Why spend the extra for Signature?

Why spend the extra for Signature?

I know Sig vs P has been debated before, but now that people are actually confirming their orders and spec'ing out the cars I was wondering if people's rationales for and against Sig reservations have changed.

Unless I'm missing something (or Tesla is still hiding something), the Sig's seem to be premium priced vs equivalent P's and for that you get early delivery plus badge/colour choices (which clearly is worth paying for to some people)

To all you Sig holders - is it early adoption the main factor? Sig Red paint? Something else? Would love to know.

BYT | 5 July, 2012

To get the car as soon as humanly possible!!!!!!!

nickjhowe | 5 July, 2012


JoeFee | 5 July, 2012

Very hard decision for me since I had a low P469 # and do not want red (I like Pearl White/CF/dark rims for Perf Sig or gray, blue w/gray seats for Performance production model) so all I get is Wt seats (which everyone I know tells me NOT to get) and badging that says I over payed for a limited edition (which may have more resale value???. Got the "time to build" email so I have to decide soon ....

BYT | 5 July, 2012

@joefiorelli, exact same boat here Joe, went Pearl White after flip flopping, I also hope to take advantage of the $2,500 credit however for mine which more likely would expire if I waited for it when my Production number came up. The additional $2,500 is from the The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE)

Schlermie | 5 July, 2012

For the first run of a unique car (and car company) like this, a Signature may have some additional resale value.

space09 | 5 July, 2012

@nickjhowe: This is a good question and one I've struggled with a lot myself. I upgraded from a P slot to Sig after the October Fremont event but before pricing was announced. My assumption at the time was that we were making a larger commitment in the face of a lot of unknowns (risk) and in exchange we'd get the car earlier along with a few exclusive 'extras' (reward). However, once pricing was announced it became clear that for whatever extras we might get, we were also paying for with a Sig premium. So far, those extras have turned out be be paint (which I'm getting), leather (which I'm not getting), badging, and 1 year free connectivity. BYT's point not withstanding (I want the car soon too!), it also stings that we don't get the $3500 back for wheels if we want the 19", made worse by not having aero which I was planning to get.

Long story short, as someone towards the back of the Sig line, if I was thinking rationally about this, I would probably drop back to Production. I haven't because I became emotionally attached to the idea and (from a financial standpoint) switching back to production means I might not get the car until after 1 Jan. If the federal tax credit goes away in the new year, any savings I'd realize going Prod over Sig becomes a wash.

I'm a HUGE Tesla advocate, don't get me wrong, but I'd by lying if the Sig experience didn't tarnish it a bit for me. I'm hoping that receipt of the car ultimate erases that, and subsequent Sig benefits are announced that make me feel even better (free use of Tesla charging stations, invites to future events, free XM radio, future battery upgrade discount, etc.).

Good luck deciding! The good news is, whatever choice you make, I think you'll love the car either way. :-)

Jason S | 5 July, 2012

If I had a low P # and didn't want the Sig Red (both things that aren't true for my situation) then I'd prolly go with production rather than Signature. The differentiating factors aren't that important to me. Resale isn't important to me either.

But I don't have the low P # and my wife wants the Sig Red, so the decision is made.

There is supposed to be more leather in the Signature variations, but the perf versions may get the same upgrades. And there is the 1 year of cellular coverage (prolly basic?) for Sigs. Plus badging.

Teoatawki | 5 July, 2012

1. Potential higher resale value, not that I'm planning on selling it!
2. I'm not good at waiting. I don't know how the people who dropped $40K over 3 years ago have managed!

Steve841 | 5 July, 2012

Here's one for you:

$7500.00 tax credit may not be here in 2013.

Amos' Tesla | 5 July, 2012

There is another thread on how much time we all spend on this website. In my case, I figure the extra cost of going from P5112 to S736 will be more than offset by the time I save daily not pouring over websites looking for updates and feedback on the car as I will be driving it!

Sudre_ | 5 July, 2012

If you are like some people in a different thread you get the Signature so you can complain that the Model S cost $20K more than it's competitor's slower 0-60 cars. :-)

rbmartin | 5 July, 2012

I reserved a Signature to get mine sooner. I reserved long before pricing and options where announced, so I didn't know that I would be paying a premium. I considered "downgrading" to a production car, but the test drive sold it for me, and in the end, I maxed out my Signature reservation so that I'm only paying an extra $3500 over what a similarly configured production car would be.

JoeFee | 5 July, 2012

@Amos' Tesla

Good one +++1

Brian H | 5 July, 2012

Amos' Tesla | July 5, 2012 new
... the extra cost of going from P5112 to S736 will be more than offset by the time I save daily not pouring over websites

But I suspect you'll be poring over the same sites looking for others' similar/different experiences, trips, tips, and reactions! What have you been pouring on the sites, BTW? ;0

Prob'ly you'll be logged on while driving, having the system read the posts aloud so you can multi-task with actually looking at the road! Of course, that would be a bit OCD, but ...

