Those who missed out on a tax break thanks to Tesla's Model 3 delays may get reimbursed by the automaker.
To prospective Tesla Model 3 owners, Santa doesn't reside at the North Pole, but hails from South Africa. Such was the benevolence of Elon Musk, the Afrikaaner who owns Tesla, and in a bid to keep a potential electric vehicular customer base happy, announced recently a cash incentive to sidestep a government cutback, according to Reuters.
Confused? The Jolly Old Elf with those eight tiny reindeer might be, but Musk's gesture is one that smacks of marketing savvy in helping diffuse what is turning out to be a catastrophic situation on the Tesla assembly line. The havoc at the plant started when Tesla let it be known that production shortfalls were causing further delays in getting that heavily-hyped Model 3 into the showrooms before the end of 2018. And those who ordered the latest vehicles were also anticipating a tax credit from the federal government worth $7,500.
Musk promised that those who ordered the Model 3 by Oct. 15, 2018, would be eligible to write off the full value of tax credits, but with no customers in possession of that coveted green-friendly vehicle, that opportunity is slipping away. Instead, it looked like they'd only be able to receive only a portion of those credits beginning in 2019. The current federal administration's directive hacked those incentives down to $3,750 effective Jan. 1, 2018.
That's where Musk stepped in and played Father Christmas by announcing that those who ordered their Model 3 cars in 2019 would be covered for an additional $3,750, the difference between the value of the current and future tax credits. Musk made the car market aware of his plan on social media, in response to negative posts about how Tesla was not exactly on course with delivering the Model 3 in time.
But Musk, who's made a mint venturing into future unknown territory, is probably used to flying by the seat of his pants. His Space X venture to privatize the final frontier was a wonky venture in the early days and is only now looking like it has some promise. As forTesla's Model 3, Musk claims those bugs are now being ironed out.
The assembly line process is still being revamped when it turned out that building the Model 3 was more complicated than what its robotics were able to handle. They've also set up a third plant in California in a gigantic tent outside its headquarters. And Musk is putting in extra hours himself, as he tries to set an example to his labor force to do the same.