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Tesla’s unique sales model extends to servicing

By David Bonnici, 21 Nov 2016 Car News

Tesla Model S

Tesla doesn’t have an Australia-wide dealership network, so how do owners get their electric pride and joys serviced?

Tesla sells cars straight to the buyer without a network of new car dealerships. They use the internet and shopping centre shopfronts instead of traditional main-road car yards, which means having to take a different approach to after-sales service and repairs.

Unlike mainstream brands with dealerships and service centres within easy reach in most cities and regional centres, Tesla has just two service centres in Australia – in Melbourne and Sydney. Tesla sends “Ranger” technicians to other areas and in some cases problems can be fixed remotely by connecting with the car’s systems to diagnose and rectify certain problems.

Being all-electric, the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X don’t require as much in way of servicing as cars with conventional engines. The electric motors are virtually maintenance free with inspections focusing on batteries, wheel condition and alignment, replacement parts like windshield wiper blades, and some software updates. This means they require just one service per year, or every 20,000kms, which cost between $500 and $975.

The down side of Tesla’s bespoke technology is not being able to take your car to be serviced anywhere else beyond car tyre changes.

In the US and parts of Europe this has led to delays in people being able to get their cars serviced or maintained, though Tesla says there are no such issues in Australia, where the Ranger program is being extended to meet demand.