Tesla announced a new way to own its cars today geared at small and medium-size businesses.
Through Tesla Finance, a new subsidiary of Tesla, business customers are able to lease a Model S sedan. CEO Elon Musk said over Twitter that leasing a Model S only takes five minutes, no signatures and a single tap on the “car center screen to accept when delivered.”
Last year, the company announced a program that offered customers many of the same benefits as leasing a vehicle. But rather than actually leasing its sedans, the company worked with banking partners and offered a guaranteed re-sale value on the “leased” sedans. The solution seems to have worked with private customers, but not businesses because a set lease payments are easier to deduct from their taxes.
Musk faced criticism after the first “lease” program claimed to offer the high-priced sedan for $500 per month with no money down. That claim hinges on a “cost of ownership” calculator that factored in other costs owners could avoid by choosing a Model S instead of, say, a luxury sedan from Mercedes-Benz. The calculator made some assumptions about how much an average person’s time is worth that were arguably unrealistic.
In this case, Tesla says it did away with complicated lease documents in favor of a shorter version with plain language. Customers are suposed to be able to handle their lease electronically.
GALLERY: Tesla Model S
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