Tesla Tells Employees They Can't Resell Their Model 3s for Profit

Employees will get priority on Model 3 deliveries, but they're not supposed to flip 'em. 

via Twitter

The Tesla Model 3 is finally here, but the start of production brings new challenges for Tesla. The automaker must not only ramp up production of its highly-anticipated volume model, but also ensure deliveries go smoothly.

Tesla previously said it would give its own employees priority on Model 3 deliveries, and Teslarati obtained an email explaining how that process will unfold. Among other things, Tesla doesn't want employees turning around and selling their cars for a profit.

"Because employees are receiving special priority, all Model 3 cars prioritized to employees must be registered to you or your family member and may not be resold for more than the original price," the email said.

The first Model 3 rolled off the assembly line earlier this month, and Tesla plans to hand over the first cars at an event this Friday. From there, deliveries will be organized geographically, with California customers getting their cars first. Reservation holders who don't work for Tesla, and live in other parts of the country, may still have to wait awhile for their cars. The lack of details about that process is already creating some anxiety among customers.

Rules for employee purchases of cars are nothing new; Ferrari doesn't even let employees buy cars straight off the assembly line, for example. The company claims it doesn't want employees cutting in front of customers, who may have waited a long time for a build slot. Maranello also frowns on customers turning around and selling cars immediately.

Clearly, it's not unusual for sales and deliveries of expensive, exotic machinery to be carefully managed. Normally, such restrictions aren't applied to more mainstream cars like the Model 3. But the level of anticipation—and the large backlog of orders Tesla must fill—make the Model 3 a special case.