INTERNATIONAL – Tesla is offering incentives and tapping volunteers in a frantic push to boost sales and deliveries before the end of the quarter.
If the final days of the second quarter were all about trying to prove to investors that Tesla can ramp up output of its mission-critical Model 3 electric sedan, then the third period is about getting the cars out the door fast enough to drive up revenue and move the money-losing company toward profitability.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk was at the company’s delivery hub in Fremont, California, on Saturday, according to a customer’s tweet, while many longtime Tesla owners are heeding his call to volunteer at local delivery centers.
The volunteers are answering questions from buyers picking up their new vehicles whom Tesla staff are too busy to handle. To quicken the pace of sales, the company is also offering $100 credits toward charging -- or in some cases free charging -- at Tesla’s network of stations. One shopper even said he was dangled a discount of $3,000 on a Model S in inventory.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its end-of-quarter push.
While quarter-end discounting isn’t necessarily new at Tesla -- and the incentives aren’t big by auto-industry standards -- there’s a greater urgency behind the effort now because of the pressure Musk is under to deliver on his promise that the company will start generating profits in the second half of the year. The CEO is scrambling to post a strong third quarter while he simultaneously has been forced to deal with controversies much of his own making.