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Creating the World’s Best Service and Warranty Program (teslamotors.com)
70 points by Lightning 1519 days ago | hide | past | web | 21 comments | favorite

Loaner cars are a clever sales tool.

The local dealership had a similar deal when I brought my car in for major repairs (under warranty) and maintenance (not under warranty, I paid). They promised a free loaner of the latest model for a few days. I was bringing in a no-frills Camry-sized car.

When I arrived, the service manager came outside to help me. I got my two preschool kids out of the car and asked him to help grab the two car seats. He said, "Just a moment," and stepped back inside to talk to an assistant. Then he came back out and helped me unload the car seats and told me it would be a few minutes while they cleaned up the loaner car. I see the assistant drive a mid-luxury sedan around back. After about 15 minutes, the assistant comes back with a mid-sized SUV for me and sends me on my way.

(Though the jokes on them; I drove that car into the ground for five more years and then bought a Prius).

They wanted to give you a nice car and then saw you had kids and thus decided to give you a more mediocre car?

I love the loaner fleet at the San Jose Audi place; new TT/A4/Q5/A6. I think if you bring in an S or RS or A8 you get an A8. I asked what you got for an R8; apparently R8 gets fixed by their dedicated R8 guy in a few hours so they just pick it up from your home/drop it off with a flatbed.

The second car was still nice (thought it probably was $5k cheaper). They saw the kids and assigned me to the kid-hauler profile instead of the performance/luxury profile.

Are these 'features' not available in the US ?

Because they are standard here in Australia/NZ and IIRC the UK. Almost every major service center will loan you a car and provide a valet service. And the Annual Service Contract is typically thought of as a 'lock you in' scam to prevent you from getting cheaper servicing through third parties.

I don't really see a lot of innovation here. I would like to see the car notify Telsa of a specific component fault then they come out to house/work and fix it on the spot. Or do servicing at night time and on weekends.

It depends on where you go. If you go to a dealership, they will usually at least have a shuttle service to take you whereever you want and pick you up when your car is ready. The nicer brands almost always have a loaner car for service, but some of the non-luxury dealerships also offer them.

I've never seen a non-dealership shop with a loaner car, but many have a shuttle. Of course, if you go to a cheap shop, they probably won't even have that.

So, if after one year, they introduce a new car (technically better) and you wanted to upgrade to that newer car, how much would that cost? Let's say that car is given to you as a loaner and you had 8k miles on your car. Is the value of your car considered almost equal to that car even though it's technically inferior?

As I understand it's the miles on the loaner car that matter, not yours. So if you want to keep it, it will cost

    (base price - mileage) * (1 - months of age / 100)

Amazing, totally rethinking the experience. Typically brilliant of Elon.

He takes a typically irritating experience and makes it delightful.

He has to rethink it, because the typical dealership support of "go to the dealer a half hour drive away" isn't workable for their sparse dealer network.

Not really. That sounds almost exactly like what bmw has any of their new cars. They only part I'm unsure of is the valet service to pick up your car. Of course, hyundai already does that for their equus owners. This is pretty typical service from dealers who sell cars priced similarly to Tesla's cars.

He's cheating, he doesn't have a dealership network that subsidizes their sales operations with overpriced repair services.

Cheating? Or making strategic business decisions?

He's fixing a bug.

Sounds like a good deal - selling direct rather than through the traditional dealership bs, they can make people a lot happier.

Wish I could iterate the model S's industrial design... plastic nose bulb would be first on the chopping block.

If they buy your car according to the same or a similar formula, this actually seems to completely eliminate the lemon problem - if you don't like your car, you swap it for another.

Which also has the potential side benefit of quickly introducing pre-owned Teslas onto the EV market, straight from Tesla themselves. Could make Model S ownership a more affordable reality for some folks that otherwise couldn't afford one.

Good point, otherwise people might hang onto them for too long, without the specter of increased maintenance on the horizon to drive them to swap. I'm starting to think that the lack of mandated dealerships could actually be their ace in the hole to defend against the big guys once they get churning - being able to do things like this where Toyota can't easily follow, even if they reach technical parity. The day they start winning those lawsuits is the day I dump much more of my savings into their stock.

Agree. And I might also add that the "early adopters" of the Model S (current owners and those on the waiting list) would likely have the means to easily take advantage of a buyback program like this (and even jump at the opportunity to do so).

Heh, one reason they are loaning top of the line cars is because the lower end ones may not have the range to reach the customer from the service center.

They are trying to get customers to upgrade. It's a common tactic among car dealers.

Wow, I wonder how this will fare for the company 1 year later. This car is very tempting with each day that passes...

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