Buying a Tesla (and servicing it) should be getting easier.
Part of Tesla's success has hinged on the company's promise of an electric car that requires less maintenance than a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) car. While that's true of most Tesla models, the company has struggled with fulfilling customer service requests and still has its share of struggles with deliveries.
Tesla is still on target for record deliveries but last quarter, the company came up just short of delivering over 100,000 cars (delivering 97,000 cars) for the first time ever thanks to the success of the Model 3. Sources close to the matter told Electrek the demand was there but Tesla had logistics problems and couldn't get the cars to the right markets, leaving around 3,000 cars still in inventory.
The company believes it could have surpassed the 100,000-unit mark had those cars been in the right delivery center at the right time. Sources say employees were recently told the company is planning to open new 'Tesla Centers' in metro areas to improve the delivery process. Tesla famously does not use traditional dealerships and instead relies mostly on online sales. This has created issues for the company in states that prohibit direct-to-consumer car sales and dealer operations on Sundays.
Tesla claims these new 'Tesla Centers' will handle sales, service, and delivery, getting around the state laws by focusing on the sale of "energy" rather than cars. This loophole would allow Tesla to sell cars on all seven days of the week, improving the company's delivery capability. According to Electrek's sources, the strategy is set to go into effect during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Tesla has clearly gone back and forth on its physical location strategy. We believe this latest plan should be beneficial to Tesla but it will clearly draw criticism from dealership associations. This sounds like another court case waiting to happen but Tesla has already emerged victorious in the past, furthering the viability of a direct-to-consumer sales model.