Tesla price cuts anger owners who bought vehicles just before discounts: report
Elon Musk’s recent decision to enact major price cuts for Tesla vehicles has reportedly angered customers who paid significantly more for the same models before the discounts took effect.
Tesla slashed prices for some of its car models by up to 20% in mid-January as it looks to stave off increased competition in the electric vehicle sector and boost sagging demand. The discounts also increased the number of buyers who are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The sharp price cuts meant Tesla owners who bought their cars just weeks earlier likely paid thousands of dollars more than those who waited until January.
Vikas Khanna, a healthcare executive who bought a Tesla Model Y SUV in late December, told the Wall Street Journal that he missed out on about $5,000 in savings. Khanna, a longtime Tesla fan who bought two vehicles in the past, paid about $65,000 for his Model Y.
“It just reminded me and solidified why Tesla, as an organization, is one that I can no longer trust,” Khanna told the outlet.
Khanna added that car pricing should be treated differently than other products that occasionally receive price cuts.
“You don’t take out a loan for an iPhone,” he added.
Another Tesla customer near Atlanta, Kapil Sharma, said he was denied a refund when he approached the company after buying a Model Y just two weeks before the discounts were implemented.
“We do not have a return policy and we do not price match or price adjust completed orders,” the company told him, according to texts reviewed by the Journal.
Elsewhere, a petition started by Tesla-focused YouTuber Dennis Wang, which asks the company to offer free services to people who bought its vehicles last year ahead of the discounts, has garnered more than 6,000 signatures.
Tesla’s price cuts prompted similar outrage in China, where owners demanded refunds and staged a protest outside the company’s Shanghai facility earlier this month.
Owners have also grumbled about a decline in the value of used Tesla vehicles, prices of which plunged 17% from a peak of $67,297 in July to $55,754 in November, according to a recent Reuters report. Other used cars declined 4% over the same period.
Musk addressed Tesla’s pricing strategy during the company’s earnings call last week, revealing Tesla has generated its “strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history” in January.
“Price really matters. I think there’s just a vast number of people that want to buy a Tesla car but can’t afford it,” Musk said. “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.”
Tesla shares have surged nearly 60% so far this year. Last quarter, the company reported a record profit of $3.7 billion.