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Your experience with Tesla.

Hello all.
For my final project in a Business oriented class, titled the Value and Power of Consumers in Society with a focus on Corporate Social Responsibility, I have decided to compare Tesla with a more traditional car company. I have not yet decided the other car company, but if any owners out there could take some time and fill this out it would a tremendous help.

Thanks Guys. If you give me input I'll post my final presentation PowerPoint on here as well for comparison's sake.

Customer Questionnaire

1.)What led you to look into this car and company? What media platform introduced you to the car/company?

2.) How much time did you spend doing research on the car and its possible alternatives? What sources did you use while researching (Magazines, customer reviews, websites, etc.)? What else did you consider?

3.) Talk about why you chose to buy. What about this company sold you?

4.) Describe your relationship with the brand. Do you feel connected with them? Are you happy? Do you stay up to date with the company and its operations?

5.) Talk about the buying experience and your experience dealing with the company/brand since. Compare this experience with past purchases.

6.) Would you have any feedback for the brand you chose? Would you recommend your purchase and this brand to a close friend? Have you?

7.) Since your purchase, do you feel like you are attributing to a more ‘green’ future? Have you taken any additional measures to be more ‘green’?

Additional Comments:

What is your due date for responses?

I need to have the information by Thursday morning at the latest. I know that's not a lot of time, but even a partial response would be of great help. Thanks for the response.

1.)What led you to look into this car and company? What media platform introduced you to the car/company?

Answer: I've followed Tesla for more than 5 years. I first followed them because of their innovation. I purchased the IPO when it came out. Not long after purchasing my 200 MBZ E320 wagon I decided that I would not replace the car until a true "game changer" of a car came out.

2.) How much time did you spend doing research on the car and its possible alternatives? What sources did you use while researching (Magazines, customer reviews, websites, etc.)? What else did you consider?

Answer: I followed Tesla in every media possible. I looked at Hydrogen fuel cell companies also. Tesal continually came to the top of the list. Nothing cazmer close in battery technology and style. I wanted a car that was not only an laternative fuel car but one I truly wanted to drive as well.

3.) Talk about why you chose to buy. What about this company sold you?

Answer: It's innovative technology, true range and style. It's a beautiful car. It was the "game changer" that I was looking for.

4.) Describe your relationship with the brand. Do you feel connected with them? Are you happy? Do you stay up to date with the company and its operations?

Answer: I'm obsessed. I am on this website aren't I??

5.) Talk about the buying experience and your experience dealing with the company/brand since. Compare this experience with past purchases.

Answer: While it was two years before I rceived my car. I am not unhappy with the buying experience. Other than the long wait, it was a pleasure to do.

6.) Would you have any feedback for the brand you chose? Would you recommend your purchase and this brand to a close friend? Have you?

Answer: Everyone should buy a Tesla!

7.) Since your purchase, do you feel like you are attributing to a more ‘green’ future? Have you taken any additional measures to be more ‘green’?

Answer: I have always been somwhat "green" but yes, now I am more consious than before. We are looking at alternative ways to power our car, solar etc.

1.)What led you to look into this car and company? What media platform introduced you to the car/company?

When the Roadster was introduced, I read an article online (unsure of site) and was impressed by the performance achieved over any of the other electric vehicles at the time. Upon further research (online) of the company, I learned that they had a luxury sedan on the roadmap that took me from general interest to possible customer. The media platform was almost entirely through online and social sources plus one episode of a highly rated British car show.

2.) How much time did you spend doing research on the car and its possible alternatives? What sources did you use while researching (Magazines, customer reviews, websites, etc.)? What else did you consider?

I have been continuing research on the car since it was announced back in 2008. I culled information from any source I could find. Most of these were auto blog type online sites as well as any mention I happened to notice in print media. With the launch of this site and the forums I signed up and have kept a finger on the pulse of the day-to-day rumors surrounding the details of the car. When the Fisker Karma was introduced I initially considered it alongside the S until I saw it at an auto show and learned that it wasn't 100% electric and projected to cost WAY out of my bracket.

3.) Talk about why you chose to buy. What about this company sold you?

I chose to buy because, at the most basic, I felt that I could afford this car and I had projected that my current vehicle would most likely be dead by the time I had saved up enough money. As I kept watch over the details being released and the trial and tribulations that the company endured (and in most cases overcame), I realized that I was not just buying a piece of hardware, but I was buying into a community that brought an added value that I had not originally considered. A main reason why I chose to buy an electric car is because some years ago, I promised myself that if "they" ever made an electric sedan that was worth a damn, I'd probably buy it. Well, Tesla called my bluff, so here we are.

4.) Describe your relationship with the brand. Do you feel connected with them? Are you happy? Do you stay up to date with the company and its operations?

I haven't felt a connection to a brand like I do with Tesla since I was an active contributor to a popular Linux distribution. The open and friendly nature of both the employees and the other customers, with an easy to utilize conduit of communication between both has really made the company stand out for me. I check the official blog, these forums, and Twitter updates from the company almost daily. Any mention of the company or car on external sites catches my eye as well.

5.) Talk about the buying experience and your experience dealing with the company/brand since. Compare this experience with past purchases.

I have not completed my purchase agreement yet, but from the reservation fee standpoint, it was as easy as making a purchase on any other online site. So far, there has been less hassle than when I purchased my current (used) vehicle.

6.) Would you have any feedback for the brand you chose? Would you recommend your purchase and this brand to a close friend? Have you?

Tesla's commitment to continued support for the vehicle, especially the extensions and extras outlined in the most recent blog post are unparalleled. This car is more cared for than almost any other product I can think of. I would absolutely recommend this vehicle to any of my friends that are looking to buy a new daily driver in the luxury sedan bracket. I have recommended it to at least one person.

7.) Since your purchase, do you feel like you are attributing to a more ‘green’ future? Have you taken any additional measures to be more ‘green’?

I never approached this purchase from an environmental standpoint. I suppose, from day to day, I will be increasing my personal "green-ness" however I am not ignorant to the impact the creation of this vehicle and its battery have incurred. I want this car because it is one of the most impressive luxury sedans on the market; the fact that it is 0-emissions is just a bonus I guess. My current living arrangement does not permit me to take any additional green measures like installing solar panels (and my current vehicle is a thirsty V8), but when I am able, I plan on installing a grid tie in system because it makes financial sense.

Additional Comments:

Have not taken delivery of car yet, but I figured I could provide accurate responses for most of the questions.

1.) I saw a roadster on a trip to Chicago a few years ago and thought the company was really cool and the all-electric aspect intrigued me.

2.) I knew the moment the Model S went into production (June 2012) that I wanted it but it took me five months to convince my wife. I primarily used Tesla's website for information and compared the car to a BMW 335i (using KBB and a dealership for info). The numbers were my main focus and with the cost of gas versus electricity (using a 3% annual adjustment for inflation) the BMW was only $6k more than the Tesla over 5 years. (The Federal and State tax credits were also used in the calculations.)

3.) I'm not a car guy, but I rather consider myself to be a tech guy. Therefore this was the perfect car for me, especially since I never changed my own oil or any similar ICE maintenance.

4.) I love the brand. Aside from the sports teams I root for, Tesla is the only company logo I have on any of my clothing. I wear my sweater and hat proudly. In fact I like the brand so much I not only bought the car, but I bought stock in the company.

5.) Everyone in the company has been a pleasure to deal with. This was the easiest car buying experience I’ve ever had, but as a finance guy I kind of missed the negotiations. That being said the process was easier then when I bought a Saturn for my first car (1996 SC-1), and they prided themselves on doing it differently.

6.) I recommend this car to everyone! In fact from talking to anyone who will listen I think I've sold 3 to 6 Model Ses. When the Model X is in production I plan on buying one for my wife.

7.) Yes, I am now looking into putting solar panels on roof of the next house my wife and I purchase (we're actively shopping).

Good luck with your project.
JD

Customer Questionnaire

1.)What led you to look into this car and company? What media platform introduced you to the car/company?

Seeing the Roadster introduced, probably was online somewhere.

2.) How much time did you spend doing research on the car and its possible alternatives? What sources did you use while researching (Magazines, customer reviews, websites, etc.)? What else did you consider?

I never looked at any alternatives, but I probably spent around 100 hours reading about it before committing. Almost all of the research was done on owners' forums and financial articles (to see if I thought the company would survive).

3.) Talk about why you chose to buy. What about this company sold you?

The product sold itself. The combination of looks, technology, performance and efficiency was impossible to beat. I finally put down a reservation on the base model after telling my wife "There's no way this car is available for this cheap of a price in a year." Today, the cheapest version is $12,500 more!

4.) Describe your relationship with the brand. Do you feel connected with them? Are you happy? Do you stay up to date with the company and its operations?

Borderline clinical obsession. Last night's version was a dream where the short squeeze resulted in a $900 stock price. By the time I got logged in to IB it was back down to $200 and I had a sad, then woke up for work and quickly checked the market. No such luck.

5.) Talk about the buying experience and your experience dealing with the company/brand since. Compare this experience with past purchases.

No really any buying experience to speak of. I clicked a few boxes and entered my AMEX numbers. Communication is dreadful in all aspects. I get more consistent answers from my magic 8 ball.

6.) Would you have any feedback for the brand you chose? Would you recommend your purchase and this brand to a close friend? Have you?

Improve communications. Yes. Yes.

7.) Since your purchase, do you feel like you are attributing to a more ‘green’ future? Have you taken any additional measures to be more ‘green’?

Yes. Yes, investigating solar rooftop for the house.

Additional Comments:
Less than 4 weeks to delivery.

You guys are awesome.
I guess a few of the questions like "do you feel connected with your brand" answer themselves due to this being on a forum, but people also resort to the internet as a place to report problems/ get company attention.

Thanks again. The more the better. Supposed to have 7-12 customers or potential customers.

1.)What led you to look into this car and company? What media platform introduced you to the car/company?

I saw news articles online about Tesla when they first launched the roadster. I was initially interested in the novelty factor of an all electric performance car. While on business in LA five years ago, I drove by the show room on Santa Monica, immediately did a U-turn and went inside with a business partner. We ended up getting test drives (rides actually, since we weren't allowed to drive) and I was absolutely hooked. I remember the Tesla rep mentioning their intent to launch a four dour sedan, but my thought was "who would buy that when you can own one of these?!" I continued to follow the the company and even though I could have continued to drive my old gas guzzler for another several years, I am jumping all in on the EV train.

2.) How much time did you spend doing research on the car and its possible alternatives? What sources did you use while researching (Magazines, customer reviews, websites, etc.)? What else did you consider?

Didn't consider anything else. I only had two buying choices: to buy a Tesla or not, and to buy the performance model or not. I have spent hours and hours and hours "researching" on forums, YouTube videos, reading press releases etc. Primarily to satisfy my hunger, since I could go out and touch and feel a real car. I had actually decided to delaying buying the car (and had let my deposit from last year sit pending), until I test drove the car on the most recent Amped tour in Dallas. Once I test drove the car, I was gone and I finalized my reservation within 24 hours.

3.) Talk about why you chose to buy. What about this company sold you?

I loved the idea of being part of what I would consider a revolution in the auto industry. I love the idea of buying American (I'm a first generation immigrant and didn't come here to buy a car from my old continent). At the end, this feels more like buying a new gadget than it feels like buying a car. I HAVE to have the Tesla, like I will HAVE to have the new iPhone when it comes out.

4.) Describe your relationship with the brand. Do you feel connected with them? Are you happy? Do you stay up to date with the company and its operations?

Yes to all. I own stock, I follow the company and I think I might have a man-crush on Elon.

5.) Talk about the buying experience and your experience dealing with the company/brand since. Compare this experience with past purchases.

