Published on October 28, 2018 |
28. October 2018 of Loren McDonald
If you are a fan and fan of Tesla, you probably think that the least of the company's concerns are the demand for its products. Instead, upscaling of production is the most important issue you think is between the company and profitability.
However, if you are a Tesla hater or a short seller, you think the company has dozens and dozens of problems and challenges and one of the biggest upcoming issues is the decline in demand for models 3, s and x. You can quote voice sales in China, Norway and some other European countries. You will point out that you are pleased that Jaguar I-PACE so far in October excludes both model X and model S.
You're likely to also increase the phaseout of it US federal tax charge commencing January 1, 2019, unless expanded. And you will surely point out that more new fully-electric vehicles (BEVs) come to market in several countries around the world for the rest of 2018 and in 2019, including Hyundai Kona BEV, Kia Niro BEV, Jaguar I-PACE, and Audi e- tron.
And obviously, the phasing out of the federal tax credit and the entrance of several new competitors means that Tesla has to be at the top of its game. But if your core argument against Tesla drops the demand for model 3, you will be both correct and complete of the base without clarifying.
To date, Tesla has only sold its most expensive versions of Model 3 and only 2 countries, the United States and Canada. The higher price version and limited geographic availability will of course limit demand – now mber of customers in those markets that can afford a $ 50,000-80,000 car is not limitless.
Looking at the 2017 sales to Teslas three German car competitors over their small, medium and large sedans, we can see How size and pricing affect sales volume. The lesser sedans (A4, 3 and C class) cost about half the price of their larger sister sedans (A8, 7 series and S-Class), but sell at 5 to even 10+ times the volume. And so, even though it is not a perfect analogy, it's simple fact that the demand for a Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive Model 3 performance at a base price of $ 65,000 has a significantly smaller market to sell than say mid-range version of $ 46,000.
In other words, no one should be surprised or turn the panic button off if Tesla starts making moves to increase the sales of Model 3, including being creative with new versions and different incentives. I expect Mid Range Model 3 to sell very well and attracts both brand new buyers who were on the fence and converted a significant number of people who have been waiting for the $ 35,000 card version.
Tesla's Structural and Organizational Benefits Enable it to Move Fast
While Tesla can unleash the high end of the US and Canada market for Model 3, it has more demand traders who can pull to increase sales – all made easier due to several factors including:
- The constant buzz and awareness of the company and products, driven strongly by its irregular and unpredictable but iconic and fun CEO Elon Musk.
- The apparently lower price of Tesla battery packs.
- There are huge network and destination charger networks.
- It's direct sales access rather than using a reseller network, which means it has full control and flexibility over all aspects of the customer's sales, delivery, and service process. (Note: This approach obviously has many disadvantages for the company and imposes additional costs and challenges when it comes to delivering vehicles to customers and fixing them. But this central and complete control over the entire customer experience makes it possible to make and implement price and incentive changes very quickly.)
- Power and control of almost all decisions in the company by Managing Director Elon Musk. This centralized power and decision-making process has sometimes hurt Tesla, but generally and competitively, Elon Musk's close approach and decision making allow the company to make changes in things like pricing for a moment.
- And that leads to the last point, which is the topic in this article – the company's ability to draw on several demand handles when and how it fits.
Demand Levers: The Art of the Possibility
As we recently saw with the announcement of the new Mid Range Model 3 award for $ 45,000 and 260 miles of range, it seems literally no one this new version of model 3 that comes.
While Tesla Shorts and haters will point to this move as another sign and proof that the company has Demand for Model 3, it also shows a point that they do not like to admit. Due to the above factors, Tesla can almost draw on a number of demand management when it is necessary to increase sales of its products.
Now, depending on your bias, you can point to these constant changes in pricing and incentives like "Playing games" as "the desperate signs of an unprofitable company" and as "things like a well-run car company would not and would not need to do." You can argue that in some cases the constant changes in things like free or no free use of superchargers are bait and change are weak hand shapes.
But the fact is that Tesla is not a 100 year old company with revenues from a fleet of ICE models to support it. It is actually a 15 year old startup that is in survival mode and strives to achieve stability and profitability. Therefore, it should and must utilize different approaches to increased demand as needed.
Let's consider several of these demand handles that Tesla can draw on if and when it is necessary:
Area / Energy Restrictive Software: Tesla has taken this approach twice, by limiting the power to battery packs through software. The S40 and 60 models actually had software-limited 60kWh and 75kWh battery packs, but they could be upgraded at any time. In addition to using this software restrictive approach to introducing cheaper models, Tesla can attract buyers who like the ability to add reach in the future if desired. 
