Tesla quietly kills guarantee of Model S resale value

Tesla Motors Inc. quietly discontinued its resale value guarantee program as of July 1, the electric-car maker confirmed Wednesday.

The program was “discontinued…so we can keep interest rates as low as possible” and offer “compelling” lease and loan programs to customers, a Tesla spokeswoman said.

The program was available to those who financed their Model S through Tesla official financing partners and programs. It guaranteed that Tesla would buy back the car at a minimum preset value after three years and at preset terms, in some cases at least 50% of the car’s base price.

It was first offered in April 2013, largely to assuage early-adopter fears and ensure those first buyers that their Model S, Tesla’s first electric car designed and built in-house, would hold value in case sales later tanked or other problems arose. The program allowed buyers to sell their cars back to Tesla at the guaranteed price between 36 and 39 months after purchase, so the first cars sold under the program are now available to be sold back to the car maker.

Buying a Model S through Tesla-backed financing would guarantee that the car’s resale value would be higher than the resale value of other luxury cars and the program was “personally backed” by Tesla’s Chief Executive Elon Musk, Tesla said then.

Tesla “will continue to support customers currently financed through the RVG program,” the spokeswoman said.



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