Before my car went into production, I spent at least 30 minutes on the phone with a Tesla rep and felt like I was talking to a sharp, knowledgeable and honest guy who was only interested in communicating the brand (as opposed to getting me into a car at all cost). He talked me down off of a couple of options that he didn't think I needed. So far, every interaction I've had with anyone from the company has been on the basis of respect and intelligence. Tesla seems to want you to know as much as possible.

In the past, car buying has been dominated by the sales person wanting you to buy the car only and in general information is only shared to the extent it helps close the sale. This gets even worse in the luxury car sale market, where the attitude is elitist and filled with ridicule.

6.) Would you have any feedback for the brand you chose? Would you recommend your purchase and this brand to a close friend? Have you?

I want everyone I meet or know to buy a Tesla.

7.) Since your purchase, do you feel like you are attributing to a more ‘green’ future? Have you taken any additional measures to be more ‘green’?

I definitely feel like I am more green and I am proud of the fact that I will not be buying any gas .. ever. I can't say that it has made me more "green" in other areas.

Thanks again for the responses.

Those of you that have responded so far, if you could focus on one of the questions and go in depth that would be really helpful.
Not that what I have gotten so far is not helpful, I just figure that by asking for you to focus on one or a few questions, I will get more complete responses in the same amount of time it takes you to type it up.

Not an owner (except a small recent stock purchase). Not even made a reservation, yet. My interest was aroused by that NYT review by some hack trying to kill the car. Talk about fail, Broder ... :-)

Mr Musk really handled that media scare exceptionally well. As he seems to do with so much else.

1.)What led you to look into this car and company? What media platform introduced you to the car/company?
Street (driving past headquarters in Palo Alto for years), then word of mouth about this strange company. Heard about plans about MS on various internet news outlets. Found out that it can be purchased for real from on-line newspaper (LA Times, I believe) early 2013.

2.) How much time did you spend doing research on the car and its possible alternatives? What sources did you use while researching (Magazines, customer reviews, websites, etc.)? What else did you consider?
Research about MS: 1-2 days. Other cars: 5 minutes (there are no alternatives).
Sources: Tesla site, every page. TM forum. On-line reviews, written as well as youtube. Showroom (live 8 minutes from Showroom).
Other considerations: Electrical hook up, paperwork with utility, electrician, size of car and garage (it's tight).

3.) Talk about why you chose to buy. What about this company sold you?
Old car (Prius) was starting to have problems (187K mi). New car should be 100 mi/gal or better, handle 150 mi commute without problems, but still be able to accommodate trip to hardware store for lumber. Check, check, and check.
California company by tech geeks a plus, but not critical. Nerds support nerds.

4.) Describe your relationship with the brand. Do you feel connected with them? Are you happy? Do you stay up to date with the company and its operations?
I like to support tech geeks.
Connected?-No. Have no interest in meeting Elon Musk. Cudos for what he's done, but that's about it. There are greater tech (r)evolutionaries out there (think The Alto, as in PARC).
Happy? Hell Yes! Great product.
Stay current? Visit this forum, but don't follow twitter feeds, news conferences or any of that sort. Re stock, don't know whether I have any. If I'd buy specific stock, it would rather be Sprüngli for the chocolate package.

5.) Talk about the buying experience and your experience dealing with the company/brand since. Compare this experience with past purchases.
I like the no haggle experience. It's similar to Carl Zeiss (I am a HUGE Zeiss fan for anything imaging, from binoculars to electron microscopes). Top quality product, and the prices are what they are. Period. The End. The absence of the car sales person is refreshing.
Customer service is very good. Got phone-call back following an e-mail inquiry within 5 minutes on a Sunday night!
Re other companies, with car companies, never was in contact with them. Compared to any company communication, definitively in the top quartile, maybe even top 10%.

6.) Would you have any feedback for the brand you chose? Would you recommend your purchase and this brand to a close friend? Have you?
Keep it up. Expand Supercharger network.
Yes.
Yes.

7.) Since your purchase, do you feel like you are attributing to a more ‘green’ future? Have you taken any additional measures to be more ‘green’?
No, not really. As a professional biologist already pretty "green". Green is OK, but it also has to make some financial sense, therefore have not gone solar.

