Tesla's (TSLA) Value Remains Strong; Used Model S Sedans Selling for More than New Ones

February 7, 2014 2:22 PM EST
Some might argue that Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA) is selling its Model S sedan for a fair price. With a $7,500 government incentive and even more subsidies depending on which state you live in, the sticker price rapidly moves downward.

That might be a boon for Tesla, given how simple economics is taking effect in the secondary market for its autos.

Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) noted today that a used Model S will actually cost you more than one fresh off the lot. Citing data from Iseecars.com, MNN observed that the average price for a used Model S is about $99,734, while the average MSRP is $79,900 for a new version.

Though most Model S buyers might easily exceed the MSRP price for their auto, the gap is positive 25 percent for the used model. By comparison, the GM (NYSE: GM) Chevy Volt's average used sales price is negative 17 percent from MSRP and the 2013 Nissan Leaf goes for about $5,500 more than a 2012 model.

The higher used price could probably be attributed to the wait time with the Model S; estimates currently have order delivery about six-weeks out, though customers can cut that down by choosing a model off the dealer lot.

Customers are then playing a game of evaluating wait-time versus price. One would assume that those looking at a Model S right now are still first-movers and would be more likely to wait for the auto they want versus picking one up from the lot or buying one secondhand.

Will this impact shipment expectations for 2014? Probably not. But, until Tesla's production and deliveries get noticeably higher, the priced of a used Model S will likely remain high and mass adaptation will still be on the back burner.

Shares of Tesla are up 3.6 percent Friday.

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