Have not posted on here for months, but wanted to share my story.
First was interested in TM about 5 years ago. The roadster was a unique 'dream car': cool as a Ferrari, electric, clean and made (mostly) in the USA. A cool car for the rich in LA, cool website to read about it, hoped they would make a Delorean type number of them so they would not be super rare and could get my hands on one someday.
First visited a Tesla store early in 2011 and drooled at the roadsters. The sedan concept did not interest me much, the roadster was cool and made Tesla interesting to me. I am a sports car guy, was disappointed that Tesla was going to discontinue making them for some boring sedan...
In the second half of 2012 I saw they launched the MS and it did not seem so bad for sedan, I had bought a lightly used Mercedes sedan a year and half before for a 'run around car' and put over 100k miles on it and grew rather fond of it. It did not have the presence of my KITT like Firebird or grab the eye like my Delorean but it had class, was not bad on fuel and was super reliable. I watched with growing interest.
By December 2012 started posting actively on the forums, having a bit of fun and really liked what I saw and read, especially from happy owners. Looked like electric cars had really arrived, they could pay for themselves if you kept them long enough (unlike any ICE car) and they did not look like a Prius (yuckkkk).
By Febuary I knew the Mercedes would be the last ICE car I would ever buy, when it died I wanted to replace it with a MS. Sure I would keep my classic ICE cars but electric was the way to go for daily and distance driving (since the advent of supercharging), which make up 95% of my driving.
In May the Mercedes started to become unreliable after 260k miles... It was time to prepare to replace it. So went to the Tesla Store... Test drove the MS it and loved it, reserved one. A week later the Mercedes died. Needed a car NOW, could not wait for the MS. So went to Chevy to look at a Volt, it was no Tesla but was a solid good car and need needed a reliable car NOW. Financing was easy and drove away with the Volt a few hours after, got 0.0% with 6k down.
Drove the Volt to NY and back, got used to electric driving (and saving a lot of money) though wanted to do the next trip on I-95 with a MS with SCs... The Volt is a great around town car or good if you are going to the boonies and are not sure if you can get a charge, but MS makes driving to NY or across the US comfortable and FREE... yeah.
As the late July delivery date got closer got pre-approved with Wells Fargo, but still would need a big down payment. Tesla surprised me by building the car early, did not have the full down ready in cash (TM would not take credit cards like GM for payment) so had a problem. Had a annoying time applying with credit unions that were less than interested in doing business with people outside their service area trying to get financed with 10% down.
So waited for the money to be ready. It arrived, had 20% down and ready to go, but Wells Fargo could not do it now? What? Tesla could not hold the car in inventory so sold it. I do not blame them, if they have cash laden customers at the ready.
A bit crazy, MS are a big ticket item and the key to selling them in large numbers is getting people financed. Sure there will be those that can not qualify but those customers that can put 20% down cash (or 25% if could use credit card and pay off after 30 days) are pretty good risks... I had no problem buying the Volt, GM knows that getting people financed is the key to moving cars, and making money. If I walk into any dealership with 10% down, I will drive away the same day... Not with Tesla. Ok no problem you need time to build the car. I put down 5k and was assured financing would not be a problem. But after the customer has waited and they have put money in your hand you got to help them seal the deal... Especially if they have 20% down...CASH!
So TM, you have a great product, people want to buy them, but you are selling cars not Rolexes and need to learn from GM if you want to sell to middle class people...
So here I sit, waited in line, have 20+% down and TM can not get the deal done... I gave them 5k down interest free for a quarter, the least they could do TRY to get a sale... Come on, I have to chase them down for answers. GM got me financed in 45 minutes... at 0.0%! And SC are going up so now is the time to take delivery, grrrr. Do not really want the deposit back, want a MS. But if Tesla does not want to be prepared for middle class buyers I will keep driving the Volt, me and tens of thousands of other would be MS buyers.
I want Tesla to be successful and sell a lot of cars, they are different from the ICE makers which is good in many ways, but if they want to sell cars to normal people, they have to get the financing thing worked out.