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Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera Owner Network

  • Aptera Owner Network

    Posted by ray-holan on November 16, 2021 at 6:51 am

    Aptera is not opening traditional showrooms across the globe. In a way I’m glad. The expense of maintaining such facilities would have to be reflected in the purchase price of the Aptera. On the other hand, the absence of showrooms does create one huge problem for potential buyers: they are unable to see, touch, smell, sit in, and drive an Aptera before purchasing one. Yes, I know there is the “drive-it-love-it-or-return-it” policy that mimics the 7 day return policy of online sellers like Carvana, Vroom, and CarMax. But let’s face it. Even this expedient doesn’t solve the problem of “how do I make a completely informed decision about buying” without the vehicle being in front of me. A skeptical buyer may not trust the free return policy or want to go through the hassle involved.

    How to address this issue?

    Enter Aptera owners and curious spectators. We can expect to have more than our fair share of strangers striking up conversations in parking lots and at traffic light along the lines of “What is that thing? How fast does it go? How far does it go?” For me, that will be part of the fun of owning an Aptera. Why not harness our ownership enthusiasm in a formal way? Each of us who would be willing to provide this free, in-person promotional service could be listed on map maintained by Aptera and available on their website. Aptera already has the Aptera Ambassador program to the tune of 500+ people around the world. I’m sure the majority of these people would give serious consideration to providing a service like this. How many of us on the forum would be willing to go so far as to meet prospective purchasers either at our homes or in some neutral, public location to give these folks the opportunity to see our Apterae in person, ask questions, and get a ride? Personally, I would not be willing to have a stranger drive my Aptera, even with me riding along as a passenger. But I would be willing to spend time in person with a prospective buyer and give him or her a ride.

    Of course, not every Aptera owner would be willing to do this sort of thing, but I’m betting a significant portion of Aptera owners would. Likely it would be desirable to have the prospective owner sign some sort of waiver as part of this visit — blah, blah, John or Jane Doe is not an Aptera employee and anything that is said is only the opinion of the Aptera owner, Aptera owner is not liable if you stub your toe getting into the vehicle, etc.

    What do you think of this “owner as unofficial factory representative” approach? Let’s remember that Facebook groups, cool website videos, and Google reviews only go so far. Virtual is not actual. Onscreen is not in person.

    • This discussion was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  bbelcamino.
    craig-merrow replied 1 week, 2 days ago 21 Members · 28 Replies
  • 28 Replies
  • Aptera Owner Network

    craig-merrow updated 1 week, 2 days ago 21 Members · 28 Replies
  • peter-jorgensen

    Member
    November 16, 2021 at 7:35 am

    I’m not loaning my aptera out to random people – but If I got a commission of the sale I’d be willing to be a lot more involved – especially if Aptera insured test drives and whatnot – I guess that’s an ambassadors job isn’t it? I’m super excited to show it off to people though! Some weird logistics would be involved in this but it’s an interesting idea. I’d have no problem with my contact information being shared to prospective customers to get in touch and come see it in my area.

    • jerry-molnar

      Member
      January 7, 2022 at 10:11 am

      Call me paranoid, but, I’m wondering if an odd looking car might not attract Odd people?

      Personally I wouldn’t be comfortable giving out personal contact info at random publicly.

      I think Aptera needs to find a way to maybe have temporary roving events whereby people can see, drive and ask questions, no permanent showrooms needed.

  • andy-keck

    Member
    November 16, 2021 at 7:37 am

    I think you are right that this may happen informally. I’ve even wondered about leaving the Aptera parked out in the sunny lot with a few brochures under the wipers in case someone wants to learn more.

    There are likely tradeoffs for doing things more formally, especially paperwork and lawyers, although perhaps that may be worth it with a high enough scale. Whether or not this could be someone’s side gig or full-time job is a good question for down the road.

    • Lou

      Member
      November 16, 2021 at 7:54 am

      I’m sure once we’re all out and about in our Apterae, we’ll be getting inundated with all kinds of questions and requests for a ride. I’m sure most all of will be happy to at least answer questions, enthuse about all benefits, joys of ownership. I see anything more formal as fraught with difficulties: dicey legalities, scheduling hassles, personal safety, etc, etc.

      I would totally be willing to hand out Aptera developed info sheets which would include most relevant FAQs

  • ray-holan

    Moderator
    November 16, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Completely understand and support the need to avoid legal liability entanglements as Peter, Andy, and Lou have referenced. Certainly the practice of leaving flyers on the parked vehicle or reference to the Aptera website is an easy, low-risk strategy that the vast majority of us would be willing to do.

