Originally published on EV Obsession.
What’s it like to own the best mass-manufactured car in the world? Simply test driving it is a paradigm-shattering experience, so I’m sure owning it is something special. That’s not to say it’s perfect. Some owners are not thrilled with the seats. Some would like coat hooks. Some want a better navigation system. Some want eagerly awaited autonomous driving features, and want them to be the best in the world. Overall, though, Tesla owners are happier with their cars than owners of any other car out there.
That said, there is one thing that really can suck about being a Tesla owner. This post (“Buyers Remorse?”) on the Tesla Motors Club forum sums it up quite well, but the writer is much more of a sport than several others who I’ve seen complaining about this. The basic story is that the new owner took delivery of an inventory Tesla Model S 60 just four days before Tesla announced the Tesla Model S 70 for a starting price of just $70,000. The new owner paid $68,920 for his Model S 60.
The underlying issue is that Tesla keeps improving its offerings, and this 1) cuts into the value of owners’ previously bought cars, 2) is depressing to see when you just barely missed getting the new-and-improved product.
But this is simply going to be the story when a company (Tesla, in this case) is focused on constantly improving its product and the product’s competitiveness on the broader market. Tesla wants to speed up our transition to complete vehicle electrification.
As Elon Musk said in a recent press and investors call, “In an average week, for the Model S, there are 20 engineering changes. So, we make 20 sort of small changes per week…. And we will continue making improvements. I mean, Tesla is really a continuously improving company. [Inaudible] our friends ask me, ‘Well, should I wait to buy a Model S? Will there be a better one in the future’ Well, yeah, of course there will be a better one in the future. There will always be a better on in the future, so if you want to wait to buy a car until there won’t be a better one in the future, you’ll be waiting forever.” (Audio here.)
Still, that doesn’t make the improvements any easier on some buyers. As the “Buyers Remorse?” writer states, “As you can imagine, it is a bit frustrating to know I overpaid for this vehicle and had I waited just a few more days then I could have made a much better decision by buying the 70 kWh new. I completely understand that the technology will continue to evolve, batteries will improve, and as owners we have to expect our Tesla’s will depreciate. However, it was really tough seeing the value evaporate by $10,000 as quick as it did.”
Yep, I imagine most of us would be disappointed, but still thrilled to have our super sweet new Model S in our garage. 😀 It’s not even a 1st-world problem — it’s a 0.01% or 0.001% problem.