Tesla Motors' biggest strength could become its biggest weakness
Tesla’s smartest move has been to try to deal directly with its customers. By cutting out the dealers it saves the dealer’s profit for itself and its customers and can control the transaction with no middle man. However, those financial benefits are not the main reasons Elon Musk decided to offer direct sales and service. He did it because people hate car dealerships.
Ask people you know to tell you a horror story about buying a car, or having their car serviced. Everyone has their own list of stories about how they felt cheated or tricked by a car dealer. How about the $275.00 “Dealer Documentation Fee” revealed at the end of the transaction after a price was agreed upon? How about going to pick up the car after the dealer said it was ready only to find the car sitting unfinished with parts of it on the hood? These are just two of my real stories from the past few years. Tesla had the first chance at a fresh start in the car business and was smart enough to know it could correct one of the worst parts of car ownership. I say “good for Tesla.” And I mean it.