    • Lou

      Member
      November 16, 2021 at 8:53 am

      Idea: Have small readable Aptera website etched into side window glass or have Aptera license plate holders with same – always there, no need for info sheets blowing away, getting rained on, running out!

      • curtis-cibinel

        Member
        November 16, 2021 at 9:09 am

        I recommend having your referral code minified, converted into a QR code and placed on your window. Physical fliers could likely just end up everywhere. This was discussed in another thread someone had it along with a 3d printed mini and in their current EV.

  • Lou

    Member
    November 16, 2021 at 11:17 am

    QR code. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that!

    Maybe because approaching 74, I never pay them much attention. Perhaps a decal that comes with car…shouldn’t be up to owners to affix.

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      January 3, 2022 at 10:13 pm

      A generic code to the website, perhaps, but I doubt Aptera could supply a custom referral QR code with each vehicle…

  • jesthorbjorn

    Member
    November 16, 2021 at 11:34 am

    I have long given this thought also.

    It does seem to be a scenario where the whole referral code business actually begins to make sense. That is, if you are not already a popular Youtuber or similar influencer.

    My initial thinking was along the lines of someone asking about your peculiar vehicle and in addition to sharing your enthusiasm, you hand them a card with the website and your referral code. I suppose having a sticker on your Aptera with a QR code that will get you there is the more 21st century version of that, and has the added benefit of not requiring the owner to be on hand.

    Too busy already to consider the idea of driving around to meet with perspective buyers though. On the other hand, the parking lot at my workplace is clearly visible from the freeway and there is what amounts to a grassy plinth in the corner nearest to the road that I imagine parking the Aptera on. Seems a great place to get plenty of solar gain and show it off to all passers by.

  • ray-holan

    Moderator
    November 16, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Interesting that what started as a trial balloon of person-to-person contact has devolved into an arms length technical discussion of QR codes and what-not’s. Ah, for the good old handshake over the car hood days pre-COVID-19;)) Once more, we’re sucked into the Matrix. LOL

  • curtis-cibinel

    Member
    November 16, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Ok so basically we need a system where they can connect potential owners that want a test drive with existing owners. They can give them a pitch and go for a drive. If the prospective owner buys the owner gets a small commission, referral bonus, swag or something. Essentially you get owners with the time to act as sales volunteers.

    I don’t even have the car yet and I’ve got 3 people reserved with my code.

    To some degree youtube, word of mouth and the quality of the product will help drive accelerating interest. It will take 2-3 years to catch up with current reservations anyway and once people see these on the roads it will get attention.

    Note: Obviously approach is not viable until covid is done….

  • dan-roberts

    Member
    November 16, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Ray,

    I absolutely agree. I would be happy to show my Aptera and give someone a test drive. Having a vehicle such as the Aptera will create curiosity at least. What better way to educate people than let them take a test drive. I still remember driving my first electric car. There is nothing like experiencing the raw torque from electric motors. No turbo lag, no gears to fuss with, and no optimum torque rpm range. Just pure driving pleasure.

    • ray-holan

      Moderator
      November 16, 2021 at 4:20 pm

      Dan, thanks for reminding us about the experience of driving an EV for the first time. I remember it well and, as you say, it is a powerful incentive for buying an EV. For the record, I’m happy to give someone a ride in my Aptera when I get it. I fall short of being OK with someone else driving it;)

  • Pistonboy

    Member
    November 16, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    I wanted three things: 1) an electric vehicle, 2) a two seater, 3) and long range. The Aptera gives all three to me.

    There is only one catch: I am a hermit, I do not like people, and I prefer to be left alone. All the people asking me about it is going to be a nightmare!

    I may put a sign in the window saying: 1) The vehicle is called Aptera 2) Yes, I do like it 3) Go look it up.

    • Enceladus

      Member
      March 10, 2023 at 11:41 am

      Same here. Great idea for making a sign.

  • john-trotter

    Moderator
    November 16, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Just as I have with my Tesla, I’d be glad to sponsor Aptera test drives when the time comes. So would many others. I’m not even sure much incentive would be needed. The sales part of a national network seems to me to be the easiest part.

    Harder, for me, is to imagine the national service network, especially warranty service in the beginning. The mobile technician solution sounds very iffy, as it was for Tesla before they got big.

    My sense is that the Aptera Ambassadors could provide some basis, but it would take corporate endorsement, organization, and training.

    Or?

