A longer range and additional features will be switched on in the $39,500 vehicle, known as the Standard Plus model. Thus, the decision was made to basically dissuade buyers from ordering the cheapest model. The same goes for the Model 3 Long Range in rear-wheel-drive configuration. "Between the cost cuts, waning demand for its vehicles and now making the US$35,000 Model 3 much harder to buy, the company is now quietly realising it has to play by the same rules as every other automaker". The latter was announced alongside the Model 3 Standard Range as a $37,500 auto with 240 miles of range compared to the base car's 220-mile range.
The Model 3 Standard Range is the only Model 3 variant to escape a price hike, as well.
If you take a look at the US configurator for the Model 3, you'll notice three options (Standard Range Plus with RWD, Long Range AWD, and Performance AWD) and a starting price of $39,500 before savings. Several features will be disabled including the vehicle company's onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats.
"Tesla is now facing a reckoning", said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at car-shopping researcher Edmunds.
The announcement comes after reports of delayed delivery for those buyers who purchased a Model 3 SR-78 percent of which were online sales-and there have been multiple reports of buyers being contacted by Tesla sales representatives attempting to convince them to upgrade to more premium features. Now, the auto will cost $39,500, effectively making Autopilot a $2,000 premium built into the price.
The change to the Model 3 pricing options is part of a move by Tesla to simplify its lineup. 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.
The company adds anyone who decides to software-limit a Standard Range Plus to Standard Range specification can do so (at any time) and receive a refund for the difference in costs.
However, unlike other leasing programs, Model 3 customers will not be able to buy their vehicle following the conclusion of the leasing term, as Tesla plans to use these vehicles in its upcoming ride-hailing network in conjunction with full autonomy.