Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said Wednesday that the company has launched a new bounty program, where Model S buyers referred by those who already own a Model S would receive $1,000 credit, and referring owners get the same amount in credit.
The program is open to anyone who buys a Tesla Model S, or anyone who refers someone to buy a Model S, through October 31. And while he didn’t promise anything, Musk said that the program may also cover used cars if the initial bounty program is successful. This move, while a bit peculiar, is nothing new for conventional automakers and partner dealers, but an unprecedented move for an electric vehicle maker like Tesla.
Not surprisingly, Musk didn’t shy away from stirring the pot and making controversial comments, telling reporters in a press conference that the bounty program is a “guerilla tactic against car dealers in certain states” that oppose Tesla’s business model of directly selling its vehicles without going through traditional dealers. “If we can amplify word of mouth, then we don’t need to open as many new stores in the future,” said Musk in a separate letter announcing the referral program.
Aside from the $1,000 bounty, which comes in the form of a credit towards the purchase price (for buyers) and a credit towards the purchase of another Tesla car or related parts and/or service (for owners), Musk also confirmed that owners who refer ten new buyers will get a chance to buy a limited-edition Founders Series” Model X at a discounted price, with the first person to do this getting a Model X, absolutely free, as a reward.
UPDATED July 31, 2015 – Info on Model X promo