No dealer purchase experience

No dealer purchase experience

With all the discussion regarding the New Jersey dealership issues I thought I would comment on my purchase experience in Texas. We don’t have any Tesla dealers in Texas and my purchase experience was wonderful. No idiot car sales people, no price haggling, no dealerships. Very easy and very professional. There is a Tesla showroom at the Galleria mall in Houston. I made an appointment on line and test drove the car from there. Then I went back to my office, went on line and ordered the car. I got exactly the car I wanted. I looked at a LOT of the options and their costs and ended up ordering EXACTLY the car I wanted. A few days after I ordered the car, I got an email from a Tesla delivery specialist located in Ohio (of all places) who was very knowledgeable and helpful. He helped me get the final payment to Tesla and a few days after that, the Houston Service Center (NOT A DEALERSHIP) called to tell me my car was there. I made an appointment and went out to pick up the car. It was waiting for me in the front of the SC. I was thoroughly schooled in the workings of the car and that was that. It could not have been any easier or more professional. I did have to take the car to get the safety inspection but I have to do that on all my other cars every year and I did have to go to the county clerk’s office to pick up my tags and pay the sales tax. Maybe two or three hours total time during which I was driving and playing with my new toy.

Recently one of my employees was up for a new car. He wanted a pick up and “built” one on line. Then we had to take a hard copy of the options list to a dealer to get costs. Sales guy tried HARD to sell us a truck that was on his lot. We insisted that we wanted the truck as specified. About a week later the sales guy called and told us that the truck was in. Seemed fast but he told us that he had found the EXACT truck we wanted at another dealer. We went (checkbook in hand) to pick it up only to find the bed length was different than specified. FINALLY dealership agreed to order the truck we wanted… three weeks later.

I MUCH PREFERRED the no dealer purchase experience. The Tesla purchase experience was easy and enjoyable. I felt like I was in control. I will be hard pressed to have to go back to a dealer situation again to buy a car for me.

I don’t think Tesla is missing anything by going without dealerships.

Captain_Zap | 21. März 2014

Thanks for sharing that experience. It sounds like even though there are obstacles the Tesla experience is far more pleasant than the dealership experience.

jordanrichard | 21. März 2014

Here in CT there are no Tesla stores, just a service center. I drove to NY (Westchester County) to do a test drive. The absolutley beautiful thing about it was that never was price brought up. Never asked, "....sooooo when are you looking to buy" They only answered the questions I asked. Hell, my sales rep even told me straight up which options he thought were waste of money and the one that he thought was a must have (Tech pkg). Again though, not even the slightest hint of pressure.

My office colleague couldn't believe that all I had to do was place my order through my computer and that was it. He kept saying that their is no way the sales rep wont get credit for the sale. The whole buying experience is so foreign that most people can't understand it. The general public is Pavlov's dog. Just for the record, I did place my order thorugh my sales rep over the phone. He does get a credit of sorts if the order is placed through him, on the store computer. I felt it was the right thing to do since he allowed or rather entertained me and friends to a total of 5 test drives before I made the purchse. This to was a foreign concept to my colleague. When was the last time a dealer let you test drive the same car, that many times and not pressure to buy on the spot.

Roamer@AZ USA | 21. März 2014

Same experience here.

Over the years I have found it nearly impossible to get traditional dealers to order a car built exactly the way I want it. Special ordered a 3/4 to truck to haul a camper years ago. Waited 9 months to get the truck because a week after the order was placed the union workers that built the axles went on strike and shut down truck assembly. Since GM had so many trucks in dealer inventory they just waited out the strike. Stored the camper for nine months at the camper dealer and missed the summer with the kids camping.

My point is the current dealer model is incapable of delivering a vehicle equipped exactly how you want. With Tesla I was even able to add folding mirrors at the last minute when the option showed up online.

David Trushin | 21. März 2014

The reason why Tesla will NEVER let a car dealer sell their cars: i brought my wife's XTS to the dealer for servicing. While there I looked at the ELR. It wouldn't open! The sales guy said that it was dead. I suggested that they charge it. He said that the have a charging station in the back, but the cord wouldn't reach. So I sat down, ate donuts and waited for my car to be done.

jordanrichard | 21. März 2014

So, they can't plug the ELR into a standard 110v outlet in the showroom? That is too funny. Also, how exactly did the car die sitting on the showroom floor? At the Westchetr NY mall store, they have an outlet built into the floor so that they can charge the car in the showroom, if needed.

Mathew98 | 21. März 2014

Jordan, all TM showrooms have plugs on the floor for the demos to be plugged in. It's part of the design of every showroom / gallery.

ICE stealerships are introducing EV's as a band aid and not a new and revolutionary design. Everything is an after though. Catching up is an uphill battle if the leader is 5 years ahead...

jordanrichard | 21. März 2014

Oh I know that the Tesla showrooms are purpose built. I was justing commenting on how Tesla could the fact that a car may need charging sitting on the showroom floor. That Caddy dealer obviously didn't think this one through. Though I also gather that the ELR doesn't come with a UMC and adpaters like Tesla's. Otherwise they wouldn't have a problem charging it where it sits.

David Trushin | 21. März 2014

The Elr has a j1772 connector and requires a charging station. So an ordinary plug wouldn't help.

zwede | 21. März 2014

Same experience for me. The TX "Tesla ban" is a non-event. Buying a Tesla is still easier than buying a car from a dealership. Tesla was also able to handle my trade-in better than most dealerships would.

The biggest difference I noticed was that I had to go and get the plates myself. Took all of 15 minutes. I actually preferred doing it myself because in my experience many dealers are lazy about getting the plates and you run around on temp tags until right before the dead line and hope the dealer gets off their ass and get you your plates. It's (of course) your responsibility to have valid plates on the car if you get pulled over.

NOLEK SUM | 21. März 2014

My experience exactly.

Cap Zap, there are NO obstacles to the no dealer model. Quite the opposite!

vouteb | 21. März 2014

@David Trushin

Eating donuts while waiting for your ICE car to be serviced???
Hate to think how many calories that was!

hikerockies | 21. März 2014

@zwede: I didn't know dealer has to get you permanenet plates in Texas. In Colorado, I always got my permanent plates myself from DMV for the last 25 years. All dealer gave me was a temporary tag. It is so amusing that car buying and registration process varies so much from state to state.

BobN @US-CA-SoCal | 21. März 2014

Friend gave me a test drive in his P+ after I e-bought my MS85 sight unseen, picked it up from a Service Center. Have still never been to a Tesla store. Easiest, most painless and actually delightful buying and delivery experience. I live in CA, an easy drive from at least 3 Tesla stores, but never had the need.