Welcome to Tesla

Welcome to Tesla ================ I ordered my Tesla Model X from a different location than I had first started looking, and my Owner Advisor got assigned out of the the latter location, rather than the person who actually walked me through the configuration site.

Today I got confirmation that my Model X has been slated for build and received my new VIN, allowing me to finalize insurance. Tesla's HomeCharging division sent me an automated eMail now that the cancellation period has ended on the car, and I have requested an estimate for my WRX to decide if it'd be worth trading it in, or whether I should sell it independently. Interestingly, while I received my VIN at essentially the earliest possible moment (just after the cancellation window closed), other people online have reported ordering earlier than I did yet still waiting for their VINs.

Tesla Roles --------------- Just as Tesla does not have dealerships, the experience and nomenclature used by Tesla is different than interacting with just about any other car company. In a traditional dealership, you'd deal with a salesman who would be responsible for overcharging you as well as telling you what a great deal you got when he later hands you the keys. With Tesla, this role is split into two roles, the owner advisor who works with you during the sales portiong, and the delivery specialist who is responsible for handling the delivery process.

Owner Advisor

The Tesla Owner Advisor is the closest parallel to the a legacy dealership's salesman. He1 is the person who greets you as you walk into the show room, explains the vehicle and its options, walks you through the ordering process (there is no2 haggling), and is your point of contact if you need to make any changes (although the ability to make changes after the three day waiting period is limited, and involves a change fee when it is possible).

Delivery Specialist

If you've bought a new car from a dealership before, you likely needed at least two trips. The first involved you placing an order, and then you went home. Even if the car were on the lot, it often needed to be prepped; more likely, if you were picky, the car you needed was actually at another dealership, and you needed to wait for it to be transported (or even driven) to where you signed your bill of sales. The second trip involved a return to meet the same salesman who would then congratulate you once again on earning him his3 commission, and walk you through the features of the car once again, refreshing your memory so hopefully you don't mistakenly apply the emergency brake as soon as you pull into traffic leaving the lot.

The Tesla Delivery Advisor takes on the roll of the salesperson at the return visit, when you, as the name implies, take delivery of the vehicle. Presumably, given the fixed price nature of the vehicles, it's easier to track productivity of delivery specialist at a fixed rate per vehicle than when delivery "value" is variable, as it is in a fluid-priced transaction where the salesperson is getting comission related to how much you paid for your car.

Owner's Portal

Regardless of your advisors, Tesla tries to drive you to interact with them via the owner's portal, part of the Tesla Web site. This allows you to contact Tesla's on-line support (also reachable via eMail, which while having a slightly slower response time, ensures you have a copy of what you submitted since the Web form doesn't send you a copy, or retain anything for you to reference). Following purchase, and before delivery, it also allows you to track the status of your vehicle and submit any documentation Tesla needs from you (such as a copy of your license or insurance information); likewise Tesla uses it to distribute documentation it's required to provide to you.

  1. or she, but I've only so far seen male advisors on the car side; Tesla also sells solar panels, and the ratio there has been more balanced

  2. officially prices are prices are prices; but sometimes you have leverage you can utilize

  3. Again, most sales staff seem to be male, and I've so far only experienced two counter-examples. The one who sold us our Volvo XC70 was female. That was an exceptional purchase experience, and the entire staff at the dealership seemed to work as a great team, which I only add to contrast it with the only other female front-line sales person I've dealt with when buying a car, at a local Mercedes dealership, who seemed more intent on finding a used car to sell than understand what I wanted to buy.