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Tesla will end referral program to help Model 3 cost, says Elon Musk

After over three years, Elon Musk announced that Tesla will be ending their customer referral program at the end of this month.

Tesla first launched the program back in 2015 with the goal to encourage customers to promote Tesla’s vehicles.

Over the years, the program went into several iterations.

At first, Tesla was giving credit directly to new buyers and owners who referred new sales.

Later, the automaker changed the incentives to prizes for referrers and Supercharger access for new buyers.

Now CEO Elon Musk says that the program is ending and buyers have until the end of the month to use a referral code to get 6 months of free Supercharger access with their new purchase:

That’s despite the fact that Tesla said the current round of the program will run until March 11.

While new buyers get 6 months of free Supercharger when using a referral code, owners get prizes ranging from having a photo of their choosing launched into deep space orbit to an invite to an upcoming Tesla event.

Musk confirmed that the entire referral program incentive system is ending altogether.

Update: Musk says that it’s to save costs:

Electrek’s Take

That’s interesting.

The referral program has been good for Tesla, especially since the automaker doesn’t use traditional advertising, but it was far from perfect.

Tesla had many fulfillment issues when it comes to the prizes and recently it even had an even bigger issue with some owners complaining that their codes weren’t being used even though they made the referrals.

Some even suggested that Tesla salespeople could be changing the codes to help their friends though it hasn’t been confirmed.

But it sounds like It’s not the reason that Tesla is ending the program.

Elon says that it’s to improve the gross margins on the vehicles, especially for the Model 3.

It makes sense especially now that Tesla is adding so many vehicles to its fleet every quarter, which is putting a lot of stress on the Supercharger network.

If anything, it shows that Elon is really bullish on demand – or that there’s something else coming soon. Another demand lever?

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