Tesla Motors just extended its warranty on its Model S, its best-selling car, to eight years–and infinite miles.
That means the warranty now extends to the end of the eighth year after purchase. Period. No matter how far you drive. No matter how many people own the car in those eight years.
And as if that’s not enough, the extension is retroactive. If you’ve ever bought a Tesla Model S, your warranty mileage is now infinite.
Tesla Motors, if you don’t know, is the brainchild of Elon Musk, who also fronts SpaceX and a little enterprise called PayPal. He’s a brilliant zillionaire who’s really into tech stuff. If you had to pick somebody to play Tony Stark in real life, you’d probably pick this guy.
Tesla makes electric supercars. The Model S is their luxury sedan model; if you can pay cash for one, it’ll run you somewhere between $76K and $127K. It carries five people (plus two children if you buy it with rear-facing back seats, like my grandmother’s station wagon had a hundred years ago), accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a little over 5 seconds, and has a range of 260 miles. In the two years it’s been selling the Model S, Tesla has become known for amazing, better-than-it-has-to-be customer service.
So you could certainly say Model S owners have already paid for a great warranty. But this warranty goes beyond that–it’s a statement that Tesla is completely committed to its cars and its customers, and it’s utterly confident that their customers will come back if it treats them well.
Full bias disclosure: I’ve been a fan of Tesla for years now, since the company first introduced its Roadster model. Owning a Tesla car is on my bucket list.
Marketing, for Tesla, begins with a superior product. It’s a strategy that’s more common these days than when I was a kid, but it’s by no means the norm yet. Providing a great product and backing it to the hilt is a strategy that still requires courage. And courage is still pretty rare among our corporations.
So here’s to Tesla and its infinite-mile warranty. May we see more companies take this approach to their business in the future.