$50,000 Gag contract for the Tesla Cybertruck: risk of high fines if it is quickly resold
The years-long wait is finally over: Tesla wants to deliver a Cybertruck to its first customers by the end of the year. But they have to guarantee that they really want to keep the car for the time being. If they don’t, Tesla is threatening, among other things, an injunction.
The legendary Tesla keynote, in which designer Franz von Holzhausen exploded the Cybertruck’s seemingly indestructible armored glass with a simple projectile launch, dates back already four years. It was said at the time that Tesla wanted to start delivering the unusual vehicle at the end of 2021. However, those who ordered quickly had to wait much longer. Only now does Tesla want to introduce the stainless steel monster to its first customers. But only if they accept the new, significantly stricter purchase contract.
Tesla wants to contractually ban resale
Before things even started, Tesla updated the purchase agreement for the Cybertruck. This contains strict rules that are intended to prevent the resale of vehicles. It states: “You understand and acknowledge that the Cybertruck will initially be delivered in limited quantities. You agree not to sell or otherwise attempt to dispose of the vehicle within the first year of the delivery date.”
A clause follows: If you cannot avoid having to monetize your Cybertruck again, you are obligated to notify Tesla. You then need to give the company enough time to buy the car back at the original price, with fewer miles driven, less wear and tear and all types of damage.
Only if Tesla refrains from repurchasing it and gives written permission can you trade the Cybertruck as you wish. The new contract outlines the possible penalty if Tesla learns of a sale and doesn’t get involved. It states: “You agree that if you violate this provision, or Tesla has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are about to violate this provision, Tesla may seek an injunction stopping the transfer of ownership of the vehicle or obtain liquidated damages by you in the amount of $50,000 or the value received in exchange for the sale or transfer, whichever is greater.”
Tesla also reserves the right to exclude customers who have not complied with the contract from purchasing additional vehicles.
As the trade magazine “Electrek” writes, it is not the first time that new Tesla vehicles are resold at a high profit shortly after publication. In 2017, an early Model 3 made headlines when it was listed on major sales platforms shortly after delivery for $150,000 (the list price at the time was $56,000).
Other car makers also want to stop the trade
The phenomenon that manufacturers want to decide on the resale of customers’ properties is not new: especially in the case of exotic vehicles, it is common practice that cars cannot be sold immediately. Some manufacturers go even further: Ferrari, for example, doesn’t like it when cars are handled carelessly or painted in an unwanted color. Justin Bieber should also no longer be allowed to purchase a new car from the manufacturer due to such violations.
While it has now become common practice that rare super sports cars cannot be traded in, the Cybertruck breaks new ground, so to speak: The heavy SUV is not a limited edition, but is intended to be a conventional series vehicle. In this market there are usually fewer contracts regulating resale.
“Electrek” has another suspicion as to why Tesla made the clause so clear in the contract: The long holding period could also be intended to prevent other manufacturers from purchasing a car through third parties for research purposes, speculates the author Jameson Dow. It is quite common in the industry for vehicles equipped with new technology to be quickly dismantled by other manufacturers in the research department.
Sources: Tesla, Electrek