"I had a great time at the dealership today! The salesmen were courteous and I got a really good deal." said no one ever.
I was a naive boy growing up in a low income household with parents who could barely afford to get me a computer let alone a new vehicle. But as I grew I was aspiring to learn more about electronics and computers. One day a local Chevrolet dealer sent out a flyer promising a free mini toolkit for anyone who brought in that flyer. I was thrilled! I would finally be able to take apart smaller electronics that I would often find at garage sales and see what was in them. SO I headed out in the morning and arrived right before the dealer opened their doors. Steep up to the receptionist, handed her the flyer and asked if I could get the toolkit. It became obvious to me now that I am an adult it was a promotion for a salesperson bring in potential customers but the time I was young and naive so I often looked at the literal meaning of thing rather than the implied ones. I was instructed to wait, "the tool kits are in back, they just got here she said". I sat in the lobby from the morning into the late afternoon waiting. Every hour or so, a well dressed man would approach the receptionist and murmur something to each other. Eventually my parents drove up and insisted I return home. I was perplexed by this but also noted it. This was my first encounter with a dealership at the age of 12 but not the last.
The next time was during college, I needed a dependable car to get from my home to school. I was on my second year studying computer science. My parents have bad credit but they managed to scrounge up some extra money so that I could combine it with some money I made from an internship I had just come back from. The ad in a Hyundai dealership announced a base model accent for only $11k; I was hoping to pay half and see if I could finance the rest. When we arrived at the dealer it was around 1 p.m. We didn't leave until closing time that day. The salesman refused to show us the car in the ad at first insisting that it had been sold and there were no more. Then he went on to push a $17k model citing that the ad was incorrect and this was the actual model. We tried to talk to other salesmen but everyone avoid us. We eventually left disappointed and frustrated.
Fast forward to 2009, I have a well paying job for the government as a GS12 Computer Scientist. I've saved some money and I am hard headed to get a Nissan 370Z as a gift for completing my MBA. The first Nissan dealer wasn't too bad, the salesman was somewhat courteous but a bit impatient with me comparing the dealer price with the Nissan website and cars on auto trader. It wasn't till I got the second dealer that I was treated to a level of pressure and harassment that I had never experienced at any dealer before. The original salesman knew nothing about the vehicle other than the color of the paint. When she saw I wasn't interested in her cleavage she brought in another salesman who refused to let me walk out of the building. He kept insisting that I buy the car! He went so far as to twice get directly in front of me as I walked out the door. After that I had had it, I went on autotrader found a person selling their car and let the banks do all the work. In two weeks I had a brand new Z, a low interest loan, and a new outlook on buying cars online.
The Tesla Model S is in my opinion the next evolution of the motor vehicle. I cannot comprehend when a coworker spends $80k on a BMW or a Cadillac. I often think to myself "Don't you know! Don't your understand? The Tesla model s exists and it is wonderful!" Then I ponder about how much the price they paid was for the vehicle and how much of that was a markup from the salesman pitched as a discount to distort their perception as being one of getting the best deal for their dollar. I heart-fully support Tesla for selling online. Their entire sales model is genius and convenient. During the launch of the Chevy Volt, GM had a forum that was taking in suggestion as to how to market the volt. "A whole new vehicle, help us ell it in a whole new way" it said. I went on there an suggested an online sales model with dealers being just service and shipping points. To do this in order to lower overhead in order to reduce the base price and provide a consumer with a better buying experience. GM responded by saying that model would not work.
In conclusion GOOD JOB TESLA!!! HELL YEA!!! KEEP UP THE AWESOME WORK!!!
....and announce it if you ever put out an SDK for devs.