Tesla Owners Love Their Model S, Model X Vehicles, Despite Problems
Tesla Model S and Model X owners love their luxury electric vehicles despite quality problems that would tarnish most brand images and sales, J.D. Power finds. That’s because “Tesla owners see themselves as pioneers who enjoy being early adopters of new technology,” said Kathleen Rizk, director of global automotive consulting at J.D. Power.
Spending $100,000 or more on a premium vehicle with so many problems usually has a dramatically negative effect on sales and brand perception, but Rizk points out that currently, “Tesla seems to be immune from disenchanting customers.”
In a new report, “Tesla: Beyond the Hype,” J.D. Power examines the U.S. car brand’s vehicle quality issues based on findings from multiple focus groups and detailed evaluations of Tesla vehicles in comparison to competitive models from J.D. Power automotive study data. Initially, small sample size prevented Tesla from being included in annual rankings in both the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS)SM and the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.
It’s anticipated that consumers who are interested in purchasing the next, more mainstream Model 3 compact premium sedan will be less forgiving about quality issues. “When consumers buy a mass-market car in the $35,000 range that will be a primary means of transportation, the degree of expectation will increase immensely,” Rizk said, adding, “We’ve seen that with other well-liked brands, whether or not it involves an electric vehicle.”
Tesla, Inc., with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, was founded by CEO Elon Musk in 2003. In addition to producing the midsize premium Model S car and midsize premium Model X SUV, the carmaker will build the upcoming Model 3 at a plant in Fremont, CA. Tesla also has divisions that make at-home batteries and solar panels. So far, Tesla has some 400,000 pre-orders for its new all-electric Model 3 compact premium 4-door car. The Model 3 will be built on Tesla’s third-generation platform and will reach the market this year, with limited production beginning in July. Last year, Tesla sold 23,749 Model S cars and delivered 15,572 of its newest Model X SUV model.