Tesla has a bizarre new referral programme that rewards owners by sending an image of their choice ‘etched in glass’ to deep space.
Starting today, customers who encourage their friends to buy a Model S, Model X, Model 3 or other solar products using their referral code will receive rewards.
The laser-etched photos – sent as part of the ‘Launch Your Photo into Deep Space Orbit’ reward – would almost certainly be sent up with SpaceX rockets.
Owners wanting to send their photos to space will need to upload the desired snap onto the Tesla mobile app before December of this year.
‘Tesla owners can refer someone to buy a Tesla & get any image they want laser etched in glass & sent to deep space for millions of years’, Elon Musk tweeted this morning.
Tesla owners who have four qualifying referrals would get priority access to vehicle software updates, writes Teslarati.
Additionally, Tesla owners with more than one car will have priority access to software updates.
If owners have two referrals they get a matt black Wall Connector with an etch of Musk’s signature.
Users with three referrals can have a Model S or Model X for one week, or if they don’t want to use the reward, they can give it to a friend.
Each week, a random winner from the referral programme will be selected to race an electric semi truck around the Tesla test track.
Those with five referrals will get a VIP invitation, with a plus one, to a future Tesla unveiling event.
This news comes after a very rocky few weeks for the company.
At the end of September it was revealed Musk was fined $20million (£15m) and will be forced to resign as chairman after reaching a settlement on fraud charges.
Musk was accused of posting ‘false and misleading information’ to Twitter about taking his company private at $420 (£322) a share on August 7.
The acclaimed engineer told his followers he’d secured funding and only needed a shareholder vote to proceed.
The SEC claims Musk’s tweets had no factual basis, and caused chaos in the stock market, which hurt investors.
Musk’s tweets saw Tesla’s stock jump by more than six per cent on August 7, but the price crashed by more than 13 per cent when the SEC filed its complaint.
The SEC claimed Musk had not lined up backers and he’d predicted the $420-per-share price based on a 20 per cent premium to the previous day’s closing rate, because he thought this would be the typical uplift paid by a bidder taking a firm private. This calculation came out at $419.
The SEC allege Musk upped it to $420 because the number is code in marijuana culture referring to the consumption of the drug, and he thought his girlfriend, Canadian singer Grimes, would find it funny.
‘According to Musk, he calculated the $420 price per share based on a 20 per cent premium over that day’s closing share price because he thought 20 per cent was a ‘standard premium’ in going-private transaction,’ court documents submitted by the SEC said.
‘This calculation resulted in a price of $419, and Musk stated that he rounded the price up to $420 because he had recently learned about the number’s significance in marijuana culture and thought his girlfriend ‘would find it funny, which admittedly is not a great reason to pick a price’.’
He will be able to continue as the CEO of Tesla, but cannot be chairman again for three years.
Musk will be solely responsible for paying his $20million fine.
Tesla will have to pay a second $20million fine, and appoint two independent directors to replace Musk.
In a statement to TechCrunch on Thursday, Musk said the complaint was ‘unjustified’.
‘This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed,’ he said.
‘I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors.
‘Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way.’
Neither Musk nor Tesla admitted or denied the SEC’s findings as part of the settlement.