Elon Musk and Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report dominate the automotive market.
In less than 20 years, the EV manufacturer has become the benchmark in a sector formerly the domain of GM (GM) – Get General Motors Company Report, Ford (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report, Volkswagen (VWAGY) – Get Volkswagen AG Report, Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF) or even Fiat Chrysler, which became Stellantis (STLA) – Get Stellantis N.V. Report after the merger with the French group Peugeot.
But by initiating a transformation of modes of transport towards electrification Tesla and Musk have turned everything upside down, thus allowing them to redistribute the cards.
They have also built a reputation as an innovative group. Musk and Tesla have also created a model for selling Tesla vehicles directly to the consumer.
The purchase of a Tesla vehicle is presented more as the beginning of an experience that continues when you become the owner of the car.
The buyer thus establishes a special link with the T brand.
This particular bond is nourished by the various updates and improvements that the manufacturer of electric vehicles carries out regularly.
Tesla customers are also called upon to carry those out by simply updating the software and other systems that equip Tesla cars.
Musk sees a Tesla vehicle as a robot on four wheels that he constantly perfects.
“Tesla products get better over time with over-the-air software updates and our newest cars come with all our latest options — including faster acceleration, longer range, dual motor all-wheel drive and enhanced interior styling,” the company said.
Customers Can No Longer Purchase Their Leased Car
These promises of a permanent evolution of Tesla cars thus make it attractive to buy them on lease, and then to have the possibility of buying the vehicle at the end of this lease.
But Musk and Tesla have just redistributed the cards once again. It is no longer possible to purchase your leased car at the end of the lease since April 15.
“If you leased your vehicle before April 15, 2022, you may be eligible to purchase your leased Tesla,” the company recently said on its website. “Review your lease agreement to see if you qualify.”
“All Tesla vehicles delivered on or after April 15, 2022 are not eligible for purchase. Third-party dealerships and third-party individuals are not eligible to purchase leased vehicles.”
Buyers whose vehicles have been delivered between April 13 and 15 will, however, have to pay a fee of $350 before local taxes and other fees if they want to buyout their leased car.
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This is a real backstab for many Tesla customers.
Before this decision, Tesla allowed buyers of the Model S sedan and the Model X luxury SUV to be able to buyout the vehicle at the end of the lease.
As for the entry-level Model 3 sedan and the Model Y SUV, third parties dealerships had the possibility to purchase them at the end of the lease.
This difference between the terms regulating the Model S/Model X and Model 3/Model Y was due to Musk promising to launch a robotaxi service.
Until April 7, it was anticipated that Model 3 and Model Y would be part of the robotaxi fleet, hence the fact that Tesla did not allow their buyers the possibility of buyout at the end of a lease.
Extension and Upgrade Are Possibilities
But on April 7, the billionaire announced that Tesla would come up with a futuristic vehicle for the robotaxi.
“There’s going to be a dedicated Robotaxi that’s going to look quite futuristic,” the tech tycoon said during the grand opening of the $1.1 billion Tesla factory in Texas.
This is not the first time the mogul has talked about a Tesla robotaxi.
In April 2019, Tesla held an event called “Autonomy Day” to showcase the autonomous driving technology the company builds into every Tesla.
“I feel very confident predicting autonomous robotaxis for Tesla next year, the billionaire said at the time, before announcing a vast plan for 1 million such cars operating on public roads by the end of 2020.
For Musk, robotaxi meant self-driving cars, capable of operating with no one inside and able to pick up passengers and deliver them to random locations.
Tesla planned to make the existing Model 3 the basis for a fleet of self-driving taxis. In view of Musk’s recent statements, the robotaxi will be a new vehicle that does not currently exist in Tesla’s portfolio.
Therefore, what does Tesla plan to do with the vehicles purchased on lease since April 15 once this lease is over?
“Tesla will contact you 30-60 days prior to your maturity date to complete your final inspection and schedule your drop-off appointment,” the company said. “Contact us with any questions on the return process.”
You can request an extension of the lease, but only under certain conditions.
“If your account is in good standing, you can apply for a lease extension for up to 6 months beyond your original lease-end date. Please note that lease extensions can only be granted once,” Tesla said.
To apply for an extension, the customer must be within three months of the lease maturity date and current on all lease payments.
Customers can also “upgrade to a new Tesla vehicle,” Tesla said.