Economics/Class Relations

Tesla’s shopping advantage

June 12, 2023
Hello, Insiders. This is Joe Ciolli, a deputy executive editor in Insider’s business division. What happens when a Wall Street analyst who covers Tesla tries to buy a car at a traditional dealership? Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas gave us the answer last week when he wrote about his frustrating experience.


In today’s Big Story, Insider’s Graham Rapier relays the highlights, including how Jonas was forced to haggle for list price. The ordeal left Jonas convinced that buying a Tesla is “as easy as Amazon Prime,” giving it a clear advantage.


In today’s edition:

— Joe Ciolli


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Tesla vs. dealerships

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

You’ve likely encountered the typical car-dealership treatment: You verify the dealer will let the vehicle go for the asking price, but when you arrive, the salesperson asks for thousands above the suggested retail price.

This was the exact experience of Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst who said it left him wishing he had bought a Tesla.

Jonas said Tesla’s ownership of the entire product-sales cycle — from design and production to sales and delivery — makes the “shopping experience as easy as Amazon Prime.” That means no haggling, no arbitrage between stores, and all consumers pay the same price.

Although there are advantages to the dealership model, times are changing. Tesla and other startups are focusing on direct sales, dealership tactics are starting to grate on Americans, and some automakers have hit friction with their own dealers.


CEOs, home prices, & more

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

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Premium Plus vs. Economy

Joi-Marie McKenzie/Insider


“The $400 upgrade wasn’t worth the cost.” Joi-Marie McKenzie, the editor-in-chief of Insider’s Life division, recently took a seven-hour flight to London, and another flight back to Newark. One was in United’s Premium Plus, and the other was in Economy. She compared the two experiences.


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This edition was curated by Joe Ciolli, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, and J.R. Stacey. Get in touch:

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