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Marketing Idea: Corporate Challenge

On my way to San Diego from San Antonio on Tuesday for business, I added a detour and flew to San Francisco to go to the Menlo Park showroom to see the Blue, Dolphin Grey, and Silver cars all together (last chance to change my mind before finalizing my contract). During my test drive, I asked the Tesla rep who comes in the most - he said Apple and Google execs, followed by Facebook. Lots of SF Giants execs too.

That got me thinkun'...

What if Tesla created a corporate challenge, whereby you could tag your reservation to your employer? They could do it for companies at different scales - over 10K employees, 5K-10K, down to under 100. They could set a timeframe and winners in each category would get serious Tesla swag. What if the winner of the 10K+ range got a free Model S if their total sales was over 100 (marketing at 1% of cost)? At lower levels you could get merchandise credit (hats for the whole office!), private factory tour, etc.

I could see Google and Apple duking it out to be the greenest big firm, etc. Maybe you create categories by industry, so environmental law firms in LA and SF can compete. Even state governments could buy fleets, rental car agencies, Exxon vs Mobil (hah!), the whole thing could really get crazy good out of control!

Come on George, bite on this one, it's not a totally lame idea.

What think the rest of the Tesla world?

There are already two where I work, and sometime before the 28th when mine arrives there will be three.

Care to share where that is? Location, company? Thanks.

Maybe later. Currently, they are not demand-constrained. They are production-constrained, so that's where most of resources currently go that would otherwise be needed to set up any significant marketing at all.

Netflix. It has more to do with a generous roadster owner who offered rides/drives when he took delivery, than any other factor. Though 2 of us worked with Joe, who designed the UI for the 17" screen, some years ago.

I blame the two of them for my going more than 100% over budget on this car purchase. :) However the two of them assure me that not only will I will not regret it, but it will be the best card I've ever driven.

Beaker;
well, it's a skateboard, but hardly a card!

>;p

Brian, I had to leave something for you to find :)

Volker - Graphs are going to cross pretty soon where they are producing more than they are reserving - may be happening right now as they seem to be reserving approximately 600+ cars/month and producing more than 400+ cars/month as reported several weeks ago.

In my line of business, if you wait to go get the work when you need it, you're pretty much out of business. Never too early.

Cattledog, point taken. In my mind, the outlook is a little different because I expect reservations to soar (certainly for a limited time and to a limited level) by the mere fact that the Model S gets so much more exposure to the public now, with real cars on the streets and tests/reviews in many magazines and news papers, even more so with the superchargers now being revealed and popping up in the landscape. Additional marketing efforts may not only be a waste, it may even be counter productive when people get convinced and want to own a Model S and then discover that they have to wait 6 to 12 months to get it... In the grand scheme of things, 20.000 units/year isn't that many, really.

I'm sure George B. has a very close eye on the development and will make major efforts to start additional marketing not too late, but also not too early. He once went on record stating that his goal is to have the pipe filled approx. 3 months in advance. Any less, and you may run out of work at some point, any more, and you frustrate the leads you generate.

Volker - When we had a delivery (actually a week post-delivery) party at our house for dsm363's Model S, one of my friends loved the car so much he wanted to reserve right then and there. Slept on it and reserved the next day. He's selling his MASERATI! So there will be lots of buzz generated as these things make their way into the wild.

They probably don't want it now, but by this time next year I'm sure Tesla would love to have to figure out how to double shift or expand production to deliver 40,000 Model S'/year. While more means less 'exclusivity', I'd be happy for the extra stores, service centers, superchargers, software updates, etc. that would generate.

Onward and upward.

20.000 cars is nothing..:-)

They will have no problem selling all they can produce at this rate, IMO.

I think sales in Norway alone could go above 2000 during 2013, we only need to get some cars on the roads here, or in the showrooms available for testdriving.:-)

(As comparison, Panamera is 2x the price, and BMW M5 is roughly 3x the expected price of the Model S Performance. The car taxes in Norway are extreme when it comes to horsepowers and CO2 emission.

Model S will be the frist car available at "normal" price level, compared to the rest of the world. No taxes or vat on electric cars in Norway at the moment.)

[...] by this time next year I'm sure Tesla would love to have to figure out how to double shift or expand production to deliver 40,000 Model S'/year. (Cattledog)

I'm not so sure, actually. Maybe they decide to dedicate their limited resources to get Bluestar to the market asap. That would increase units sold (not profit) 10-fold rather than just double with putting more effort into marketing and production of the Model S.

If resources allow to do both in parallel, then well they may try to sell more Model Ss. But keep in mind that the Model S isn't the core of Tesla's business plan (although it is going to be their kind-of cash cow while Bluestar is still in development).

Also remember that you should evaluate combined sales of Model S and Model X. I think these can really be seen as variations of the same vehicle, like sedan and wagon from other manufacturers: Dimensions, interior, price, acceleration and handling are all (presumably) very similar. The last time I heard Elon mention it, the plan was to sell 10k-15k units of the Model X on top of the 20k Model S units, which means that 30k to 35k units per year is already planned for. And still I think they will easily sell them without any significant investment in traditional marketing, challenges or whatnot. They may however spend a significant amount of their marketing budget on things like growing the supercharger network and customer satisfaction as need be (like just recently waiving the cost of the supercharging option for 60 kWh customers that had already committed when the announcement was made). That's their way to build brand image and reputation.

VB;
+1
Good analysis. But the "mathematical dynamics" of getting to a 3-month wait are going to be fascinating to watch, in practice. Given, say, 10K units currently "in the pipeline", unless production exceeds reservations for a while that can't be reduced. And before X hits the streets its separate reservation list will probably add another 10K!

Wonder what the Bluestar's reservation backlog will be before it hits the streets? We should run a little lottery for the closest guess. "How many peas in the jar?" Lots and lots ...

Speaking of which, anyone hear any hints about when the GenIII reveal will be, or even how much lead time before production starts?

I'm thinking the Gen III reveal will be Q4 2013 (at the earliest). 3 months or so before the Model X starts shipping.

Teoatawki +1, I'd guess the same. And in response to Brian H I venture to say that they will have in the order of 100k reservations for Bluestar before production starts. That's steep, but it's in lock step with the reservations/annual target ratio for the Model S. So just for the fun of it, I make a quite ambitious prediction.

Related, wonder what the 1st yr's GenIII production target will be.

Extremely hard to put numbers on it, but it's safe to say that as more people get an eye-full of the Model S they are going to want some of that. And the Gen III will be the opportunity for a lot of people to get their piece of the action.


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