Elon Musk to Tesla employees: NEVER discount a car
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk found out his sales team has been offering discounts on cars — and he’s furious.
Musk sent an email to Tesla workers Wednesday, lamenting that he’d heard salespeople were offering promotional deals, when even Musk himself pays full price for his Tesla’s.
“There can never — and I mean never — be a discount on a new car coming out of the factory in pristine condition,” Musk wrote. “This is why I always pay full price when I buy a car and the same applies to my family friends, celebrities, no matter how famous or influential.”
Musk shared a screen shot of the note on Twitter Wednesday.
He said he caught wind of the incident after a Tweet called his attention to a Reddit post detailing one shopper’s experience. The anonymous user said when his or her Tesla wasn’t delivered on schedule, a salesperson said the buyer would forfeit a discounted price unless the sale was finalized anyway.
After Musk’s tweet drew massive attention to the Reddit post, the user updated the post, retracting the claim that the salesperson threatened to revoke a discount and heaping praise on the Tesla buying experience.
“The whole process with Tesla has been incredibly smooth, no pressure, very information heavy process that will ultimately put other dealers out of business,” the post reads.
Unlike most U.S. automakers, Tesla refuses to sell its cars at dealerships, opting instead to sell them only at company-owned stores.
Other social media users have mentioned or complained about Tesla offering discounts — but it’s unclear how widespread the practice is.
In his tweet, Musk said the practice “seems to be limited to a small number of cases.” Tesla declined to offer further comment.
The company’s strict “no negotiation and no discount” policy has been in place since the electric car maker first began accepting orders 10 years ago.
Musk says it’s all about the company’s integrity.
“If you can’t explain to a customer who paid full price why another customer didn’t without being embarrassed, then it is not right,” the email says.
Tesla only permits discounts on cars that have been damaged, or used for test drives or as floor models, according to the email.
But the CEO wasn’t all fury in his note. He said Tesla is headed for its best sales quarter in company history, and for that, he heaped praise on employees.
“I am super grateful for your hard work,” he wrote.