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Tesla to stop ‘anti-selling’ Model 3 with Performance version hitting the market

Ever since Tesla launched the Model 3 in 2017, CEO Elon Musk said that the automaker has been ‘anti-selling’ the new electric vehicle in favor of Tesla’s current Model S and Model X as it ramps up production.

Now Electrek has learned that Tesla will finally start promoting the vehicle, or at least the performance version, by incentivizing its sales team to sell the vehicle and offering test drives.

At a press briefing for the delivery of the first few Model 3 vehicles last year, Musk said that they are actively “anti-selling” the Model 3:

“We do everything we can to not sell the car.”

We have seen examples of this “anti-selling” where Tesla salespeople would call Model 3 reservation holders and try to sell them on the Model S instead.

The main argument is that they could get a Model S much faster as Tesla was still ramping up Model 3 production.

Now it’s less the case these days as Tesla achieved a production rate of 5,000 vehicles per week and it is delivering the Model 3 with rear-wheel-drive in a fairly short amount of time after confirming an order in the US.

Tesla also never made Model 3 vehicles available for test drives which is arguably an anti-selling tactic since most reservation holders had to place their orders without ever having driven the vehicle.

It’s now becoming clear that Tesla is moving away from this ‘anti-selling’ as it is finally starting to offer test drives in the Model 3 and it is even incentivizing its sales staff to sell the Performance version Model 3.

A source familiar with the matter told Electrek that as part of Tesla’s latest update to its commission plan, the automaker plans to start giving out $300 commission for each sale of new Model 3 Performance version.

Until now, Tesla’s Model 3 sales were handled by Tesla’s inside sales team and owner advisors in stores weren’t given extra compensation to sell the vehicle.

It is still the case for the non-performance versions of the Model 3, but it is changing for the more expensive version of the new EV.

Tesla releases first video of Model 3 Performance version burning some tires during testing

Another interesting change is that the commission is going to the store’s entire team and not just the specific owner advisor who closed the Model 3 Performance sale.

Along with this new incentive to sell the Model 3, Tesla is starting to offer test drives in a few stores in California and we learned that the automaker is starting to build its test fleet in North America for more opportunities to test drive the vehicle in the coming weeks.

This gradual change toward not ‘anti-selling’ the Model 3 comes after Tesla confirmed that it still has about 420,000 Model 3 reservations after having delivered about 30,000 Model 3 vehicles to date.

The automaker even said that it “expects that orders will grow faster than the production rate” now that buyers can test drive the Model 3.

Electrek’s Take

This last comment makes more sense now that we learn that Tesla is really starting to move away from anti-selling the Model 3.

Despite being quite expensive compared to the base version of the Model 3, I expect the performance version to be quite popular. Even though it’s officially not as powerful as Tesla’s Performance Model S, it is a much lighter car and a lot of people are looking for that in a performance car.

I also think that we need to look at this within the context that Tesla is trying to be profitable by the end of the year.

Tesla already changed its delivery schedule to prioritize the more expensive and presumably higher margin Performance Model 3 with a delivery window of 2 to 4 months versus 3 to 5 months for the other versions.

Now it is also incentivizing its sales staff to sell the vehicle. It looks like Tesla is looking to have a high mix of performance version Model 3 in its total production and deliveries during the second half of the year to help achieve profitability.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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