The Musk Emails: On Integrity

Tesla vehicles are not to be sold to anyone at a discount rate. Musk reinforces honour, integrity, and the importance of customer trust as the businesses foundational values.

September 28 2016

Source: Elon's original twitter post

First, I'd like to congratulate you on an excellent quarter so far! This is likely to be the best ever in Tesla history thanks in large part to the efforts. [His e-mail usually open with congrats]

That said, it is absolutely vital that we adhere to that no negotiation and no discount policy that has been true since we first started taking orders ten years ago. This is fundamental to our integrity and we maintained this policy even through the terrible depths of the great recession of 2008/2009.

It is fine to have a discount on cars that have been floor models, we used in test drives or were damaged before delivery. All we are doing there is assigning an accurate price to the vehicle. However, there can never - and I mean never -- be a discount on a new car coming out of the factory in pristine condition, where there is no underlying rationale. This is why I always pay full price when I buy a car and the same applies to my family, friends and celebrities, no matter how famous or influential. [use of a personal example]

The acid test is that if you can't explain to a customer who paid full price why another customer didn't without being embarrassed, then it is not right. We either win in a way that is fair and right or we lose with our honor intact and accept the consequences.

Also, I have asked our finance group to make sure that we only count a car as delivered in a quarter if it is actually delivered. Title transfer alone is irrelevant. Finance will also be reporting every case of a car sold for less than list price, along with the reasoning for doing so, which I will be reviewing personally. [Musk often ties the issue he wants to track, to a protocol that is directed to his personal review]

Although this appears to be limited to a small number of cases worldwide, it needs to be zero cases.

I'm sorry for the draconian language, as I am super grateful for your hard work, but there is nothing that matters more than our integrity as a company. Customers need to know with absolute certainty that they can always trust Tesla to do the right thing.



Read more Elon Musk emails

Checkout The Musk Emails: The Definitive Collection


The Musk Emails: Facts Over Propaganda

The Musk Emails: Financial Transparency