Have you been following along with Tesla the last week or two? We took an opportunity last week: here to guess what Elon Musk had up his sleeve for the Tesla D Announcement last week. Turns out, the “D” was in fact a whole new car. On October 9th, Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk unveiled the dual engine chassis of the new Tesla ‘D’ model which is a faster and all-wheel-drive version of the Model S electric sedan at the Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles, CA.
It’s filled with all kinds of great technology according to Wired:
“Adaptive cruise control and the ability to read speed limit signs, stop itself if a crash is imminent, stay in its lane, and even park itself in a street spot or in your garage. […] These features are provided thanks to new hardware that will go into future Model S cars (and is already in every car produced in the past two weeks). Tesla is adding a radar that can see through fog and snow; a camera with image recognition capability to spot traffic signs and lights, as well as pedestrians; 360-degree ultrasonic sonar; and a system that combines all the data those produce with navigation, GPS, and real-time traffic systems.”
Add this to the new motor between the front wheels to go along with the one in back. It will send power to all four wheels and boost the already impressive acceleration and top speed. The P85D will get to 60 mph a full second faster than the P85. It also has a top out speed of 155 mph instead of 130. Amazing? Seems to look that way.
Problem? Well, it might be a bit of an understatement to say that current new model S owners are feeling a bit slighted… Purchasers as recent as last month already have the “old model” and depreciation is huge. Customers feel duped by Tesla, especially those who specifically asked before ordering if newer features were coming available (because they would have been willing to wait for these).
From Mercury News:
“[One customer] launched a petition on Change.org asking Tesla to provide a retrofit for the new autopilot features for existing Model S owners. As of Wednesday morning, more than 500 people have signed it […] ‘Value of the car dropped overnight,’ wrote Dag Rinden of Oslo, Norway on the petition. […]Tesla does not have traditional model years for its vehicles and is constantly rolling out new features, including software-related improvements, that are provided to customers free of charge. Indeed, much of the excitement around the Model S is that it constantly improving. But several parts need to be installed or replaced to enable autopilot features, including the windshield, front and rear fasia and brake lines–making a retrofit impractical. […] Model S owners who feel they are missing out say they have been advised that they can trade in their current Model S for a new one. But many say they have been quoted trade-in prices that would cost them thousands of dollars.”
So, while Tesla’s announcement was an impressive one. It’s definitely left a bad taste in the mouth of some very recent Tesla customers. What’s your opinion on how Tesla should handle this?