Tesla Announces Model S Business Lease Program

Today Tesla Motors announced it would offer a simple and straightforward leasing program for business customers.

The program is being offered through an arm of the company called Tesla Finance, and is part of a limited but growing suite of services.

Until now, Tesla did not offer pure leases for its Model S and the closest one could come to that was the Resale Value Guaranty that lets a buyer “put” the car back to the company at 36-39 months for a guaranteed value.

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Tesla said it has been listening to customers with small and medium sized businesses who want to be able to deduct the lease payments from their business taxes. The whole process may be done electronically, as per Tesla practice.

The program is said to be “transparent” and requires only a three-page form instead of as many as 10 pages. It’s written in plain language, the online configuration process shows the payment clearly, says the company, and delivery is as simple as a one-touch approval on the 17-inch screen in the car.

Also as per the company’s at times questionable price quote practices, it advertises on its Web site a teaser rate of $408 per month instead of the full $1,012 per month.

How does it do this? It shows the full $1,012, but then calculates a lessee will save $291 in gasoline per month, and get a $343 monthly “business tax credit” so that chops $634 off in “savings” in the creative price quote.

While Tesla touts its simplicity and transparency of processes, its lowball price quote is not something every person will want to get excited about until determining if it applies to them.

Below is the fine print from its Web site explaining assumptions on how it arrives at $408 net from an actual payment of $1,012.

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