TikiMan | 5 July, 2012

For me it was due to a few factors...

1) I want it ASAP (my order is in, and paperwork is signed). I was P#3748
2) I was already going to get everything the Sig offered, so the price difference was minor.
3) It will hold its re-sale value better than a P, and I feel like this is THE CAR that will change the game forever!
4) Free 4G service for a year!
5) Extra accents, carbon-fiber, ventilated leather, microfiber, etc
6) I expect the service will be somewhat better as an early adopter.
7) Mid-life crises! (lol) :-)

Either way, there is NOTHING like being the first to own a car like this! It will likely be similar to pulling up in a new exotic sport car, etc. Everyone now knows about this car, and by the time I get mine, I suspect it was be the coolest thing on the planet to be driving (hard to put a price on that feeling of 'you have arrived', and for me it's well worth the extra few grand to get that kind of treatment for a few months where I live).

TikiMan | 5 July, 2012

Oh, and yes what StevenR said...

8) Tax credits might disappear after 2013.

As it is, LA County is revoking the HOV access on some freeways next year, so I am already losing one huge insintive to drive this car ;-(

mdennick | 5 July, 2012

@TikiMan, LA County revoking some HOV? Not cool. I hope not OC too.

@nickjhowe, I dropped from being SIG to production (got a fair sequence # based on my reserve date) but if the tax credit goes away then I guess I'll have made the wrong call. Not withstanding that I am now considering performance model. It was fun to drive! We'll see what happens.

rbmartin | 6 July, 2012

They're converting some of the HOV lanes into toll lanes:

MandL | 6 July, 2012

I wanted blue or green, 19" wheels, no need for upgraded audio or dual chargers. I would probably have gone for the 60Kwh battery too and then the car would only have been slightly more than double what I can actually afford. But I was told to downgrade to P I would be put in line where I would have been if I'd made a P reservation in the first place last November, so delivery some time next year. So I'm taking sig red, 21" wheels and all the other options (non-perf), spending 3x what I should (including options I don't want and the Sig premium) because I just want the car ASAP.

BrianH - I'm intentionally not proofreading this post. I think it's time to let your grammar school teacher's ghost rest in peace, chill out and learn to understand that forums on the internet are not intended to be the repositories of this era's finest literary output. People are writing on hand held devices, in non-native languages, and with the intent to convey (agreeably, sometimes ill-conceived) thoughts. If something is truly unclear or unintentionally funny, have at it, but some of these threads are half full of posts arguing about grammar. bleh.

TikiMan | 6 July, 2012

BTW, these HOV lanes in Los Angeles (I-10 & I-110), that are being being turned into HOT lanes (toll lanes), are owned by the public, and being developed as toll lanes using tax dollars! This equates to double-taxation (go figure).

There is a bill in Sacrmento that is fighting the exclusion of white and green sticker access vehicles in these lanes... AB 2405 ...

pilotSteve | 6 July, 2012

@MandL = +1 on your reasons for the sig upgrade, and +1 on "lighten up on the grammar nit picking"!

I chose to "love" the choices of 21" wheels and uprated sound as options I would not have picked, but overall when given the phone call to upgrade to Sig my wife said "Don't cheap it out.... get what you really want!" :-)

Brian H | 6 July, 2012

Maybe it comes down to, "Is the Sig Perf overkill for what will keep me happy with my decision?" In other words, will you actually miss the extra features if you have a "standard" production or Sig?

Maybe when there are more and more on the road, a "pecking order" factor comes into play ...

Brian H | 6 July, 2012

Given CA's concealed bankrupt state of finances, trying to make sure you "get your share" is a bit like stripping corpses on the battlefield.

Volker.Berlin | 6 July, 2012

Maybe when there are more and more on the road, a "pecking order" factor comes into play ...

That may become a "problem" in California some time soon. Other regions of the world, not so much. Personally, I'm looking forward to populate German roads with a car that is as fast as and much cooler than a 6-series, more exotic than a Ferrari, and no more expensive than a 5-series... :-) The "P" does just fine for this purpose, I suppose.

dborn | 6 July, 2012 for European and Australian deliveries, at this stage, other than some extra leather, the white upholstery and sig red car, what advantage is there really to signature? For practical purposes there would not be much delay between delivery of productIon or sig. They are going to have to offer us all non USA buyers some genuine incentive to pay extra for the car beyond a badge and perforated leather.

