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Big Revolution - Goodbye, car showrooms

Welcome to Friday's newsletter. Let's dive straight in... – Martin from Big Revolution
March 1 · Issue #360 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Friday’s newsletter. Let’s dive straight in…
– Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • RIP Amazon Dash buttons. The ‘press once to reorder a specific item’ buttons are being withdrawn from sale. If you already have any, they will continue to work.
  • LinkedIn is pausing its ‘mentioned in the news’ alerts in Europe after data protection complaints it was linking to bad news stories about different people with the same names as users.
The big thought
Inside the Model 3. Credit: Tesla
Goodbye, car showrooms
It was like ‘the Apple Store is down,’ but for cars. Yesterday, Tesla temporarily closed its online store and put up a holding page teasing a special product announcement.
That announcement turned out to be two things: firstly, the long-promised $35,000 version of the Tesla Model 3 – the 'accessibly priced’ Tesla – was finally going on sale.
But more interestingly if you’re not in the market for a car right now, that lower price was in part made possible by cost-cutting elsewhere. Tesla is to close its showrooms around the world and focus solely on online sales.
While a few showrooms will remain open purely to showcase the vehicles (you won’t be able to buy from them), Tesla is making a leap of faith that its brand name will be enough for car buyers to leave the old way of doing things behind.
Instead of booking a test drive with your local dealership, you’ll order online, and when it’s ready your car will be delivered to your door. You’ll then be able to return it within the first seven days or 1,000 miles if you’re unhappy with your purchase.
This is being widely interpreted as a money-saving move. Indeed, even Tesla has explained it as such. But for me, car buying is actually better like this.
It’s just not pleasant to have to book an appointment to spend an hour with a salesperson desperate to seal a deal. When I was looking to buy a car three years ago, I did all my research through YouTube videos and online reviews. I knew exactly what model I wanted.
I still went through the 'testdrive and salesperson’ rigmarole and all it did was show me my research online was right. It wasn’t really necessary. Tesla’s new approach would have been fine for me.
Tesla doesn’t even let you haggle on price so it’s not like there’s any loss there. And while I have sympathies with those who will lose their jobs, it’s a shift in the right direction, overall.
In a world where many people don’t even want to answer the door anymore unless they’re expecting someone specific at that time, rethinking car buying seems healthy.
Let’s face it, once autonomous driving is widespread, we’ll just summon a car whenever we need one, and buying a car to own and sit unused 90% of the time will be a niche pursuit.
Until then, let’s at least bring car buying in line with the way we buy other things these days.
One big read
How Disney Built Star Wars, in real life How Disney Built Star Wars, in real life
An in-depth article about the design of Disney’s new Star Wars attractions. Not the usual fare for this newsletter, but this is impressive stuff.
One big tweet
David Pierce
The only correct way for a phone to be is on vibrate. If your phone rings audibly you should be arrested
11:06 PM - 27 Feb 2019
Now I think about it, it really is a rarity to hear ringtones in public these days.
That’s all for today...
See you tomorrow for your weekend big reads.
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