Additional Comments:
Tesla is a cool utilitarian tech toy, rather than a car. I'm not a car guy at all. But usable, quality, innovative technology I support with my $$$. While up-front cost is high, cost over lifetime (8-10 years) is reasonable. I would never buy a RR (although I could), because that's just silly.

1.)What led you to look into this car and company? What media platform introduced you to the car/company?
I've been following Tesla since roadster started receiving attention in media and started to get rave reviews. I was eagerly waiting to know more about the model S and when the test vehicles hit the road, I was completely blown my it's style, performance, features and not to forget the amazing ownership experience Tesla promised to its customers. I was totally sold on the dream & vision of owning not just the car but the experience. It is revolutionary and unparalleled.

Also, I'm a big fan of Elon So it was quite natural to follow his involvement with the company.

2.) How much time did you spend doing research on the car and its possible alternatives? What sources did you use while researching (Magazines, customer reviews, websites, etc.)? What else did you consider?

Once Model S actually started rolling out, I became a more avid follower and started to track Tesla more closely. I would regularly check the forums, other news sources to track not just Model S but also Tesla as a company.

3.) Talk about why you chose to buy. What about this company sold you?
The style, performance, features was definitely the high-point but more importantly the Ownership experience that came with the car is one thing that sealed the deal for me. I mean, even my little kids got excited about this car. Elon & the Tesla team did a great job of creating the amazing experience, right from when you walk into a tesla store to the time you take deliver and even after that. Never had such an experience before with and product.

4.) Describe your relationship with the brand. Do you feel connected with them? Are you happy? Do you stay up to date with the company and its operations?

Relationship with Tesla is now one of obsession. As the company expands, the Tesla brand will become one of the biggest brands in the world. I totally feel connected to the brand and therefore a shareholder too. The company has exceeded in all their commitments and I'm really happy and excited about Tesla. Even my kids have drawn a connection with the brand & are extremely proud of it.

5.) Talk about the buying experience and your experience dealing with the company/brand since. Compare this experience with past purchases.
The Experience of buying & owning Model S has been outstanding. The Tesla employees are very committed and great to work with, it's just in their company DNA. There is no comparison to the experience with Tesla and don't think buying car through the traditional dealer network will come anywhere close to it.

One thing though, the car is so awesome and you immediatley fall in love with it. It is very difficult to drive any other car after this. I wanted a Model S right after the test drive and so the wait to get my car was painful but that was all part of the excitement.

6.) Would you have any feedback for the brand you chose? Would you recommend your purchase and this brand to a close friend? Have you?
Recommending the purchase of Model S & Tesla brand is the easiest thing to do. People get drawn towards the car and sort of already sold on the style. I've described the details of the car to friends and even stranger at parking lot. Conversation always ends with a big Wow and folks wanting to get one for themselves.

7.) Since your purchase, do you feel like you are attributing to a more ‘green’ future? Have you taken any additional measures to be more ‘green’?
I think so, am more and more involved in understanding the renewable energy technology. I'm more aware & involved in conserving gas, electriciity, water etc usage. I'm in the process of installing solar to help the cause of using electricity from renewable energy. Kids have taken steps to carefully recycles bottles, cans, paper and even plastic bags. And the last, I've reserved Model X to get rid of my mini-van when Model X hits the road soon.

Additional Comments:
Go TSLA.

You realize you're getting a sample of unknown bias and response rate, and you don't really know your sampling frame.

Yeah, I realize.
I cannot verify the accounts of any of those who posted on this, but I am not specifically trying to pin down what certain consumers thought of Tesla. I am trying to obtain a big picture view of the company and the experience they are going after, and I take every response on this page with a grain of salt.
And the bias is, at least in my view, quite clearly in favor of Tesla.
Any ideas on how I can improve would be heard with open ears though.

As part of the confirmation of your sample bias, I would have answered questions 1-7 very similarly to the other posts until 10 days ago, but having had a recent bad experience my answer to 5 and 6 would be dramatically different today. I am reluctant to post my experience in a public forum especially on an open thread.

