Consumer Focus: Is the Tesla car buying experience really that good?

Tesla has led the market for electric vehicles in the US for many years now. While the company’s market dominance will likely decrease as more EV options become available, US EV sales still rely heavily on Tesla’s output and deliveries. In fact, Tesla cars made up 79% of all new electric vehicles registered in the US for the entire year of 2020. That percentage dropped to 69.95% in 2021—still a powerful position for the EV maker.

On this edition of CBT’s Consumer Focus, we caught up with Faiz Aly, a digital content creator, tech enthusiast, and the owner of a brand new 2022 Tesla Model X. Today, we find out all the details about his buying and ownership experience.

Before purchasing his Tesla, Aly drove a Mercedes GLE SUV. He knew that he wanted his next car to be an SUV also, and the 2022 Tesla Model X appeared to be the perfect fit, given his fondness for the brand.

Aly explains that the environmental benefits, technology integration, and over-the-air (OTA) updates motivated him to choose Tesla. Over the past few years, Aly says he’s visited Tesla showrooms multiple times to stay up-to-date on the brand’s new products and features. When it came time to place his pre-order, Aly pulled out his phone, chose his vehicle and customizations, and put down a deposit in about two minutes.

Aly says he’s always wanted an electric vehicle. Years ago, he test-drove a Model 3 and was impressed with its performance. He’s also a fan of Elon Musk and his goals for the company’s long-term success.

However, Tesla doesn’t have the only EVs on the market. Legacy OEMs, both domestic and foreign, have made huge leaps in their EV offerings and production. Aly had the chance to also check out the Audi e-Tron. He says that while the vehicle is impressive, Tesla’s ability to provide OTA updates pushes the brand over the top. For example, when he first purchased the Model X, its climate controls auto-adjusted to outside temperatures and driver preferences—but only for the front row of seats. Fast-forward a few weeks, and Aly receives a software update notification on his phone. After the 30-minute update sequence, Aly’s Model X now had auto climate control features for the rear row of seats.

In terms of service and maintenance, Tesla told Aly that it would be two to three years before he would need to bring it to a service center.

When it came to trading in his Mercedes GLE, Aly explains that Tesla recommended he seek out a third party because offers were improving. After receiving a quote from Carvana, Aly took his Mercedes in person to multiple Mercedes dealerships to compare offers. Aly chose Carvana because it was an entirely digital experience and had the best offer. Carvana arrived at his house to pick up the vehicle with check in hand.

Aly pre-ordered his Tesla in January 2021 and received the vehicle in August 2022. To pick up his Model X, Aly waited until he received a delivery notification through the Tesla app and then chose the closest pickup location that Tesla offered – a service center in Roswell, Georgia. Once he arrived, he alerted staff members through the app and drove off in his brand-new car 20 minutes later.

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