Tesla owners lash out at Elon Musk after he slashed car prices by thousands: ‘I feel like I was duped’

Marianne Simmons, a self-proclaimed Tesla “fan girl,” bought her second electric vehicle from the company in September: a high-performance white Model Y for more than $77,000. Then the company cut prices on Thursday and she realized she could have bought the same car today for $13,000 less.

“I feel like I’ve been duped. I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of as a consumer,” said Simmons, 32, a web designer in Naples, Florida. Right off the bat, I’m missing $13,306, which is such a big reduction that it’s going to affect a lot of people who just bought a vehicle.

That’s the reality Tesla Inc. vehicle owners face after the company slashed the price of its cars by up to 20%, part of a push by CEO Elon Musk to boost sales volume. in the face of weaker demand. For existing customers, the resale value of the cars they own will suffer as the prices of new models drop.

“For any existing owner, it’s a kick in the teeth,” said Ivan Drury, knowledge director for research website Edmunds.com. “Anyone who has purchased a Tesla recently will feel an immediate impact wanting to lease it.”

Drury said new-vehicle price declines will hit used cars immediately and could drive values ​​down further. New-car buyers want a new-car smell, he said, so used-car prices could fall further.

It’s an age-old problem in the automotive industry: consumers buy a vehicle only to see a discount announced days later, saving them a few thousand dollars. This time it’s different because dealer discounts are often limited-time sales and Tesla’s discounts are bigger than the typical discount.

In all honesty, Simmons and other Tesla fans aren’t the only car buyers who will see their resale value plummet. Prices for used models fell 15% in December, while new ones reached a record average of nearly $50,000, according to researcher Cox Automotive.

Tesla’s price cuts were the largest among new car sellers. Its most expensive models were the most affected. Model Y base prices are down 20% to start at $53,000, the performance edition of the car Simmons bought is down 19%. The Plaid edition of the larger Model S sedan has been reduced by 14%.

Austin Flack, a television producer in Los Angeles, said he listed his 2018 Model 3 with Full Self-Driving Beta software for about $51,000 in December, but reduced that price to $36. $000 as Tesla issued incentives towards the end of the year. He said he will probably have to reduce the price again to $30,000.

Jack Bradham, a cloud services developer in Charlotte, North Carolina, said he was miffed that the long-range black Model Y vehicle he bought in December was devalued.

Bradham, 46, said in a phone interview that he ordered the car late last year and was told he would have to wait until January to get it. Then he got a call Dec. 10 from Tesla sales saying he might get a car around Christmas. He said he was thrilled with the early delivery and agreed to buy the EV for $69,000.

Now, he said, he should have waited because he might have gotten the discount if he had taken delivery in January; the same car now costs $12,000 less.

Bradham said he understands that sometimes people miss a sale, but it’s the extent of the price drop that bothers him, along with the company’s lack of communication.

“There is no one to contact. I called and tweeted them, no response.

Andrew Checketts of Santa Barbara, Calif., said he took delivery of a seven-seat Model Y in early December after Tesla ‘hounded’ it with text messages promoting a $3,750 rebate at the ‘era. If he had waited a month, he could have bought the car for a lot less.

“I have solar that needs to be installed soon. I’m really struggling to give Tesla more of my money and I can’t even look at the car this morning,” Checketts said in an email. says he drove a Prius today instead.

Tesla prices have been up and down over the past year. The company raised prices by 3% to 5% in March when semiconductor shortages led to production cuts in the auto industry and automakers and dealers both got the best price on all vehicles.

The company then slashed prices in December by $7,500 in the U.S., leading analysts to believe demand for its electric vehicles was softening and adding to a stock rout that played out the major part of last year. Tesla shares have fallen 69% throughout 2022.

Tesla also slashed prices in the United States and China late last year. In a Twitter audio chat on Dec. 22, Musk again hinted that he would cut prices further to head off economic headwinds. “Do you want to increase unit volume, in which case you need to adjust prices downward,” he said.

Bradham, the cloud services developer, said he hoped Tesla would give recent buyers some kind of respite, like free charging. Simmons said the company should offer the Full Self Driving feature for free.

Yet Tesla owners have little recourse.

“I wouldn’t buy Tesla again,” Simmons said. “That says a lot to me. I was a big Tesla fan. I would go with a competitor like Lucid or Rivian.

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