Over the weekend, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk launched a new lease option for the Model S in the United States. Tesla said the lease will be offered through the U.S. Bank, and monthly lease payments will be 25% lower. The EV maker has added a “happiness guarantee” to convince potential customers that buying its sedan is a safe financial bet.
What’s the ‘happiness guarantee’?
Under the “happiness guarantee,” if buyers don’t like the car for any reason in the first 90 days, they can return it and the remaining lease payments will be cancelled. However, you can’t immediately lease another Model S. According to The Wall Street Journal, leases account for a substantial share of Tesla’s sales. Barclays analyst Brian A. Johnson said in a research note that this lease program with lower monthly payments will help boost Model S sales.
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Johnson said it will compensate for the slowing Model S deliveries in the United States. Notably, Barclays expects Tesla’s U.S. deliveries in the first nine months of this year to have declined 27% from the corresponding period last year. The research firm expects deliveries through Q3 to come in at 10,600 units, down 27% from 14,550 units sold in the same period last year.
Tesla’s January-September U.S. sales down 27%
A recent study conducted by WardsAuto.com also suggests 26% decline. WardAuto said the sales declined even as production jumped 10% in the same period. Barclays says that the Palo Alto-based company can easily achieve its Q3 delivery guidance of 7,800 units. But it will struggle to meet the 13,000 units delivery forecast in the fourth quarter. Tesla aims to sell more than 35,000 Model S worldwide.
The new lease program will replace Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s previous “loan lease”program. The prior program was more like a 72-month loan with a guaranteed buyback from Tesla. However, Johnson said he doesn’t expect the new lease option to significantly change the company’s non-GAAP and GAAP accounting. Just like the previous program, it will defer revenue over the lease period.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares rose 4.03% to $230.60 in early trading session Tuesday.