PR Suggestion for Tesla

PR Suggestion for Tesla

While recent media has focused predominantly on some negatives in the last few months, it might be helpful if Tesla released some new version of Elon's 5-part trilogy, with a series of announcements that highlight the increasing (not decreasing) benefits of owning a Tesla over its competition. I'm sure y'all can come up with some suggestions for this, but to me the most obvious one is the software improvements to the car. So a press release might go something like this (BTW, I am NOT in PR, so I don't really know what I'm doing):

'Today Tesla Model S owners downloaded their 100,000th software update, provided to them FREE for life by Tesla Mtors. As the world's only car that is upgradeable via software updates, Model S owners have enjoyed over 50 (guess) improvements to their cars since the initial ones were delivered in summer of 2012. Those improvements, many coming at the suggestion of customers, include:

. Smartphone control of key car functions like climate control and charging
. Range driving mode to extend the capabilities of the Model S' industry leading range
. Scheduled charging, allowing owners to take advantage of the times when their utilities offer the best rates for charging
. Integrated Supercharger locations in the Navigation app
. Wifi tethering
. and over 50 (guess) other enhancements

In the coming months Tesla will continue to update the Model S' software, FREE for life, and include improvements such as third party apps, valet mode, etc. We welcome our customers' input for this process and look forward to improving the car Consumer Reports said ranks as the best they have ever tested.'

(Or whatever, the idea is to change the narrative, and since I expect them to be removing the dreaded 'production constraints' this quarter, they need to goose demand by simply telling the truth with good news.)

Do you like apples?

How do you like them apples!

BTW - Great list of all software updates here

logicalthinker | 2013年11月16日

I think your idea is smart.

edcalis | 2013年11月16日

The headline of the press release can go like this, "Tesla Model S Keeps Getting Better and Better With Regular Free Computer Software Upgrades."

Sudre_ | 2013年11月16日

I think this sounds like a good idea but last I heard Elon made it pretty clear they do not need more sales. They can not keep up with production and the waiting list is getting longer not shorter. If people start cancelling or reservations slow down it would probably be a good idea to start pushing more articles about the advantages of a Model S.

I personally don't think Tesla should spend too much time trying to move the stock price. They need to move product. The stock price will then move itself. That's what really killed it in the first place. What the investors heard (that weren't all in on Tesla's like us) was 'we can't get enough batteries to make our cars. We will have to invest money in a factory to make them ourselves.' Investors don't want more debt. They want cash in their pockets.

That's my take on it anyway.

J.T. | 2013年11月16日

Before Tesla advertises in any way to increase sales it has to take more time making sure the cars they deliver are relatively fault free. Many fit and finish, suspension, MCU, and charging issues have plagued new owners making their introduction to the Service Center or Ranger Service sooner than desired.

Slow it down, get it right and make happy owners. They're Tesla's best sales force.

Cattledog | 2013年11月16日

First, on sales. We don't know where sales are heading, Tesla doesn't release reservation numbers. However, they better be at 800/week at the end of 2014 because that's the number Tesla floated for production. Maybe they are reserving 600/week right now and producing 550/week. Maybe it's more. OK for the end of 2013. Maybe China and other countries make up the gap and then some. OK too. Sales is not THE issue, but sales is AN issue.

But the bigger issue is the narrative. Elon looked perturbed answering all the questions about fires on the DealBook interview. All his answers were defensive to questions that others are asking. Of course the fires can't be ignored, but they can't be all consuming. Perhaps this is where George or Jerome come in and relieve Elon a bit and make a series of positive announcements. Show the depth of the executive team. Imbue confidence again. Momentum is fickle thing, in sales, in stock price, in life.

Dramsey | 2013年11月16日

Um, except that the Mod S isn't the "world's only car upgradeable via software updates." Several others are, including Ford, whose "MyFord Touch" system has gained several new capabilities over the years.

Furthermore, you can download Ford's updates from their web site, put them on a USB key, and run the update yourself, rather than waiting for Ford to push the update down to you.

Car t man | 2013年11月17日

I definitely think Tesla needs a guided and directed PR, especially with so many side blows. As for sales, hard to say how linear a demand curve is and it is always better to build demand for 24 months down the road than wish or hope for it. It should focus on how customizable the car is. That via software, everything, including suspension, can be tweaked remotely and that different users will be able to pick different customized profiles and apps, to fully customize their cars and ownership experience down the road. That is what makes a car a keeper for 10+ years and a long term investment...

In terms of motor, you can't really offer more since it is already powerful enough and the car will be upgradeable to whatever battery tech that comes
along in 10 years or longer.

Brian H | 2013年11月17日

car t;

The profiles idea is very interesting. What would you see as likely core combos of features and functions?

Car t man | 2013年11月17日

Fully selectable function of accellerator/regen relationship and degree, profiles for track racing (could reduce power to sustainable level, instead of full power and then limp), snow (reduce torque, heighten suspension,..), customized profiles of suspension stiffness, power, pedal function,..

It could also be GPS related but I prefer manual options...
And more stuff like that.

2050project | 2013年11月17日

I think the thrust of the PR at this point could be continue to to debunk the car fires... but this can actually come from the Model S community. Context is needed to understand this problem better in relative terms. I wish someone had access to daily car fires so that a news source was set up and each day there was a car fire it would be published. I.e. "... in this hour alone, there were another 17 cars reported on fire including a Porsche in Minneapolis, a BMW in Dallas, a Volvo in New Haven, etc..." with photos when possible.

I don't think the public understands these numbers... wish we could bring these facts and figures from NFPA to the public a bit more to put things in perspective:

An excerpt from the study:
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 152,300 automobile fires per year in 2006-2010. These fires caused an average of 209 civilian deaths, 764 civilian injuries, and $536 million in direct property damage.

Facts and Figures:
Automobile fires were involved in 10% of reported U.S. fires, 6% of U.S. fire deaths.

On average, 17 automobile fires were reported per hour. These fires killed an average of four people every week.

zero2hide | 2013年11月17日

+10! 2050project

gill_sans | 2013年11月17日

+1 @Sudre_