Analyst defends Tesla Model S lease

editors-blog-entry3Along with many other media outlets, SolarChargedDriving.Com last week ripped Tesla for misleading advertising that, at least at first glance, implies you can lease a Model S for $500 per month.

In fact, it turns out you’ll be cutting a monthly check to Tesla for more than twice that amount. Not exactly a bargain, nor, as Tesla maintains, a “savings” bonanza, cheap electricity or not.

Still, some are saying Tesla’s $1,100 lease of the Model S is a smart move despite the relative bogusness of its $500 per month post EV savings claim.

Online investment media outlet Motley Fool is one of these. In the video above, Motley Fool analyst John Rosevear explains what the real goal of Tesla’s new financing offer might be — and why it’s a great long-range move for the upstart carmaker.

tesla-model-S-garage1Rosevear’s is an interesting argument. In fact, I buy Rosevear’s contention that  offering to buy a Model S back at a guaranteed amount after three-years of payments by a Model S owner is a good move.

Flawed analysis
But Rosevear’s analysis is ultimately oddly flawed. He notes leases are crucial to the luxury car market, where, he says, often more than 50 percent of luxury vehicles are leased, as opposed to around 20 percent of new mainstream autos.

Why do so many more lease luxury vehicles, not buy them?

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Many luxury car consumers don’t want to make $1,200 per month payments on a car – which, barring a hefty down payment, is what most must pay, according to Rosevear. Meanwhile, according to the Motley Fool analyst, a lease typically cuts luxury car monthly payments to $600 to $700.

Hmmm…so the Model S monthly payment is still $1,200 via Tesla’s lease-like set-up, and $700 per month is what you want to get your monthly payments down to in order to increase market share.

Clearly Rosevear’s “logic” doesn’t quite add up.

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