Tesla to end customer referral program, Elon Musk says

Tesla’s customer referral program, in which Tesla owners can give their friends a referral code to get six months of free charging via Tesla’s Supercharger network, will be ending on February 1st, Elon Musk said in a tweet on Thursday.

The referral program was adding too much cost to Tesla’s cars, especially the Model 3, Musk said in a follow-up tweet. The move comes amid a larger cost-cutting effort by the electric car company. Late last month, Tesla cut prices on the Model 3 in China, and last week, it discontinued the lowest-priced versions of the Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

In its last quarterly report, Tesla recorded its first profit in two years, posting a net profit of $311.5 million and $881 million in free cash flow.

Tesla first launched the referral program back in 2015 with the goal of turning the company’s enthusiastic early adopters into de facto sales reps. The new buyer gets a nice little perk, while the owner making the referral wins a variety of prizes, including a Powerwall home battery. Meanwhile, Tesla wins new converts.

Over the years, the program went into several iterations. Most recently, the automaker changed the incentives to prizes for referrers and Supercharger access for new buyers.

According to Electrek (which encountered criticism for the use of referrals by its editorial team), the referral program has recently encountered problems, including unfulfilled prizes and unused codes.

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