In response to recent observations on Cars.com, Elon Musk has addressed claims that Tesla is quietly selling new vehicles on the platform. CarDealershipGuy, an account on the auto industry-focused platform X, initially reported the development on Friday, asserting that Tesla had ventured beyond its traditional sales strategy by listing “new” vehicles on Cars.com.
Musk, however, expressed surprise at this revelation, stating that he was unaware of any decision by Tesla to sell vehicles through Cars.com, deeming the situation “odd.” The listings on Cars.com reportedly redirect users to Tesla's official website upon clicking, prompting speculation about a potential advertising, marketing, or affiliate arrangement between the two entities. CarDealershipGuy acknowledged this possibility amid ongoing discussions about Tesla's advertising strategies and public education efforts.
First I've heard of this. Seems odd.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 10, 2023
A noteworthy detail highlighted by some observers was that all the listed Tesla vehicles were associated with the “suspicious” zip code 90210. CarDealershipGuy clarified that this was merely an Easter Egg introduced by Tesla, also disclosing in the original post that he is an investor in Cars.com.
While the move to list vehicles on Cars.com could be perceived as part of Tesla's early advertising initiatives, Musk's reaction suggests an element of surprise, hinting that the move may not have been planned, at least not to his knowledge.
Tesla has historically refrained from traditional advertising, leveraging platforms like X for marketing purposes during periods when the company allocated no budget to advertising. Earlier this year, Tesla announced intentions to delve into advertising, accompanied by a video outlining its broader marketing strategy. Musk recently reiterated plans to initiate advertising on a small scale, with the intention of expanding efforts based on observed effectiveness.