Tesla’s “new” spokesman Simon Sproule allegedly is going to Aston Martin.* Frankly, Elon does fine by himself using Twitter. The bigger news is that Tesla is building a certified used program, which will take full advantage of stellar resale value and, after some initial capex, bring home a lot more bacon. Used cars tend to enjoy a fatter profit margin than new. And this comes just in time, because the Model S is turning three years old, and undoubtedly the new Tesla products we’re likely to see Oct. 9 will trigger much interest in trading up, or whatever Tesla will call it.
This year is expected to be a record-setter for certified sales. Studies show about half of new car shoppers will consider a certified-used vehicle, and that figure gets better when they’re fully educated on what certified means. The leader in certified sales is Toyota, which started its program in 1996 and currently leads its nearest rival in certified sales by eight percent. Fittingly, Tesla is tapping the skills of former Toyota lending chief Reddy Pakanati for its certified program. All Tesla needs now is a slogan. Unfortunately, “The best new cars make the best used cars” is already taken — by Toyota.
* Earlier version of this post said he used to work at Aston Martin. Not true.