New Battery Pack Variants: As Tesla only showed with the Model 3 Mid Range announcement, it can quickly bring this version to the market just by including fewer cells in the battery pack . From a cost perspective, this seems to be a much better approach to Tesla than using software to limit performance. Regardless of whether it uses this approach again in the future, it is still an innovative approach.
Price / Packing: The new Mid Range 3 model is a perfect example of this, as it can create unique features and option packages that can make the models more attractive to specific buyer segments. They also receive or keep Tesla in the news in a positive way.
Geographical Expansion: Although it can not happen overnight, Tesla has not yet come into markets like India who hold a big promise. In other more traditional markets, it can increase its presence for the Supercharging Network and showrooms to stimulate demand. As just one of many examples, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary each have more Superchargers, certainly a long spare list for spare parts on Model 3, yet none of them have a Tesla store or service center. 
Leasing: Currently, Model 3 is only available for purchases with cash or bank loans. However, most EV leases are rented, whereas 80% of non-Tesla EVs are financed through leasing instead of a purchase. When Tesla makes leasing available, it will open up a large market for buyers who increasingly prefer to rent an EV against purchase. As you can see in the screenshots below, the model S 75D monthly rental fee is approximately $ 120 less than the monthly loan payment. Tesla can offer a subscription service that includes usage, insurance, registration fee, maintenance, charging and access to other Tesla models. Someone who chooses a Standard 3 Series for Model 3 can access, for example, a Model X 100 with 335 miles of distance to spend on a long drive with the family.
While an approach like this could have a slightly negative impact on the sale of more expensive model S and X models, it may increase the demand for model 3 so many potential buyers waited patiently for the Model Y transition. And while it's more complex, Tesla can also pack in a combination of solar panels and battery storage as part of the subscription.
Autopilot prices: Improved autopilot or Full Self Driving functionality (not currently in Design Studio) can be discounted for a limited offer period. Yes, this will make buyers who miss this window upset and it will adversely affect the margins. There is nevertheless an available lever.
Solar Roof Tiles / Powerwalls: Particularly in markets like California, Tesla can create compelling packages if a customer chooses both car and powerwall and / or solar panels / tiles.
Free/Discounted Wall Charger: Tesla Wall Charger costs $ 500. Provided free or heavily impaired, it would surely be a single incentive to attract buyers or, more likely, help close sales with cow nerds who sat on the fence.
Supercharger Pricing: Tesla has already used different pricing rates around Supercharging, but it can always provide free Supercharger access as a lure to new buyers.
Reference Programs: Tesla often tinkers with reference The program, since it recently gave $ 100 Supercharger Credits and Innovative Awards and then also offers five friends 6 months Free Supercharger Access .
Maintenance and Extended Service Contracts: Tesla offers 3 and 4 year maintenance programs and 2 and 4 year extended service contracts that can be offered free of charge or refunded and / or Mixed in the rental price or subscription if ever offered.
Fleet Sales: In 2017, Tesla launched its sales fleet for enterprise fleet, but It does not seem to have attracted much traction with car rental and other large volume buyers. However, the company can pursue large fleet buyers and price Model 3 aggressively with the strategy of scaling that could lead to better margins at higher prices.
Federal EV Tax Credit " Matching ": While the federal EV tax credit is just that – a credit against your tax liability – Tesla sales representatives could be authorized to offer upgrades for free or discounts to customers with a legitimate offer on competitive luxury BEV that still qualifies for tax credits .
Now many of you say that all of these approaches are that Tesla only provides things for free or discount them, and these approaches only make profitability more difficult. True to the first part, but the increased volume of producing and selling more cars – especially Model 3 – can ultimately help the company to achieve profitability and increase profits over time.
Second, older car manufacturers use similar approaches to using discounts and incentives all the time. A quick search on " auto dealerships " reveals several websites that show the latest incentives from automakers. Read this US News & World Reports Best Car Deals to see the selection of incentives for different brands and model types, including for Nissan LEAF. Here are just 4 examples:
With the federal EV tax credit soon starting to phase out in the US for Tesla buyers and more new luxury and mid- range BEV SUV / crossovers come on the market, Tesla will get its work cut out to maintain demand at the highest level – especially for the most expensive models. But the influx of new competitive BEVs can also only increase the overall demand for electric motors, including Tesla. Only time will tell.
The demand for the new medium and any standard model Model 3 will be very strong until Tesla launches model Y. However, if demand decreases for its more expensive models, Tesla has a range of available demand-driven options – some of which are more difficult or impossible competitors to match. Support CleanTechnics work by becoming a member Supporter or Ambassador .