Tesla’s updated deadline for referral program winners shows focus on logistics

Tesla has announced that all winners of the recently-concluded Referral Program must select their prizes by February 28. After this date, those eligible for rewards would not be able to redeem their prizes anymore. Based on the deadline cited by Tesla, it appears that the electric car maker is aiming to start the second quarter of 2019 on a clean slate, as it pursues sustainable profits and a steady Model 3 ramp.

Prior to the recent update, Tesla’s deadline for the selection of referral program prizes was listed on April 1, 2019. Tesla has not revealed its reasons behind its updated deadline, though based on the company’s recent challenges in Europe, there is a good chance that the February 28 date was set as a means to optimize logistics in the coming quarters. Despite most of the items related to the rewards system likely being in Tesla’s inventory (such as wall connectors and wheels), the processes involved with ordering, processing, and shipping the prizes are no joke. Factor in possible returns and other fulfillment issues and the logistics involved in the referral program’s distribution of prizes becomes even more notable. 

By moving the deadline for the referral program’s prize selection to February 28, Tesla appears to be ensuring that its logistics capabilities are not weighed down unnecessarily in the coming months, especially as the company prepares for the upcoming rollout of the Mid Range Model 3 RWD to international markets. Tesla learned in its first European Model 3 shipment that the processes involved in moving vast numbers of vehicles to customers in a foreign country are no joke. That said, these recent challenges are but the tip of the iceberg for Tesla, as thousands more would be coming to China and Europe in the coming months.

Tesla appears set to operate using a lean, optimized team this year, as evidenced by the 7% workforce reduction that the company implemented last month. As it tackles its most ambitious year yet, Tesla seems set on focusing its workforce in pursuing high-value tasks such as expanding its service network and helping ensure a smooth Model 3 ramp. In this light, it would be far more preferable for Tesla’s logistics team to busy itself with tasks far more urgent than fulfilling referral program prizes.

Below are the timelines for the redemption of Tesla’s referral program awards.

  • Launch Your Photo into Deep Space Orbit: Additional details will be emailed ahead of the launch.
  • Signature Black Wall Connector: Current shipping times are 6-8 weeks.
  • Model S for Kids: Model S for Kids will be shipped directly from Radio Flyer in April. Those who choose to donate to a children’s charity will receive an email from the organization when the donation has been completed.
  • 21” Arachnid Wheels for Model S or 22” Turbine Wheels for Model X: Wheels are shipped to your selected Service Center 6-8 weeks after award selection. Your Service Center will contact you once your wheels are available for pick-up.
  • Forged Performance Wheels for Model 3: Model 3 wheels will be available for installation beginning Summer 2019.
  • One Week with Model S or Model X: You will be contacted by your selected location based on availability. If you do not use this award, it may be given to a friend.
  • Priority Access to Vehicle Software Updates: Priority software access will automatically be granted until December 31, 2020.
  • Unveiling Event Invitations: Invitations will be emailed ahead of each unveiling event. Once each event is at capacity, remaining winners will be invited to the following unveiling event, prioritized by time of award qualification.
  • Tesla Credit: Credits are applied to your account within 1-2 weeks of selection from the app or solar referral email survey. All credits expire after 12 months.
  • Cash: Once survey responses are selected, checks will be issued within 4-6 weeks.
  • Founder Series Powerwall 2: Founder Series Powerwalls will be shipped in 2019. In Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific, customers can select credit toward other products in lieu of this award.

Tesla’s recent update on the referral program’s awards selection deadline could be accessed here.

Tesla’s updated deadline for referral program winners shows focus on logistics
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