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Tesla Introduces Business Leasing Program

Tesla Introduces Business Leasing Program
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Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced Tuesday a new business leasing program for small and mid-size businesses.

Business owners can take advantage of tax credits by leasing a Model S for only $5,000 down and $408 a month.

“Our leasing program is straightforward and transparent, and we've designed it to be user friendly,” a Tesla blog post says. “To begin with, business customers can easily see upfront their monthly cost of leasing while configuring their can on our website.”

The blog post boasts that while other lease agreements can be up to 10 pages long, Tesla fits all of its information in less than three. Customers can also handle and sign their lease agreements electronically, and can even sign for the delivery of their vehicle with the tap of a button on its 17-inch touchscreen.

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CEO Elon Musk promoted the new program via Twitter, and then tweeted about how simple the sign-up process is.

Senior Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer said a business leasing option is a shrewd sales program for Tesla to offer, and it will appeal to environmentally-focused companies while growing Tesla's potential customer base.

“Demand for Tesla's Model S has outstripped supply since it went into production, but the automaker has to expand its market if it wants to maintain that status,” said Brauer.

The Palo Alto-company's stock jumped from $206.69 per share after the announcement, closing Tuesday at $215.46. But that's still down from a high of $254.84 in early March. The company has only sold 4,700 cars in the first three months of the year, according to the LA Times, up less than one percent from the same period last year.

The question of Tesla's long-term market share has been pondered since the Model S debuted over a year ago, Brauer said.

“Initial demand proved strong enough to keep new and used Teslas at, or above, the car's original MSRP,” he said. “But any vehicle with a starting price over $70,000 is going to have a limited customer base. Add in restrictions that come with a pure electric drivetrain, and the potential market is further restricted.”

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