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Tesla offers 1st incentive in owner referral program

Tesla Motors Inc. is offering $1,000 to new-car

Tesla Motors Inc. is offering $1,000 to new-car buyers if they're referred by current Tesla owners. This is a Tesla Model S refueling. Credit: Getty Images

DETROIT - Electric carmaker Telsa Motors Inc. is offering its first incentive, $1,000 to new-car buyers who are referred by current Tesla owners.

Owners who make a referral also will get $1,000 in their Tesla account that can be spent on a car purchase, service or accessories.

CEO Elon Musk said the $2,000 is about equal to what the company pays to sell a car through a company store and he's passing it on to customers. The Tesla Model S is the only current model and it starts at $70,000.

New car orders must be placed by Sept. 30 to get the deal. Musk also says the plan is a guerrilla tactic to counter states that have auto dealer franchise laws that don't allow his company owned stores.

The first Tesla owner to persuade 10 friends to buy a car gets a free Model X SUV, which is due out later this year. Five referrals that result in purchases get you and a guest a tour of the company's giant battery factory now under construction in Nevada.

Earlier this month Tesla said its deliveries rose 52 percent to more than 11,000 in the second quarter.

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