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Do Auto Workers Usually Get Discounts?
Many people wonder if employees who work for automakers get discounts on cars. It’s a reasonable question, as many employees get discounts at the companies they work for in the form of free meals, cheaper flights, and whatnot.
Unsurprisingly, auto workers typically do get discounts on cars. And the discount can be quite substantial. Workers at some major automakers get cars for less than the dealerships do. This has been common practice for decades, and continues at both foreign and domestic manufacturers.
How Much is the Average Employee Discount?
Employee discounts vary between companies and positions within those companies. Obviously, higher-ups within these corporations can probably get cars for pennies on the dollar if they really want to. However, average employees still get attractive discounts on most models.
Some companies don’t disclose specifics of their employee discounts policies. However, Ford Motor Company is open about the subject. At the very least, the employee discount at Ford allows workers to get a car at invoice or 0.4% below invoice, which is less than what most dealerships would pay to acquire the same vehicle.
Ford calls its employee discount program “Plan X” and applies it to all models that are currently available to the public. Ford offers additional plans for family members of employees and to some retired Ford workers as well.
Car Dealership Employee Discounts
Car dealerships often provide generous employee discounts. After all, it speaks volumes when your salesmen and staff purchase and drive the same vehicles that they sell. A typical car dealership employee discount ranges between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.
Most car dealership employees can purchase cars at invoice price, which leaves the dealership without a profit (but also without a loss). Dealership employees usually don’t get cars for less than the invoice price unless it’s an outgoing model year that’s already marked down.
These are just examples of typical auto company and dealership employee discount policies. So how does Tesla compare, given that it’s not a traditional auto company?
Do Tesla Corporate Workers Get Discounts?
So, do Tesla employees get discounts on cars? The answer is no in pretty much all cases. Tesla is known for not offering incentives and discounts to the general public, and their policy remains consistent for employees as well. We can’t find any examples of company employees purchasing brand new cars at lower than the sticker price.
This policy appears to be consistent all the way up the corporate ladder at Tesla. There also doesn’t appear to be any discounts available for family members of Tesla workers or retired Tesla workers. It’s worth noting that the company hasn’t been around quite long enough to have the same volume of retirees as GM or Ford, so this policy seems to make sense.
Do Tesla Showroom Workers Get Discounts?
We’ve already covered that Tesla corporate employees don’t get discounts on cars. But what about Tesla sales staff and showroom employees? Given that the Tesla showroom is basically a corporate-owned dealership, it’s not surprising that these workers don’t get discounts either.
So why doesn’t Tesla make it easier for sales staff to advertise with their own vehicles? One possibility is that Tesla doesn’t need salesmen to advertise for it. The company has a stellar reputation and its cars basically sell themselves. Few people who consider a Tesla have anything else in mind.
Why Tesla Doesn’t Offer Discounts
Tesla is a rapidly growing company that’s worth billions of dollars, and it has no problem moving products. So why doesn’t it offer even a minute discount across-the-board to its employees? After all, it doesn’t have a huge amount of staff, and the company could certainly afford it, right?
Not necessarily. Tesla runs fairly tight margins, and its operating costs are extremely high. The company is still growing rapidly and often struggles to meet the massive worldwide demand for its high-value cars. Additionally, the company doesn’t have much room to move on the price.
Tesla is a new car company. Unlike General Motors and Ford, which have been around for about a century, Tesla isn’t simply pocketing millions on this year‘s rehash of an old model. Along with high production costs, Tesla cars don’t have a huge markup, so there isn’t much the company could discount even if it wanted to.
And since Tesla cut out the dealership middleman, its corporate profits would have to be slashed in order to offer a discount. In other words, anyone who buys a Tesla essentially gets it at invoice price to begin with, as the cars would cost significantly more if they were sold through third-party dealerships.
Do Tesla Employees Get Company Cars?
While Tesla employees don’t get discounts on the cars they produce and sell, there are other ways that they can get into a Tesla for little or no money. In many cases, Tesla employees get access to a free (or reduced cost) company car, which they have permission to drive with certain limitations.
Company cars aren’t owned by the employees who use them. But in many cases, employees can drive the cars as if they own them. They can take them to work, drive them to meet with potential clients and customers, pick up the groceries, and do other things depending on the rules.
Company cars are certainly cheaper than buying, and all so much less costly than renting or leasing. So in a way, getting an employee car is the most significant discount out there. You get (almost) all the benefits of owning a car without any of the costs (except electricity, of course).
So, who gets an employee car at Tesla, and what kind of car is it? We’ve seen several kinds of employee cars at Tesla, and it seems to depend on the role of the driver and why they got the company car. The Model S was the most common Tesla employee car for quite some time.
It’s not entirely clear who qualifies for an employee car at Tesla. However, we know the practice is fairly common, and it seems reasonable that anybody who needs one for business use will probably get access to a vehicle.
Can Tesla Employees Purchase Their Company Cars?
Many businesses that offer company cars give the driver an opportunity to purchase them after a certain amount of time. This is especially common at car dealerships, where sales staff and managers often buy out their company cars at heavily discounted prices. So is this possible at Tesla, and if so, how common is it?
Technically, it is possible for employees to purchase a Tesla company car once it reaches the end of its service. Tesla is known to sell former company cars at lower prices, and given that they’re technically new and haven’t been titled, this is the closest to a discount you’ll get.
We weren’t able to find a specific protocol for selling off former company cars. Assuming that the employees are in touch with the showroom responsible for selling the vehicle, it’s safe to assume they’d have the first opportunity to purchase it. The vehicle won’t be heavily discounted, but any company car with noticeable mileage will likely be sold at a reduced price.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding