50K, I'd have to think strongly about adding it.
     
  6. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    I notice you didn't opt for the rear-facing seats, because you preferred the extra storage. Those seats were a value proposition that didn't work for you, and didn't have anything to do with you wanting to scrimp or save on the price of the car. Quite a bit of the complaining on the forums seems to be about how Tesla bundles the options into packages. Imagine that you could only get the pano roof as part of a package that included the rear-facing seats. You probably would get it, because the pano roof is important to you, and you'd just take out the rear seats permanently, but you'd feel like it wasn't as good a value as if you could select each of your options individually.
     
  7. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    The options aren't just 2.5% of the value. The difference between a clean 70D and a fully loaded one is $25'000. That's over 35% of the price.

    Seems to me that what your thinking is, if people can't afford a $133k car, they should be driving a Toyota Yaris instead. There's just no acceptable middle road. Bit snobbish, don't you think?


    And the car doesn't start out at 85K. It starts out at 75K, and realistically most people will get the rebate, so it's 67.5K, and it's really comparable to 57.5K cars in TCO. You're rounding 30K up here like it's nothing. No wonder you don't think people should care about 2.5K options.
     
  8. chuckd

    chuckd Member

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    That was an either/or choice. I'd either have rear seats or more storage if I didn't add the seats. Simple decision. I did order my car before the latest changes, but are there mutually exclusive options now in different packages like you describe? As an example, can I get power lift gate OR a pano roof and not both because of the package choices?

    if Tesla did that, I'd be mad too!
     
  9. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Can't tell if serious...

    There's a difference between being able to afford something and wasting money. Simple example: I can afford either the 70D or the 85D, but I'm pretty sure I'm going with the 70D because I'd rather spend $10k elsewhere.
     
  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Just think of the car as an expensive option.
    Just because people want the most expensive option, doesn't mean that they want the other options.
     
  11. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    What do you mean by starts out at 85K (realistically closer to 100)? As deonb pointed out it starts at 75K. But even if the 70D didn't exist and it did start at 85K, you get an amazing car for a base model and you do not have to add 15k of options to be "realistic". Most of what used to be the tech package is now standard.
     
  12. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    There aren't mutually exclusive options (This OR That, not both), because you can always purchase both packages (This AND That, plus a bunch of other things I didn't want that are part of That package.) I may have the details wrong here, but I recall that a number of people were upset because you had to get the premium interior package to get the power liftgate, and while they really wanted the liftgate, they also really did not want the car to have a leather interior.

    My point is that the details are being sweated more because the value proposition they represent depends on the buyer's needs, and buying all possible extras (even if you can afford it) isn't necessarily the best value for everyone... this is why you didn't buy the rear-facing seats.
     
  13. chuckd

    chuckd Member

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    Well now I'm starting to feel like a snob, but I didn't try to head that direction.

    Do most of you guys start with a car you can barely afford and add very few options? I really doubt it, but maybe I'm just wrong. Most car people that I know didn't add options to an expensive vehicle simply because they didn't like the particular option. They wouldn't have bought the car unless all reasonable factory options were on the table.

    I actually didn't consider the 70D, 85D and P85D as options, but I thought of them as base model choices. (Yes, I know they're actually options).

    On expensive cars, I've always added every option I liked, and didn't add options I didn't like. I've perhaps naively assumed that all the Tesla options were desirable for most people.
     
  14. mwulff

    mwulff Member

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    To the OP: God you sound like an absolute elitist snob. The Model S is an insanely expensive car for most of the population. Some people are stretching their budget to limit to buy and enjoy this car.

    I'm sorry but if you happen to live in the real world with the rest of us then the options and the prices actually matter a lot. Add expensive options to an expensive car and it quickly becomes unaffordable for a lot of people.

    As for selecting the proper version of the Model S: They all have more than enough performance for any daily driving you would ever do. You buy the P85D because you want to show off your 0-60 times and the size of your wallet/bank loan. That is fine if you can afford it, but it makes little sense in everyday use.
     
  15. Mnlevin

    Mnlevin Member

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    Ok, yes you first sounded like a snob and now you are just sounding more like a snob.

    When I ordered my MS 60 4 years ago, I know the car would come in around $75k minus the rebate, so $67500 was a good price compared to the Lexus I was leasing. Yes there are many people who would want to stretch a bit and get into a TESLA, but now with the elimination of the 60, TESLA raised the bar by $10k. Also, many of the included features are only available with pricey options. They are smart people (I think) so if they have so much business they can keep the prices way up there and move them higher, then so be it.

    I am really glad about what I got, and the first edition model S was a great value compared with what they are doing now.
     
  16. chuckd

    chuckd Member

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    I apologize for any offense. I was under the impression that the purchase process for expensive cars was quite different than more affordable budget-friendly models. Perhaps the entry price for that type of thinking is much higher than I thought.
     
  17. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Here's the disconnect-- many Tesla enthusiasts, especially early adopters, are not "car people". We would have never bought an ICE that cost even half this much. We bought it because it is the first practical long range EV. Or we bought it because we wanted the leading edge of technology that happened to be a car. Just because the Model S is in the price range of luxury cars, don't assume most owners are into luxury or performance cars. I know many who moved up from a Leaf or a Prius.
     
  18. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I think people are making exceptions for Tesla's. They are a.... different kind of car. They're environmentally friendly, they're high-tech, they're fun to drive, they're cool. Lots of people who would normally buy cheaper cars are stretching their budgets to get a Tesla.
     
  19. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I have a lot of experience with people's incomes and lifestyles since I have been intimately involved with their business and personal lives for decades, so here goes:

    Some people have fixed incomes that really do not vary much from year-to-year. Some people have "boom-or-bust" years, so they have to budget for the bust years by saving in the boom years. Some people do not like to acquire debt or be on the hook for a lease, so pay cash for everything, but only from the cash that they can spare. Some people do not have significant sources of guaranteed investment income like from a trust or from real estate. Some people cannot write off their purchases against their business income because they work for wages or they are retired or they do not use the car enough for business, so must utilize the "standard mileage rate." Some people have actually withstood extreme financial hardships due to circumstances beyond their control, and they never want to go down that road again.

    It is tragic that the OP appears always to have been able to enjoy the nicer things in life without ever having to worry about if the money in the bank will last until the end of the month.
     
  20. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    Those options aren't mutually exclusive either. :smile:
     

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