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Tesla Model S Buyback Program Designed to Lure Roadster Owners

  • Roadster owners can trade for a Tesla Model S.
  • The buyback program gives trade credit.
  • Interested drivers can act immediately.

Tesla is launching a new program that encourages current Roadster owners to trade in their electric two-seater for the brand’s new Model S sedan. According to Tesla, the program allows Roadster owners to get credit for trading in their sporty convertible–and that means some owners could walk away with a Model S and several thousand dollars.

While other automakers offer similar trade-in programs, Tesla’s situation is unique. That’s because the California-based EV manufacturer values even the oldest Roadster models at more than $70,000–far higher than the $57,400 base price of the Model S. So what happens if a customer wants to make that swap?

“In that case, we’d write you a check,” said Tom vonReichbauer, Tesla’s director of finance, in a San Francisco Chronicle story on the trade-in program.

That means Tesla owners interested in swapping their Roadster for a Model S could walk away from a Tesla store with both a brand new electric car and cash that could easily break into the five-figure range. But while that might seem like a backwards deal for Tesla, the automaker ran the numbers, and it expects to come out on top. That’s because the now-discontinued Roadster still has a strong following among enthusiasts, meaning the brand can resell the car for even more than it pays to buy it back from a customer.

While Tesla will profit from the resale of a used Roadster, the customer who traded it will likely be happy, too. That’s because he or she will be swapping the spartan Roadster sports car for a more luxurious sedan, complete with appointments befitting luxury brands like Lexus, BMW and Mercedes. With a maximum electric range of up to 300 miles, several versions of the Model S also boast a longer range than the Roadster, which was capable of travelling around 240 miles on a single charge.

Roadster owners interested in swapping for the Model S can contact their local Tesla store immediately, as the highly anticipated sedan is officially on sale nationwide. While base versions of the Model S start below $60,000, the sedan’s pricing can run well into the six-figure range for its upscale Performance trim.

What it means to you: Although the Tesla Model S is still in high demand, Roadster owners interested in swapping out their sports car for the more practical sedan can do so with Tesla’s new buyback program.

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