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J.D. Power: Tesla Owners Choose Hype Over Quality

<p>Tesla has demonstrated a rare immunity to disenchanted customers, who have remained loyal despite a long list of quality issues. <em>Photo courtesy Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association</em></p>

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Problems associated with the Tesla Model S and Model X have little influence on the overt affection owners have for these cars and the brand, according to “Tesla: Beyond the Hype,” a J.D. Power report released today.

“Tesla owners see themselves as pioneers who enjoy being early adopters of new technology,” said Kathleen Rizk, director of global automotive consulting at J.D. Power. “Spending $100,000 or more on a vehicle that has so many problems usually would have a dramatically negative effect on sales and brand perception. Right now, though, Tesla seems immune from such disenchanted customers.”

“Tesla: Beyond the Hype” is a detailed examination of the brand’s quality issues, based on multiple focus groups of Tesla owners and an in-depth evaluation of Tesla models against competitive vehicles by automotive research experts at J.D. Power.

Historically, small sample size has prevented Tesla from appearing in the annual rankings in both the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) and the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. This report, however, provides clients with directional data that gives greater insight to Tesla vehicle quality and owners’ emotional attachment.

Consumers who opt for Tesla’s next model, the Model 3, are expected to be less forgiving of quality issues. “When consumers buy a mass-market car priced around $35,000 that will be their primary mode of transportation, the degree of expectation will increase immensely,” Rizk said. “We’ve seen that with other well-liked brands, whether or not it involves an electric vehicle.”


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