Submitted by bjrosen on Thu, 2019-03-07 11:30
Tesla has just committed suicide by shutting down their stores. I was getting close to pulling the trigger on the Model 3 AWD. I test drove the RWD last fall in MA and the AWD last Saturday in CA. I just called the Natick MA store to schedule one last test drive with my girlfriend to see if she likes it before I placed my order, she has the last say. They've already implemented the online only strategy so no more test drives. I can't imagine buying a car without test drives. The idea that someone will write them a check for $50K, write another to the Registry of Motor Vehicles for the sales tax, and another to the insurance company to insure the thing before you've made a final decision is insane. Even if Tesla give you back the $50K, the Registry isn't going to give you the $3K in sales tax back. I expect that Tesla sales will collapse in the next few weeks, even if I were comfortable with their new policy I wouldn't buy the car now because I think they've just put themselves in bankruptcy.
If they had put a credible replacement for stores in place before they shut them down that would be a different matter but they didn't. Buy before you Try doesn't work for cars. They could have switched to a program where they bring the test drive to you, they do that with repairs why not with test drives. They also could have set up roving test drive events, i.e. bring a bunch of cars to different venues, shopping malls, companies, events, so that people could test them. They even could do something like a Tupperware party, i.e. if you get a bunch of people together for a test drive then you would get some sort of discount on your car. But they haven't announced anything like that, just the Buy before you Try program.