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Tech & Science Two of Tesla's boldest bets are paying off, Model 3 customers say

20:06  31 october  2019
20:06  31 october  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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a store inside of a building: A Tesla store. A Tesla store.
  • Tesla's stores and charging stations have distinguished the electric-car maker from its competitors, who outsource sales to third-party dealerships and have not yet built an electric-vehicle charging network that rivals Tesla's.
  • Those bets have made Tesla's customers happy, according to a survey by Bloomberg of almost 5,000 Model 3 sedan owners.
  • Three-quarters of respondents said they were very satisfied with the process of buying their vehicle from Tesla, relative to the process of buying from a traditional dealership.
  • And over 60% of respondents said they were very satisfied with the availability, price, and speed of Tesla's Supercharger stations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tesla's stores and charging stations have distinguished the electric-car maker from its competitors, who outsource sales to third-party dealerships and have not yet built an electric-vehicle charging network that rivals Tesla's. Those bets have made Tesla's customers happy, according to a survey by Bloomberg of almost 5,000 Model 3 sedan owners.

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Three-quarters of respondents said they were very satisfied with the process of buying their vehicle from Tesla, relative to the process of buying from a traditional dealership. And over 60% of respondents said they were very satisfied with the availability, price, and speed of Tesla's Supercharger stations.

Vertical integration is expensive, especially for a company without the vast cash reserves held by traditional automakers. But Tesla has sought to control as many parts of the customer experience as possible, betting that it can perform many functions better than the companies it would otherwise rely on to handle areas like sales, service, and fuelling stations.

Tesla's history of losing money illustrates the difficulty of starting several different lines of business before any have become consistently profitable, but Bloomberg's survey indicates that Tesla's sales and charging-station businesses have had a positive impact on customer satisfaction.

Jaden Smith asked Elon Musk for advice on starting a company. Musk was shocked when Smith said he wanted to sell water.

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Tesla's stores received a score of 4.34 points out of 5 from survey respondents, with North American customers giving a higher rating (4.39) than European and Asian customers (3.95).

Between three metrics (availability, affordability, and speed), Tesla's Supercharger stations received an average score of 4.52, though customers who relied primarily on Supercharger stations for their charging needs (rather than charging at home or work) gave their Model 3 a "charging convenience" score of 3.91, relative to the ease of refuelling a gas-powered car.

The speed and availability of charging stations is one of the biggest obstacles preventing wider adoption of electric vehicles. Electric-vehicle owners with a garage can charge at home, but long trips often require a charge away from home. While the number of charging stations is growing, there are about 21,000 in the US now, compared with more than 120,000 gas stations. Tesla has more than 1,600 Supercharger stations worldwide, according to its website.

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Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com. You can ask for more secure methods of communication, like Signal or ProtonMail, by email or Twitter direct message.

Read Bloomberg's full survey here.

  • Read more:
  • Elon Musk's plan to fix Tesla's troubled service operation isn't working, according to nearly 5,000 Model 3 owners - but there's one big exception
  • The future of Elon Musk's empire was in peril in 2016, and new documents reveal more about the desperate plan to save it
  • Tesla is fixing its notorious quality issues, according to nearly 5,000 Model 3 owners
  • Jaden Smith asked Elon Musk for advice on starting a company. Musk was shocked when Smith said he wanted to sell water.

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Key fobs and emerging virtual, or digital, keys are increasingly making traditional metal car keys obsolete. Tesla was the first to ditch metal keys for its Model 3, followed by a similar move by Lincoln.The change, which has accelerated in recent years, means more convenience and safety for drivers but also ends the age-old tradition of teenagers receiving their first car and feeling the engine turnover for the first time. Keyless cars also come with their own unique challenges.

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