A small bit of news out from electric car maker Tesla on Friday: the company will make 85 cars available as loaners to customers that need to have their cars serviced. Tesla says it will valet the loaner car to you free of charge, and you can also purchase or keep the loaner car if you like it better.
The announcement is another way that Tesla is trying to innovate around its business model, and also deliver more premium services to its customers. Tesla announced earlier this month that it will turn its first profit in the first quarter of 2013, for both non-GAAP and GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), and will pay back its loan from the Department of Energy five years ahead of schedule. Tesla’s stock shot up this week and hit a high of $53.74 per share.
Tesla’s news is contrasted with the ongoing problems with Fisker Automotive, which was the focus of a hearing on Capitol Hill this week. Fisker seems to be close to bankruptcy and earlier this week the Department of Energy seized $21 million from a reserve account that Fisker was holding.
“Our service is O.K., but it needs to be great,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk on a call. “What is the best service and warranty that we can afford to do and this is it,” said Musk.