The next-generation Tesla Roadster is still nowhere to be seen six years after being unveiled. Here’s an argument as to why Tesla should bring the car to market.
When first unveiling the next-generation Tesla Roadster in 2017, it surprised many, but the reason made sense. Tesla now wanted to unveil a “halo car” that would clearly show that if you want to have the best car possible, it has to be electric.
At the time of the unveiling in 2017, CEO Elon Musk said that it would come to market in 2020.
Tesla started taking reservations at the unveiling event for the impressive electric supercar that goes zero to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds with over 600 miles of range. People who wanted to be first in line to get the vehicle had to put down between $50,000 and $250,000 in deposits.
The vehicle program was later delayed, and the CEO said that it wasn’t a priority for Tesla.
In 2020, Musk hinted at the Tesla Roadster being delayed until 2022 as the automaker focuses on the Cybertruck. In 2021, the CEO confirmed that the new vehicle will indeed not come to market until 2022.
Later, Musk confirmed that it is now delayed until at least 2023. Furthermore, the CEO said that its arrival will depend on how much “drama” Tesla goes through in 2022.
Things went fairly well for Tesla in 2022, but there’s still no word on the Roadster as Tesla is focused on bringing the Cybertruck to market.
Why Tesla should deliver the Roadster
Now Tesla won’t move the needle that much with electrification by delivering the Roadster, which has been its argument for delaying it for years, and it’s true. However, there’s an argument to be made that it would help its sales right now.
Tesla has been pulling a lot of “demand levers” lately; for the most part, it has been using the price drop one. Tesla has slashed prices by as much as 25% on some models this year.
Why isn’t it using other demand levers like it has done in the past?
A few years ago, Tesla pulled another demand lever that was very successful and that’s its referral program. The incentives on both sides, for the referrer and buyer, led to a significant surge in orders for Tesla and a lot of cheap publicity.
Now it went a bit out of control when Tesla started not to offer not just one but two new Roadsters to people who referred enough new buyers to Tesla, but the program was otherwise successful in creating demand.
Tesla could bring the program back in a toned-down form, but first, it needs to deliver the Roadster. Otherwise, the new program won’t have much credibility if the company isn’t even delivering the original prizes from the previous referral program.
I know what the naysayers are going to say. “Fred, you are just saying that because you earned two Roadsters in the referral program.”
I will not lie to you and tell you that I’m not looking forward to Tesla actually delivering on its promise with the Roadster and the referral program, but I also think that the logic is sound here.
Tesla keeps making price drops to create demand. Some analysts are even calling for Tesla to start advertising to create demand. I think that there are a few steps that Tesla could take before getting there; one of them is a stronger referral program.
Now I would tweak it a bit in order for it not to get out of control like last time, and they already have the new loyalty program in place as a start, but I think they need to increase the incentives on both sides.
It should result in a lot of cheap publicity again, but I think you need to deliver the Roadster first because otherwise, it would remove a lot of credibility in the new program if Tesla never actually delivered on the promises and prizes of the first one.
On top of it, you can imagine all of the content that is going to be created around those new Roadsters being delivered. That, combined with a new referral program, could potentially be the cheapest way for Tesla to create more demand.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.