    • curtis-cibinel

      Member
      November 16, 2021 at 5:23 pm

      With the relatively few components, and relatively simple assembly hopefully the issues are minor. It is definitely a legitimate concern especially if you are outside of California. Personally as an investor with belief in the vision I know this is an unfortunately necessary growing pain.

      Due to the modular nature of the design it is plausible that rather than scaling to larger and larger central factories (Tesla) they will instead have relatively small assembly plants assembling cars and acting as service hubs in most major cities. Specifications and parts availability with right to repair is important but the company will need a service strategy beyond that.

  • Ronnie

    Member
    November 16, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    For whatever it’s worth, this kinda thing is done with some trailer companies (available to show, share experiences, answer questions) like Oliver Travel Trailers (they sell direct) and I believe Escape does something similar too.

  • david-marlow

    Member
    November 17, 2021 at 3:00 am

    As an Aptera ambassador I would let anyone seriously considering buying one have a test drive in mine. Also will give anyone just interested in it a ride. I don’t think that I would be loaning it out to anyone except very close family the first few years.

  • robert-klasson

    Member
    November 17, 2021 at 10:39 am

    I’ll let anyone interested in Aptera drive mine when I have time. Anyone I know can just borrow it as long as I don’t need it. I’d probably ride along if anyone I don’t know wants to drive it, or just take let them ride along if they don’t seem trustworthy.

    If I ever manage to get enough referrals for a second Aptera, I’ll try to find somewhere visible to park it and let anyone willing to sign an agreement to pay the cost of any damage or parkingtickets etc drive it for a day or two on a first come, first served basis.

    When it comes to referrals, I see a few issues:

    – It’s not possible for someone who is already registered on the Aptera site to use a referral code, or so I’ve heard. It may be unintentional, but I think you should be able to register a referral code at least up to the point you make a reservation.

    – There’s a risk of influencers getting an unreasonable ammount of referrals. A youtuber with half a million followers could get 10 new almost fully specced Apteras if just 0.1% of their followers buys an Aptera using their referral code.

    – There’s no guaranteed reward for helping sell an Aptera. It’s up to the buyer to decide who he wants to get the referral. Since the referrals are quite valuable, I see a significant risk here that a new buyer tries to “trade” or “sell” their referral instead of handing it to the one who’s actually put in the time to “sell” the Aptera.

  • steven-g-bueche

    Member
    November 19, 2021 at 5:33 am

    My plan is simple: Go to a high visibility parking area, Close to the entrance, wait for the people, sell them on the Aptera, hand them a business card with my referral code and wait for my free Aptera. The second option is to park and place business cards on the wind screen (with the codes) and wait for it,…get my free second Aptera. Then, I sell the Model 3 and buy a third and a forth for my grandkids.

  • r-daniel-hood

    Member
    November 19, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Personally, if owning one of these highly attractive cars I would look forward to FSD because then I could stand in the middle of nowhere and call my vehicle to pick me up. This is much more desirable than fighting my way through a crowd back to my parking space just so I can get to the next place.

  • Wild_Bill

    Member
    January 1, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    I think it would be valuable for my fellow Ambassadors and me to have business cards with our referral codes to distribute to interested persons. Has anyone already designed one?

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      January 3, 2022 at 10:19 pm

      William, all you need to do is to ask Audra – Aptera already supplies business cards to Ambassadors.

  • BUG

    Member
    January 2, 2022 at 6:37 am

    Many Great Thinks have been Thunk and Pasted here!

    Much Like when SAAB Introduced their Three Cylinder Two Stroke to Washington D.C. area Sports Car Clubs, There will be Small Crowds around every APTERA, for some time. I will revel in Giving Free Rides. Friends and Relatives will get to Drive.

    Here’s My Best Think: Because of My Career, I am fairly certain that I will be able to Help APTERA Owners’ Club Members with Most problems and services to/for their Wonderful Machines. BUUT, since I attended Law School, (Not a Lawyuh, Not a lawyuh) I am leery of some aspects of Loaning, Giving Rides, and Fixing a Vehicle Not Mine. I will probably Limit My Assistance to those who will perform the Services/Repairs WITH Me. The Video Courses, YouChube Vids and manuals might make My Think Useless, eh?

  • pancho

    Member
    January 4, 2022 at 11:32 am

    How about following what Tesla does for “Dog Mode” but instead have the screen show that the car is currently charging via the sun. For more info, scan the QR code on the window.

  • craig-merrow

    Member
    March 10, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    Some really interesting ideas! I think the car will be self promoting; I have tossed out the idea of a license plate frame that says Aptera.us on it since there isn’t anything to identify it as such.

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