Tesla Makes It Harder to Buy Its $35,000 Electric Car
14 April, 2019, 01:12 | Author: Darnell Patrick
Standard buyers can upgrade to a Standard Plus at any time.
The rear-wheel-drive Long Range Model 3 has also been removed from the website and joins the Standard Range Model 3 as an off-menu model that must be ordered in-store or on the phone. Now, customers will receive the Model 3 Standard Range Plus model, which features a more premium interior and a battery with a software range limitation.
Tesla will no longer sell its entry-level $35,000 Standard Range Model 3 online, and will instead require interested customers to call or visit a store to order one.
According to Tesla's data, the Standard Plus outsold the $35,000 base auto by a ratio of 6:1.
The new special-order Standard Range will have about 216 miles of range and won't have Tesla navigation, heated seats, and streaming music.
"Tesla is now facing a reckoning", said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at car-shopping researcher Edmunds.
Apparently addressing controversy over Autopilot price cuts, Tesla has made a decision to simply bundle the feature as a standard safety feature across its entire lineup.
European Tesla fans have noted that the Model 3 Standard Range Plus is now available for ordering.
Tesla has previously indicated a mid-2019 launch for the Model 3 in Australia, though that will likely be pricier high-spec Performance variants.
Now, in the latest course correction, Tesla says it will end online sales of the long-awaited $35,000 version of its Model 3 sedan, its lowest-priced offering, and make other changes that will effectively raise the price of the auto for many customers. The company pitched the change as an added value since, for example, the $37,500 Model 3 Standard Plus required an extra $3,000 to add Autopilot. The lease runs for 36 months, and lessees can choose from three annual mileage allotments - 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year. American buyers will only get a tax credit of $3,750 for the next couple of months before the credit drops to $1,875 for the remainder of the year. Deliveries of the vehicle at that price point - the big promise of the Model 3 when it was first unveiled in March 2016 - are just beginning this weekend. Lessees will not be able to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease period. According to the automaker's blog post, it will collect all these leased cars at the end of their terms for future use in Tesla's ride-hailing network.
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