Teslas keep changing prices and frustrating buyers

What price are you today?

There have been ten different prices changes to Tesla Model 3s since I got mine just over 4 months ago. While one expects electric computerized vehicles to go down in price over time, most buyers didn't count on anything like this, and people who rushed out to buy "before the price goes up" are not happy.

Here's a new Forbes.com article on the price changes in Tesla cars and other electric cars.


I think the explanation ("that prices on other maker's cars fluctuate all the time due to specials, dealer rebates, and plain old negotiation") actually exposes the downside with Tesla's one-price-fits-all model. Those specials, dealer rebates, and plain old negotiation help bring prices down for customers who are more price conscious, at the expense of costing more for customers who are less price conscious.

Tesla desperately needs to find a way to do that. Constantly changing prices is one way, although it's a rather disruptive one. The idea of making the $35,000 Model 3 not available online might be another one.

Your article was spot-on. I'm stuck resenting buying when I did, just over 2 weeks ago. They really should think of ways to compensate customers, with little cost to Tesla. This resentment will undoubtedly transform into less sales.

What a great recap of the Tesla pricing history. Thank you. It is a breath of fresh air to have an article quickly and easily recap the history and impact of these pricing changes. Thanks again.

Self Driving Vehicles (SDV) is the near future of Tesla cars. Even if Elon Musk did not say, is in his mind : people will not need to worry about how much a SDV cost, they will pay for use it.
An user will "own" a SDV for the time he wants: a ride, 3 hours, one day,one week.... 10 years. But the "owner" will be not responsible for the maintenace, updates, accidents, insurance, change to new model.

So the price will be not matter. Just pay for the use for the correct vehicle that fits the necessities of each time. And will be a lot cheaper than actually to own a car.

Big surprise: those buying the first of a new car model by paying a premium is baked into the car industry. You all bought first because it was super cool and you got attention. Good for you. I'm hoping to get a 3 but, as with other new cars I've bought, I'm waiting for the prices to come down.

Actually, the people who bought in the last 5 months are the people who waited for the prices to come down, somewhat. Those who wanted to buy early bought the AWD LR and Performance, which were very high priced. They bought it knowing cheaper models will come. People who bought in the next wave always knew the 35K version was promised, but not that their own car and the more expensive cars would drop so quickly.

Great term, I may steal it :)

I don't think AP+FSD was ever 10k when bought new with the car. It used to be 5k EAP + 3k FSD. They changed it to 3k AP + 5k FSD. Note it's not EAP anymore, some features formerly in EAP moved to FSD which somewhat justified the new pricing tiers.

You can still theoretically buy a 35k Tesla without AP by visiting a store or calling the 800 number and resisting firm attempts to upsell you to a version with positive profit margin. Also, while the 37.5k SR+ price jumped by 2k when they force-bundled AP, the higher end variants did not jump as much. Performance with FSD starts at 64.5k now, 8 months ago it was around 80k. That's some serious depreciation.

Yes, it was 5K plus 5K in the past. Today, basic AP has come down to $2K. That's not an unreasonable price for it. $5K was too rich. However, many people are buying Teslas because they are the only car with a product like autopilot, which is how they got $5K for it. Now, I presume those buyers are fading.

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