Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk founded the company with the mission “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass-market electric cars to market as soon as possible.” This mission has served as the foundation for Tesla's highly successful business model.
Tesla's business model is based on a three-pronged approach to selling, servicing, and charging electric vehicles--all with excellence and ease. All these aspects set the company apart from others, winning the love and loyalty of its customers. The traditional experience of buying cars and servicing them--let alone paying for fuel at random gas stations--has left much to be desired. That's where Tesla comes in.
Unlike other car manufacturers who sell through franchised dealerships, Tesla uses direct sales. The company has a network of showrooms and galleries where customers can get to know Tesla products and if they'd like, simply place an order.
However, where all of this excellence truly comes together is the online shopping process. Just a few (or less) minutes in Tesla's online design studio and your order is complete. You no longer need to go to the store, spending extra time talking with employees or filling out various documents. And now--pandemic or not--you can avoid unnecessary exposure to potential infection by eliminating contact with people in the store.
Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic continues on for the time being. And we all have to adjust to this new reality. Yet, during these difficult times--where other automakers unfortunately struggled--Tesla achieved ultimate success.
At a time when sales of other automakers fell 60-90%, Tesla has never experienced a lack of demand. This unprecedented success is directly tied to the superiority of Tesla's products, its high quality and convenient service, and to the simplicity of ordering / taking delivery of its vehicles and solar offerings. The customer experience has always been front and center for Tesla, and during these extra difficult times, contactless test drives and deliveries proved to be icing on the cake.
Other automakers are already well aware of Tesla's competitive edge here; whether they adopt the same sales model or not will likely dictate their ultimate standing in the coming years. We see car companies around the world beginning to make some changes, but overall the automakers seem panic-stricken. They make a variety of assertive statements, and change-out executives, but they will not find peace until they reconcile the new reality--that times have changed.
"The bottom line is the car buying experience will never be the same, and that's a good thing," wrote Ross Gerber, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, about buying Tesla cars. Consumers get it. Legacy automakers are going to have to, too--or they are likely to learn a difficult lesson.