Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
Keep an arsenal of Tesla facts on-hand to ensure you’re ready to answer any customer question
Tesla Motors gained the attention of the world as an automotive innovation powerhouse. Unlike older companies, such as Ford and Honda, Tesla has only been around since 2003. Silicon Valley engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded the company and hired CEO Elon Musk in 2004. Musk is often referred to as an original founder. Their goal was to prove that electric cars could be better than gasoline-powered vehicles, and it seems they’ve achieved all that — and more — since they’ve been in business.
If you sell Tesla vehicles, you’re not working in a traditional dealership model. Unlike the other cars in our car facts series, you’re not likely selling used Teslas. When a customer walks into a Tesla showroom, you know they’re familiar with the brand and interested in learning more. It’s your job to know a wide-range of Tesla facts so when they have questions, or need a little convincing, you’ll have tons of information to share.
You’re not just selling someone a new car — you’re selling them an entirely new way of driving. Arm yourself with as much brand knowledge as possible and then get out there and make Tesla proud.
Tesla facts every good salesperson should know
1. Other company founders hold Elon Musk in the highest regard.
A 2016 survey of more than 700 founders from First Round revealed that Musk is above and beyond the most admired tech leader. He received twenty-three percent of respondents’ votes and had more than double the total of the second-most respected tech leader, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
2. Musk has taken four companies to valuations of over $1 billion.
Elon Musk has experience with PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Solar City.
3. Tesla Motors’ first car, the Roadster, was released in 2008.
It was a sports car that had the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and travel almost 250 miles between charges of its lithium ion battery. Tesla discontinued the Roadster in 2012.
4. Tesla launched its initial public offering in June 2010.
They raised $226 million. Daimler took a stake in the company, and Tesla also formed a strategic partnership with Toyota.
5. The company’s first electric sedan was the Model S.
The Model S can travel 265 miles between charges. Motor Trend Magazine named it the 2013 Car of the Year.
6. The U.S. government loaned Tesla $465 million in 2009.
The company paid the loan off nine years early.
7. Tesla’s Model X has a biohazard air filter.
The filter allows medical-grade air to fill the cabin, no matter what’s happening outside.
8. In side-impact tests, the Model X was stronger than utility poles.
There was only minimal damage when it crashed.
9. Charging up doesn’t take long.
It takes about 30 minutes to charge a Model S or Model X to a 170-mile range at a Tesla Supercharger. Currently, there are 694 supercharger stations around the world, and the number keeps growing.
10. You can call your car.
The Model S and Model X have a functionality called “Summon” which lets you use your phone to call your car. You can tell it to open your garage door, enter your garage, park itself, and shut down. Likewise, in the morning, you can tell your car to exit the garage and greet you.
11. Forget paying to fill up a big gas tank.
It costs about $13.66 to fully charge a Model X at home.
12. Tesla has a few surprises in the works.
One of the lesser-known Tesla facts? Tesla has a minibus in the works, but it’s still in the early stages of development and doesn’t have an official name yet. Musk says it’s inspired by the “California Custom VW combi design art.” He referred to it as a “high passenger-density urban transport vehicle” and sees it enabled by autonomous driving. Currently, it’s expected to be in production in 2019 or 2020.
13. Relax. Your car will drive you home.
Tesla’s plan is to have implemented driverless technology in cars by 2018.
14. Tesla creates its own power.
Tesla is building the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada to create lithium-ion batteries for its vehicles. By 2018, the Gigafactory is expected to reach full capacity and produce more lithium-ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013.
15. Tesla has big plans – and big factories.
The Tesla Gigafactory will be the second largest building in the world by volume once it is done, and will be powered by 100% renewable energy.
As an auto salesperson, it’s helpful to branch out from just learning Tesla facts; seek out information about other brands as well. It’s smart to be a well-rounded auto enthusiast who can adjust to any dealership because that makes you a more desirable employee. Take some time to read and memorize facts about a few of the big brands, like Ford, Honda, Jeep or BMW.