Departing Tesla VP Can't Get Himself To Buy Rival EVs Because They Don't Have FSD: 'It's A Deal Breaker'

Zinger Key Points
  • FSD is available for outright purchase at $8,000 or a $99 monthly subscription.
  • Tesla is also negotiating to launch the tech in China.

Tesla Inc‘s Vice President of Investor Relations Martin Viecha is due to leave the company later this year, but he can’t seem to part with the company’s electric cars.

What Happened: Viecha took to X last week, saying he considered purchasing a new family electric car from a rival brand. However, the executive later scrapped the plan.

“Can’t do it…I can’t own a car that doesn’t have FSD (supervised). It’s a deal breaker,” Viecha wrote.

FSD is the acronym for Tesla’s full self-driving advanced driver assistance software which is expected to enable vehicle autonomy in due time. While it requires active driver supervision, it allows for auto lane changes and traffic navigations.

Viecha chose to look at a rival’s EV because he wanted a vehicle from a category not manufactured by Tesla.

Tesla’s current lineup has two SUVs, two sedans, and an electric truck. While the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV are mass-market vehicles, the Model S and X are more premium. The company is still only ramping up production of its latest offering- the Cybertruck.

Why It Matters: Viecha announced his departure during Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call in April. While he did not specify his departure timeline, he indicated that he would not participate in the next quarter's earnings call, likely scheduled for July.

Viecha has been Tesla's VP of Investor Relations for nearly seven years, having joined the EV maker in October 2017.

Tesla has a lot riding on FSD, especially with slowing demand and intense competition in its core EV business. The technology is also crucial to the robotaxi service the company plans to unveil on Aug. 8.

FSD is available for outright purchase at $8,000 or a $99 monthly subscription. Tesla is also negotiating to launch the tech in China.

In late March, FSD graduated from beta testing to FSD (Supervised) and was made available for a free one-month trial across North America. However, the take rate following the free trial was subpar, as per analysts.

Check out more of Benzinga's Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: Lucid Stock Gains 3% Premarket After EV Maker Announces 6% Workforce Reduction, Cutting 400 Jobs To Lower Costs

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