Volker.Berlin | 7 July, 2012

dborn, that's why I didn't spend much time worrying over whether or not I could afford a Signature. I went straight to the regular production reservation, and I think I'll be happy with it. If money is no issue, a few weeks earlier delivery or the Signature red paint may be reason enough to go with a Signature. To everybody his own.

bhs1 | 7 July, 2012

@MandL +1 on all of your reasons.

I was P2454, upgraded to S550 in October, but now I am dropping back to regular production again. I live in Philly so the potholes and snow dictate 19" wheels, not 21 inchers. After test driving at the LA event, I really liked the Green color, and I don't need the better audio or dual chargers.

Since my original P number was fairly low, I should get delivery by the end of the year anyway, so tax credits are not an issue for me. I personally don't see much of an advantage to paying the Signature premium, but I am sure someone will be happy to hear that they just got added to the Signature list!

calsailor | 7 July, 2012

I don't want to take this off subject. But I hear people raising a concern that the tax credit might not be around come 2013.
Is there something I don't know?

According to the US Dept of Energy website
"Phase Out & Termination
The credit begins to phase out for vehicles at the beginning of the second calendar quarter after the manufacturer produces 200,000 eligible plug-in electric vehicles (i.e., plug-in hybrids and EVs) as counted from January 1, 2010. IRS will announce when a manufacturer exceeds this production figure and will announce the subsequent phase out schedule."

I don't see Tesla hitting that for a LONG time.

As for all the state by state rebates, the charger rebates, etc. That is another story.

jerry3 | 7 July, 2012

- But I hear people raising a concern that the tax credit might not be around come 2013.
Is there something I don't know

Some people say that if the Republicans get in they will revoke the legislation. I don't see this happening, but if the more radical elements gain control...well, let's just say it's scary some of the social and religious things that have been put forward (in a country that is supposed to have absolute separation between church and state).

Larry Chanin | 8 July, 2012

To paraphrase the President, my position has evolved on this subject. ;-)

Before the Signatures were sold out I asked my wife if the Signature Red paint was worth $3,500. She loved the color, but at the time not enough to pay the premium. At that time I wasn't planning on getting all the options that I am now.

For me who never was a "car guy" this purchase is insanely expensive considering that the most I've ever spent on a car was $15,000! However, once you go insane...these decisions to upgrade get easier and easier.

So as time progressed I realized that the only option that I wasn't getting was the rear-facing seats. Heck, I figured I might as well get a Signature for just a measley $3,500.

Then it occured to me that I probably wasn't going to get my car this year. By this time, the insanity progressed such that I was actively involved in founding a Florida Tesla Motors Club. As our membership grew I found it mildly irksome that many of our membership would be enjoying their cars while I impatiently waited in the wings organizing Tesla events.

By this time the insanity was transmitted to my wife. The factory visit to Fremont in October got her hooked. We talked and she agreed that we should get on the Signature waiting list to both get her beautiful Signature Red and to get me earlier delivery.

Then last month we impulsively decided to visit Fremont again to join a friend and his wife for his test drive. While in Fremont I got the call from Tesla upgrading me to Signature and they also arranged to get me a test drive as well!

After the test drives my wife and I were total raving lunatics!! Getting the a Performance Signature was now an absolute logical necessity. So the Signature premium went up to over $4,500 when considering taxes, etc., but so what. Life is too short.

My Name is Larry...I'm a Teslaholic

Bill Tracey | 8 July, 2012

Hi Larry, this is Bill and I too am a teslaholic ENJOY THE RIDE

Larry Chanin | 8 July, 2012

Hi Bill,

Thanks. Good to hear from you. I hang out mostly at the TMC forums now.

Will I see you folks at the meet-up in Dania Beach?



BYT | 8 July, 2012

LOL... That could be a whole new post. Hello, my name is Ben and I AM a Telsholic. 3 years running now! :)

kperl1 | 8 July, 2012

The first answer is the only one likely to stand up to time... b/c we wanted sooner.

It is a car and therefore it will not hold it's value.... and if things go well for Tesla the price goes down not up. Tax credit is a good point... especially if you get a state credit. But it is not likely to go away. for better or worse tax payer give aways - do ever GO away... they just keep adding more :)

JoeFee | 8 July, 2012

Teslaholic my a….. I'm making a rational data based decision to spend 3x more than I ever did on a car. Why it is like getting a car and a 40K pre-paid gas/maintenance card to boot! So what that is a new company with a new car built in refurbished factory using scavenger machine tools. Why just look at the stock --- one of the highest short interests on market----wait a minute ----

My name is Joe (JoeFee on TMC) and I'm a Teslaholic formerly P 469 now S1092!

Brian H | 8 July, 2012

Rationalization #6:
What other way is there to save money (fuel) and have lotsa fun?