The power of social media in negative experiences can hold a brand accountable to its customers. I encourage you to post, but if not it is your choice. You can also email me at t m a r t i n 9 3 @ m e . c o m if you would rather do that.
Thanks for the post.

It's 3:32 am and I don't feel like anwsering all your questions, but I do want to say, that really, there is one thing that matters above all else with everything I choose to buy, and that is the product itself. None of that other stuff you asked about really matters to me.

1.) Interest in technology, through podcasts like TWiT back when Elon started his sports car project called Tesla. Loved the name as I knew that background on Nikola Tesla. Got me interested, however not enough for buying as range and price were not to my liking at that time.
The media platform has been internet based; podcasts and forums - the Tesla forum the last 6 months.

2.) Fairly easy decision; once the range of 500km with the P85 and the favourable tax incentives made the car relatively favourable in price (Norway). There were no other realistic alternatives to consider. Again, internet resources employed. Bedsides range the wonderful design did it.

3.) i) I am fascinated by new technology and electrical cars in particular. That is what drives me, not the notion of saving the world and stopping global warming. ii) the range the P85 offers fits 99% of my needs. iii) this is the first EV that looks decent, all others are either micro sized or looks plain ugly. iv) the price of the car despite the USD 100,000 price tag is reasonable in my parts of the world where import duty, taxes, fees and VAT traditionally would double the price or more, depending on CO2 emissions and horsepower. The EV car is by law (until 50,000 cars and 2017) imported tax and VAT free. v) Elon and George provides trust in their vision and direct communication with their customers. vi) The shift of paradigm that Tesla provides when it comes to a vehicle producer relating to the customers, a) service system incl. Rangers b) remote technology upgrade and c) warranty on battery. vii) Reputation that is gradually building up and lastly viii) being a contrarian in many ways, when the main media starts picking on a start up, that is when I pay positive attention.

4.) Now that the car is in the process and delivery to be taken here in Norway during fall, my Tesla closeness is on the rise, enough to buy some shares. I believe this company is going far as the right vision is there. Being a car owner and now a share holder I am slowly getting into "family" mode, just like the Harley community. The emotional connect is dangerous as investor is concerned but enjoyable as a future owner :-) Yes, I follow the company news on a daily basis.

5.) Easy. Just like buying a MacBook Pro on the Apple website. Simple, clear and rational; pick your preferences and tick off. Test drive and get home with a grin - and anxiously await the delivery (a very painful process).

6.) Probably the best car buying decision I have ever done. I would based on my experience so far, recommend this to everyone I know, family and friends alike. And yes, I have.

7.) The "green" thing does not sit well with me. I don't believe choosing a Tesla MS can influence the metrology situation one bit, being it change as in cooling or warming (science is out on that). That said, it can contribute to less local noise pollution and less local consequences of emissions and that is a good thing to be happy about.

Additional Comments:
Tesla represents a shift of paradigm. The success of Model S will pave the way for long range and energy efficient smaller and more normally priced cars for more significant volumes. It will spur development in battery technologies that will result in more energy in smaller space at lower cost - a Moore's law of battery. If there is a market there will be a business model. If Tesla succeed competition will drum up. Let's just hope government will stay out of the way and let the market take care of this, fair and square.

I don;t need comments to my answers. This is my input and potential assistance to a student's final project. Best of luck on that! I hope other enthusiastic Tesla owners will spare the time to share their thoughts.

GeirT;
+1

One correction: "metrology" is the study of measurement. "Meteorology" is the right term.

Brian H:

GeirT clearly asked for no comments to his answers. "+1"? You're not an owner or even a reservation holder.

defmonk;
Sod off.

I guess you can correct grammar freely, but how useful is your opinion when you don't even have a reservation?

I have learned to know Brian H so his comment is just fine. Anybody else correcting my spelling will be slapped ;-)

Take into account that GeirT is Norwegian; his English is generally excellent. And this is a tricky terminology distinction; most people are unaware that "metrology" is a real word with real meaning.


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