My boss had an idea to raise Tesla’s sales in minority and urban demographics and had me do some research. I work for the annual Donk Contest car show and cultural event in Austin, Texas. The event is made up of a mostly minority and urban crowd from Houston, Dallas, and across the rest of the state who meet in Austin for this one day event.
What is a Donk?
For those who don’t know, the TLDR version is Donks are cars with very large rims. Historically some Donks have had corporate branding vinyl stickers on the side. It’s part of the culture.
Our event also features Slabs and those are cars that have wheels that have extending pieces that jut out from the car.
A thing to note here is that a lot of money goes into customizing these cars. According to my boss, paintjobs can range from $10-50,000. The wheels have the same range. My boss owns the Donk Contest and has a limo slab that he personally put over $100,000 into customizing. Then you have cars with Lamborghini doors or other body modifications such as this example:
Breakdown of cars currently registered for event.
Notice they are mostly American cars.
Why do we see the same American manufacturers year after year but no Tesla? According to my boss he says that this urban crowd mainly operates on tradition. These classic American car manufacturers were what they grew up with and no one is going to shake the status quo. There is also a stigma of an electric vehicle being less “hard” which I believe means manly.
So what he thinks will change this
Get Elon Musk to bring a Tesla Donk or Slab to the 2020 Donk Contest on March 28, 2020 in Austin, Texas. My boss has hired people to make some mock up designs of what a Tesla car at this event could look like.
My boss says he sees a huge opportunity to sell cars to “cash rich” people. From the article below it sounds like many Tesla owners are financing cars. According to this 2018 article Tesla borrowers pay an average of $818 monthly. The typical Donk Contest attendee has cash to purchase the car immediately and personally owns more than 2 cars. A large share are business owners.
Which used car brands do borrowers stretch their finances most to buy?
We sent a survey to our registered users and only a small amount returned it but the results appear to be similar to what the average Tesla Model 3 owner’s household income is according to https://hedgescompany.com/blog/2018/11/tesla-owner-demographics/
Why focus on minority and urban demographic?
Tesla has been focused on internal company diversity. He has even hired a person to head up the diversity initiative because of the importance. https://www.blackenterprise.com/black-woman-promoted-by-elon-musk-to-lead-diversity-at-tesla/In many urban communities Cadillac is still the gold standard. If Tesla can appeal to these people they will take a huge amount of sales away from them.
About the Author
Head of content at the Donk Contest car show and cultural event in Austin, Texas.