Ricardo Reyes has been the Tesla PR guy for the last 18 months but left the company unexpectedly and without explanation mid-March just ahead of the unveiling of Tesla’s Model 3 electric car prototype – scheduled for March 31. It will be interesting to see if Reyes’ position gets filled, or if the company plans to pursue a different approach for their PR efforts.
Tesla is also in the middle of obtaining firm commitments from those ordering the Model X SUV with initial units scheduled to come off the assembly lines the end of 2017. In the middle of all of this excitement and furor, no one is quite sure what the PR plan will be as they move forward. At least, no one is saying what it is. Elon Musk has always had a firm grasp on what is needed to move things forward.
But this turn of events is difficult timing. Tesla steers clear of using paid advertisement for promoting their products. To this point, they’ve been able to garner PR through many of the techie magazines and websites who love car tech especially. Combining that with Musk having approximately 3.6 million followers on his personal Twitter account. Making him a one-man PR generating machine when he chooses.
In its recent 10-K report, Tesla said, “Historically, we have been able to generate significant media coverage of our company and our vehicles, and we believe we will continue to do so.”
The March 31 event has limited tickets with some of those sought after entries going to specific publications and journalists. Tesla emailed Model S owners and those with reservations for Model X about the opportunity to win one of the 650 lottery tickets for seats at the event. However, for those who don’t win, the company’s website will live stream coverage. That event happens at 8:30 p.m. at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California.
According to the company, the Model 3 electric car will come at a lower cost than their other models, with a base price around $35K, but since it is an electric car, owners may qualify for incentives from federal and state sources, bringing the final cost as low as $25K in some states. The car should go for up to 200 miles once it is fully charged.
For the Model X, Tesla is attempting to lock in reservations on those, especially those with all the bells and whistles, hoping to recoup as much of their investment costs as quickly as possible.