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Tesla starts email campaign for FSD transfer: demand trigger rather than doing the right thing

10 months ago 147

Tesla has started a new email campaign to encourage Tesla owners with the Full Self-Driving (FSD) package to upgrade to a new car and transfer the FSD package.

The terms of the transfer and the email campaign make it clear that what CEO Elon Musk presented as an “offer of amnesty” is nothing more than Tesla pulling a demand trigger to boost sales.

Elon Musk once said that Tesla would always strive to do the right thing:

We always try to do the right thing [at Tesla]. We really care about that. When we make mistakes, it’s just because we were being foolish or stupid or whatever.

When he announced last week that Tesla would allow the transfer of an FSD package to a new vehicle, we thought for a second that Tesla would finally be doing the right thing with this situation:

Yeah, this is a question we get asked a lot. So, we’re excited to announce that, for Q3, we will be allowing transfer of FSD.

But it quickly started to sound more like a demand trigger than an attempt to do the right thing.

Musk quickly followed up his statement by making it clear that this is a “one-time” offer that will end by the end of the quarter:

This is a one-time amnesty, so it needs to be — you need to take advantage of it in Q3, but — or at least place the order in Q3 within — within reasonable delivery time frames. So, yeah, yeah, yeah, hope this makes people happy. But want to — I mean, this is a one-time thing, OK?

Tesla has now started to send out an email campaign to owners of the FSD package to advertise the FSD transfer opportunity:

The email and the terms confirm that buyers need to take delivery of a new vehicle by September 30, which is the end of the quarter and the last opportunity for Tesla to recognize a delivered car as revenue.

Here are the eligibility terms:

  • Have your new Tesla vehicle delivered between July 20, 2023, and September 30, 2023
  • Have ordered your new Tesla vehicle configured with FSD capability
  • Be the legal owner and registrant of the current vehicle with Full Self-Driving capability purchased outright
  • Have the current vehicle and the new vehicle on the same Tesla Account
  • Agree to all additional terms and conditions

Many Tesla owners have been asking for the capability to transfer their FSD package to a new car or be offered a refund because when they bought the package, they were told that it would eventually result in them having a fully self-driving vehicle that would gain value.

Seven years after Tesla made that promise and started selling the package with the promised self-driving capability, the automaker has yet to deliver on it.

Some of those early owners are now looking for a new car, and when they go to trade it in for a new Tesla, the automaker offers them a fraction of what they paid for the FSD package, even though it never delivered the main feature promised under that package.

Electrek’s Take

That’s not the right thing. That’s vaguely disguising a demand trigger as the right thing. The right thing would be an open offer to have the paid FSD package transferred to any new vehicle until Tesla can actually deliver on its promise.

I would also offer refunds to those who want them.

But under its current form, with a deadline at the end of the quarter, this is just like any Tesla end-of-the-quarter incentive. It’s a demand trigger. Tesla is not trying to do the right thing with this move; it’s just trying to sell more cars.

You can’t sell a product, not deliver it, and buy it back from customers for a fraction of what they paid. That’s just not the right thing.

So Elon, were you serious when you said that Tesla always aims to do the right thing? Is Tesla being foolish or stupid or whatever?

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