It’s a real pleasure listening to Elon Musk talk. There’s a humility there, a strong sense of responsibility, a desire to do what is right. There is also a clear faith that doing what is right will pay off in the end in business terms, as well.
In the latest Tesla conference call (Friday’s call), Elon’s focus was on the fact that Tesla’s warranty would cover everything that might happen to a Model S owner’s car… beyond a physical accident or someone blowtorching the battery or “taking it out for shooting practice.”
Furthermore, as we reported previously, Tesla will now supply owners with a fully loaded Model S (probably better than their own car) whenever they take their car in.
Additionally, he noted the valet service the company is now offering — that the company will pick an owner up and drop him off when they bring the car in for service.
Also, correcting a “mistake” Tesla made, owners are not required to bring their cars in for an annual checkup in order to maintain their warranty. (Originally, this was a requirement.) As stated above, he put a lot of emphasis on the point that the warranty covers everything because he doesn’t want customers to worry about anything going wrong, or even doing anything wrong — of course, special emphasis was placed on the battery in this portion of the call. Elon said several times that an owner doesn’t need to read the manual, the user’s guide. He noted that any product that needs a user’s guide is a broken product.
There was a lot of questioning about whether or not these announcements were all in response to something, to unhappy customers or customer surveys. That didn’t seem to be the case, according to Musk — the main impetus was simply that Tesla thought about its service offerings from the customer’s perspective, and tried to deliver what any customer would want or expect.
All the same policies will also apply with the Model X. However, for the next model Tesla plans to offer (which should be coming by 2017), Musk said that the company may need to unbundle some of these services, since the goal will be offering a truly affordable, mass market car.
All in all, it seems to me that Musk, and Tesla as a whole, aim to simply offer the best product and services they can.
Oh yeah, in addition to all of the above, Musk said that contrary to how automobile companies run their service centers (which he says is simply “wrong,” bad), the directive at all of Tesla’s service centers is to not overcharge — to not make a loss, but to also not make a profit. Auto companies are notorious for overcharging, and Elon doesn’t want Tesla to fall into that boat. Naturally, he thinks that this policy will help the company in the long run, will generate more return customers. When he was talking about that topic, I think one could see as clearly as ever that Elon doesn’t think as a businessman and then as a human and then try to integrate the two — he thinks as a human who is a businessman, in an integrated way. In my opinion, at least, his first goal seems to be servicing humanity, and his reasoning afterwards leads him to believe that his decisions also make good business sense. If more companies were run by such people, we’d have a much more efficient and socially beneficial marketplace.