After a couple of chaotic weeks of price and option changes from Tesla, another came into force today. This time it was about the newly unveiled Model Y, which received a $ 1,000 price increase over the ticket line.
CEO Elon Musk announced on twitter that the prices of vans will increase ~ 3% after the end of the quarter, to keep them in line with the latest price increase (which was really only a partial reversal of the price decline in last month).
When model Y was unveiled, we were treated to a slide with prices of the various alternative configurations that would be available when the car comes out. Tesla also began to order the night to reveal. On the Tesla website, these same prices were listed for the available configurations. From now on, the "standard range" package is not available on Tesla's "design your car" page, but the other configurations are. With today's changes, all three available configurations (Long Range, Long Range AWD and Performance) are $ 1
The prices listed on the site are now $ 48k, $ 52k and $ 61k respectively for LR, LR AWD and Performance respectively. Customers who have already deposited a deposit still see the old price of their order summary page. We don't have confirmation from Tesla if they want to keep the original prices for those who have already deposited a deposit or not, but it looks promising to the believers who jumped to place an early booking.
In particular, this car has not been released yet and will not be out for at least one and a half years. It is difficult for companies to predict pricing so far ahead of time, and if this is the only change that happens with model Y prices before the car is released, then there is really not much to worry about.
In addition to Model Y's price changes, a small shock was announced to bring inventory prices back in line with new car prices. Tesla will increase the price of vans by ~ 3% at midnight on April 2. This goes well with the quarterly change for Tesla on 31 March, but gives customers one day, the whole of April (until midnight), to book. So if you think of a Tesla storage car, be aware.
None of these changes are particularly consequential, but there has been a lot of tweaking recently, so fans are more sensitive to them.
After announcing ~ 3% bump in the price of vans, Musk was forced on all the price changes recently (a question we at Electrek have also had) and responded like this:
Every car company constantly changes prices but no cares
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2019
This is true when dealers are considered. Although it is rare for manufacturers to change the MSRP on a car without changing option configurations or model years, it is very common for retailers to change prices. Manufacturers can also offer incentives to dealers to move certain car models, so the effect for the customer is that prices change a lot.
Since Tesla does not sell through traditional dealers, if they want to change the price of their cars then they have to do it themselves. Which is subject to all of them to post an article (hi!) Or tweeting about it when a change happens. They can't hide behind retailers like any other manufacturer does.
A problem with Musk's defense of this practice is that Tesla has always considered itself to be another type of company. One of the main reasons for releasing the retailer model was to get away from the constant price changes that allow some consumers to feel jilted, as if they weren't so good at a deal that someone else did.
This concept was communicated in a comprehensive email from Musk in 2016. In that email he said: "The acid test is that if you cannot explain to a full-paying customer why another customer does not be embarrassed, then it is not right. We either win in a way that is fair and right, or we lose our honor intact and accept the consequences. "
This email was recently picked up at Musk on twitter in response to the latest changes in autopilot pricing:
I fully understand that car prices fluctuate, but FSD is not a full product yet, and Tesla rewards those who did not support them by purchasing EAP and upgrading them to FSD for the same price we paid for an EAP. Does this pass the acid test? pic.twitter.com/rUqiGkUVUF
– Marc Benton (@marc_benton) March 12, 2019
After reading their own words, musk relented and admitted that it was a mistake making so much price change.
To be clear, this model Y change is not too big of a deal again, because the car is not out yet. Nor is there much of the stock prices, 3% is not much, and prices therefore vary on vans, regardless (either used or "new" cars that have been floor or test models). Fluctuations are expected when buying a used or a floor model product.
But if Tesla is to count itself as another type of company, with another sales model, where customers can be sure they don't have to worry about haggling or pricing their purchases properly to get the best choice for their money , they must do better than trying to rationalize this practice by saying "well, everyone else does." You're not everyone else, you're Tesla. You can be better than everyone else – you do better cars than everyone else – so why not?