Tesla will only sell its electric cars online as it accelerates its cost cutting so it can realize its long-running goal of selling a mass-market sedan for $35,000. Okay, we'll just cut to the chase at this point.
And while the early roll-out of the original Model 3 configurations was plagued by delays, Tesla is promising 2 to 4 weeks before deliveries start on this new model. Also included are an automated parking system and a "summon" feature that allows the Model 3 to leave its parking space and come find you. The vehicle has a 0-60 miles per hour time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 140 miles per hour.
However, margins have been a crucial item for the EV-maker as of late, and last quarter the company cited 20 percent margins on the Model 3.
Last month, I noted in my email that the fundamental issue Tesla must overcome is that our products remain too expensive for most people.
Musk recently told investors Tesla had completed the engineering and design of the Model Y, the crossover that will be smaller and cheaper than the Model X. About three-quarters of the Model Y's components will be shared with the Model 3, the company's first mass-manufactured vehicle.
The Model 3 is a low-priced version of Telsla's electric vehicle, available for $US35,000 ($49,300).
For Canadian Tesla fans, the new Rear-Wheel Drive base model with Standard Range is listed on Tesla's website starting at $35,900 CAD, after gas savings ($6,700 CAD) and incentives. The company says that the auto has all of the features that earned its longer ranged Model 3's a 5-star safety rating, which the company says "has the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by the U.S. Government". This upgrades the performance slightly-now it's got 240 miles (386km) of range, shaves 0.3 seconds off the 0-60 time, and adds 10mph (16km/h) in top speed. Well, you still don't get any buttons or instruments or any interior hardware, really, beyond the 15-inch central touchscreen that remains standard.
Tesla is shutting down the bulk of its retail operations in favor of moving to an online-only sales methodology. "You can now buy a Tesla in North America via your phone in about 1 minute, and that capability will soon be extended worldwide", the company announced in a blog post on Thursday afternoon. Then, to make this a bit more confusing, it also changed a feature's name.
However, you'll now be able to return your new Tesla within seven days (or 1000 miles, whichever comes first) for a full refund if you're not happy with it. "We do think that profitability in Q2 is likely". Tesla stores will be "more like galleries and information centers", Musk explained. Moreover, we guarantee service availability anywhere in any countries in which we operate.
"Taken in conjunction with the introduction of the $35k Model 3, we view this (price cuts) as confirmation that demand for Tesla vehicles has softened", RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak wrote in a client note.