Negative Public Reaction to Seeing the Car

WOW! I wasn't prepared driving in my Model S Sig today to get a negative taunt thrown at me... I was showing some friends of mine at their office in a heavily walked area. Some guy comes up and says "Oh, so that's what my tax money is paying for." Now, I'm not normally political, but I went off... For those just receiving your car, have some nice witty retorts just in case you get something like that... I have a few good ones now that I am prepared. Of course, that's been the 1 bad out of 100 good who keep stopping and looking or wanting to see it (and I've only had it on the street for less than an hour)...

I plan to say,"Yes, thank you!"

@BestBrokerinDallas, one of the reason's I'm super happy to be living in California as I don't expect to get that comment. I would love to hear a few zingers though in response. Although it can happen in some of the places I stop, even out here. I have definitely heard from people who deal with my place of employment make the comment, "they pay you too much," when they hear I am ordering a Model S.

BYT - As long as you stay in NORCAL, I think you're safe. If you come to my neck of the woods (San Diego), have a few comebacks ready just in case. This part of the Left Coast is a little less left :)

@stevenmaifert, I noticed that when I paid a visit to San Diego. Your a Military town however so that's understandable... :) So share the zingers' I wanna hear them! :D

My response is "Yes, its all american and has provided jobs for more than 2,000 people in CA alone and many others around the world! I call it a recession beater! Thanks for the car!!

You guys are too nice, I would have said, "It's called a loan, not a bail out dumb $&!@, learn the difference!"

I'd say, something along the lines of "Your Welcome, my purchase of this vehicle is not only helping pay off the loan provided to Tesla, but keeping thousands of US workers employed."

@BYT: But the $7500 tax credit is not a loan, so they have a legitimate reason for you to thank them.

How about:
Why yes this is the car that will bring our solders home from the middle east.

Possible response: "It was either this or another war over oil, I voted for this."

I may need to tone that down a little... :-)

Non-zinger response:
"Yes, the first 200,000 buyers get a bit of a break. Small potatoes compared to the big boys' volume. And it has helped jump-start a company that is 10+ years ahead of the world. You got good value for your money."

From the Washington Post (not meant to be a political statement by me):

"What Democrats don’t mention is that bailing out the car industry initially cost $80 billion, or roughly $30,000 per automotive worker. Despite the sector’s resurgence, taxpayers are still owed $25 billion from GM and its former financing firm."

The loan to TM was Small Potatoes compared to this. I personally think that bailing out the US auto industry was a good use of my tax dollars - the banks and AIG's of the world I'm less thrilled about.

I would just say, "Yes you are right and you'd be an idiot to not take advantage of it."

After he complained some more I would mention how everyone wants a tax break yet complains when they are offered a $7,500 one.

after he then complained about how he could not afford one I would explain how it's difficult to take financial advise from someone who can't save a dime.

Some people are simply repeating what they've heard from various news outlets. Only the uninformed would make such a statement.

Hopefully it didn't ruin your day and you could continue enjoying your new ride without much fuss.

How about: I don t pay tax, do you?

I got a brief rebuke about a month ago. I didnt engage.

Thanks for the GM numbers. Also can someone come up with a decent number for the subsidies (bad word, grant? consideration?) to the oil companies?

and it is over 3000 jobs now.

If they owned anything from one of the big US car companies then I'd put them back in their place faster then they'd know what happened to them.

I was wearing my Tesla jacket today while at the Credit Union and some guy in a flannel shirt walked up to me and said, "Tesla...thats those expensive cars that nobody wants and we are going to have to triple the power grid to support them!" My spouse began to explain that the claims about the power grid are not true and why. Then the a loan officer walked up and asked me how she could help us. I said that we were there to apply for an auto loan and we went our way. We shook our heads and couldn't figure out where he heard such things and wondered how anyone could be so misinformed. He certainly didn't do his own research and come up with those conclusions on his own.

After getting the loan pre-approved we walked across the street to have a bite. A bright eyed man walked up to me and said, "Roadster or Model S?" I replied "Model S."
He squealed," SWEEEEEET!" and high 5'd me. He said that he gets his in a month.

What a surreal afternoon.

People made fun of me when I got a cell phone. "What makes you think you are so important that you need one of those?"

They gave me a hard time when I got a home PC and asked, "What in the world would you need one of those for? That's a waste of money!"

Its tough being on the bleeding edge. ;D


Don't forget flat screen TV's.... or back in the day flat screen monitor actually.

@Getting Amped Soon:

I personally think that bailing out the US auto industry was a good use of my tax dollars

It wasn't the US auto industry that was bailed out, it was the badly run companies making poor products that can't compete who were bailed out. If they'd been allowed to fail, their factories, equipment and many of their workers would have been available to buy/hire by other established well-run companies, or by start-ups.

I believe the Fremont plant bought by Tesla is a good example of that. If the government had "bailed out" that plant, we wouldn't be spending our time on these forums chatting excitedly about our impending Model S deliveries, would we? And we'd never have the opportunity to get a product that is actually better than what the old dinosaurs turn out.

Propping up badly run companies doesn't do anyone any favors - not auto-workers, not consumers, not taxpayers. Companies come and go, and that's how it should be. Look at Montgomery Ward, JC Penny's, or the A&P supermarket chain (once the world's largest chain). They're now extinct (or shadows of their former selves), and when they went under, people lost their jobs. But they got other jobs that were relevant to society and the net wealth of the country went up.

When the automobile came along, a lot of horse-manure shovelers also lost their jobs. Should we have bailed out the US horse manure industry? How about the whaling industry when petroleum became available and displaced the once widely used whale-oil?

I could go on. If interested, I highly recommend Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics.

Sorry for getting off topic, but I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

Offer to pay him back his share of taxes that helped you buy the car. There are what, a bit over 300,000,000 people in the US? So $7500/300,000,000 = $0.000025

Just throw a penny at him and tell him he can keep the change.

@zwjohnston7: That's actually a pretty good one :)

I like it. Thats less than 3/1000ths of a cent.
Maybe we should ask for change.

I like combining mine and Zwjohnstons " how about Ingive you a penny to cover that 0.0025c per person this car costs and you give me $83 to cover the cost per person so far from the Detroit bailout?

Nah, just tell him he has to redistribute the wealth back to the other 399 people he just took money from in accepting your penny.

Oh wait. The moron probably would get confused at "keep the change".



Rather then giving them a penny, if its looking like the tax credit is going to be the main source of criticism you could prepare by keeping a small stack of $0.000025 cheques in the glovebox.

Apology accepted.

I like the idea of hand writing a check for them on the spot.

Oh, just a moment, let me grab my checkbook and find a pen so I can reimburse you. Your name please? How do you spell that?

@captain_zap - right, you also need their name & address to issue them their 1099 at year end right?