Tesla slashed prices for the Model 3 — but took away any incentive for its employees to sell the new version

  • Tesla erased commissions for vehicles sold that were not in inventory, three current employees tell Business Insider.
  • That meant no $US200 bonus for workers who sold the new $US35,000 Model 3, or any other standard range car.
  • The changes come after Tesla made drastic cuts to its bonus structure, cut salesperson pay, and forced all sales employees to sell both cars and energy systems.

Tesla might have lowered prices on many of its cars, but employees say it has also slashed their incentive to sell some of them.

For inventory cars, vehicles that Tesla can deliver by the end of the quarter, salespeople can receive a $US200 commission. The $US35,000 Model 3 that was announced last month and other out-of-stock vehicles, however, don’t fall into that category, three current Tesla workers told Business Insider.

“With a vast majority of customers ordering the newly introduced lower trims, orders have not ‘poured in,'” one current salesperson told Business Insider on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak publicly about the company.

“The company has no, to extremely limited, inventory of the mid-range of standard range cars, making the $US200 commission laughable, ” the employee said.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

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The $US200 commission per sale is to compensate for switching sales staff to an hourly pay schedule, which multiple former employees have told Business Insider makes the company less competitive than other similar sales positions.

Tesla also shook up how bonuses worked last year after moving all advisers, its name for salespeople, out of the field and into retail stores. This meant former energy advisers and owner advisers were now working side-by-side to sell both cars and home solar systems. If a store didn’t meet its overall performance goals, employees could not receive their individual bonuses, regardless of performance.

Morale among employees has fallen rapidly due to a perceived lack of communication from Tesla regarding the surprise announcement to close retail stores, and Monday’s reversal of much of that plan, workers have told Business Insider. One current salesperson even compared the office’s morale to that of a morgue.

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Tesla encouraged its employees to buy cars using their paid vacation days

And for salespeople hoping to get back to their previous earnings, when they were salaried, there doesn’t seem to be much hope. What’s more, commission payouts are staggered, so even if an employees store closes and the worker is let go, that pay could be forfeited.

“We’re all taking it with a grain of salt,” another salesperson said.

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