One day after announcing an expected profit for the first quarter of 2013, California-based electric car maker Telsa has revealed it has created an automotive financing product to provide “the best elements of ownership and leasing” to its Model S customers.
Tesla shares soared more than 19 per cent in early trading on Monday, after the company revealed that it expected a first-quarter profit on both a net and adjusted basis following stronger-than-expected sales of its Model S sedan.
But the ever-sensational Tesla founder and CEO, Elon Musk, set tongues wagging when he tweeted – also on Monday – that the company would make a separate announcement on Tuesday that would be “arguably more important” than its new financial guidance.
The announcement revealed the new EV financing product – created in partnership with Wells Fargo and US Bank – that Tesla says “combines the surety and comfort of ownership with all the advantages of a traditional lease.”
The deal, will see US Bank and Wells Fargo provide 10% down financing for purchase of a Model S, which is then covered by US Federal and state tax credits ranging from $US7,500 to $US15,000. Tesla says that this, combined with the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, would see the true net out-of-pocket cost to own a mid-range Model S drop to less than $US500 per month.
After 36 months, customers can opt to sell their Model S back to Tesla for a guaranteed residual value percentage equal to “one of the finest premium sedans in the world” – the Mercedes S Class (made by Tesla partner and investor, Daimler).
Tesla Model S sales exceeded 4,750 units in the quarter, higher than the 4,500 the company had forecast, it said on Monday.
Tesla also said it was dropping plans to produce a low-end version of the Model S due to lack of demand, and would focus instead on higher-margin editions of the car.