Is The Pre-Owned Tesla Program To Blame For Low-ball Trade-Ins?, from Gas2.
Tesla Motors doesn’t operate like a traditional car company, though it still offers a trade-in program that lets buyers bring their old cars, which are bid on by local car dealers. But with Tesla preparing to roll out a pre-owned car program, owners trying to upgrade to the Dual Motor Model S are complaining of low-ball offers from the electric automaker.
A Tesla Motors Club post by four-time Model S buyer Bill Hart recounts how Tesla offered him $9,500 under the wholesale market value of his Model S P85+ when he approached them about upgrade to a Dual Motor P85D. He then found a dealer that would pay a higher bid, and asked Tesla to facilitate a “courtesy trade” to save Hart $4,000 in Florida sales taxes. The automaker denied his request for a courtesy trade, telling him it was not in Tesla’s best interests to used Model S sedans to other dealers. The outside dealer then pulled his offer on Hart’s Model S, leaving him back at square one, saying he was worried it would affect his future access to the inventory of conventional trade-ins he got from Tesla.
Why wouldn’t it be in Tesla’s interest to see the Model S going to other dealers? Because of the recently-announced pre-owned program, which gives Tesla the opportunity to make even more money off the second sale of a Model S. By some estimates, each pre-owned Model S could bring the company as much as $10,000 or more in pure profit…which is about the same amount that Bill Hart claims he was lowballed by Tesla.