A new report from JD Power — Tesla: Beyond the Hype — argues that Tesla Model 3 buyers will be much less forgiving of (potential) quality issues than Model S and Model X buyers have been.
The reasoning? Lower-priced offerings have more expectations placed on them by buyers than luxury offerings do.
“Tesla owners see themselves as pioneers who enjoy being early adopters of new technology,” commented Kathleen Rizk, director of global automotive consulting at JD Power. “Spending $100,000 or more on a vehicle that has so many problems usually would have a dramatically negative effect on sales and brand perception. Right now, though, Tesla seems immune from such disenchanted customers.”
Well, it should be noted here that Tesla’s offerings also provide features that are unmatched right now, so that no doubt plays a large part in the company’s strong sales. After all, until the release of the Chevy Bolt (and Renault Zoe in Europe), there were no other long-range all-electric models out there, and there’s still nothing out there that matches Tesla’s offerings as regards self-driving vehicle tech, long-distance superfast charging, or
insane ludicrous acceleration.
Rizk continued: “When consumers buy a mass-market car priced around $35,000 that will be their primary mode of transportation, the degree of expectation will increase immensely. We’ve seen that with other well-liked brands, whether or not it involves an electric vehicle.”
The press release provides more:
“Problems associated with Tesla Model S and Model X have little influence on the overt affection owners have for these cars and the brand, according to a JD Power report released today. … ‘Tesla: Beyond the Hype‘ is a detailed examination of the brand’s quality issues, based on multiple focus groups of Tesla owners and an in-depth evaluation of Tesla models against competitive vehicles by automotive research experts at JD Power.
“Historically, small sample size has prevented Tesla from appearing in the annual rankings in both the JD Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) and the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. This report, however, provides clients with directional data that gives greater insight to Tesla vehicle quality and owners’ emotional attachment.”
I’ll note here that I’m for the most part skeptical of the claim that Tesla Model 3 buyers will be less forgiving of potential problems (presuming that they occur, which is an open question). The Model 3 will still be like nothing else out there — the self-driving features, the range and styling, the predicted next-gen HUD system — which should result in a lot of leeway from early adopters.
Additionally, remember that >100,000 reservations ($1000 each) came in for the car in under 24 hours and before the car was even shown. These are people who are still identifying as early adopters but either couldn’t afford/justify a Model S/X or actually got one and still want a Model 3. Of course, many of you reading this (as well as me) are planning to get a Model 3, and you are reading CleanTechnica for a reason. …
As a reminder, Tesla Model 3 production is expected to begin this summer, and mass production is expected to be achieved by September.
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