Tesla dropped the Mid Range Model 3 from its configurator Saturday night in preparation for tomorrow’s anticipated 3% price increase.
Introduced as a $46,000 configuration that qualified for the full tax credit, the Mid-Range Model 3 bridged the gap between the Standard Range and Long Range models. Its price was subsequently cut to $40,000 following the release of the Standard Range Model 3.
The $37,000 Standard Range Plus model shares similar specs with slightly less range as well as a premium interior trim; however, its “partial premium interior” lacks the premium audio and connectivity that were included on the Mid Range.
This move doesn’t come as a surprise, as production of the Mid Range battery pack was halted to focus on the Standard Range models. Tesla was offering discounts that seemed out-of-character over the weekend (such as a waived color upgrade) in order to move inventory, with some customers who ordered the Standard Range Plus model receiving an offer to take delivery of an in-stock Mid Range model at little to no additional cost.
Six separate trims for the Model 3 seemed like too many relative to the Model S and Model X, which only have three. With the release of the Standard Range Plus, it was inevitable that Tesla would discontinue the Mid Range model. Its existence was intended to provide reservation holders with a car comparable to the promised Standard Range specs with ~ 40 miles of additional range and the full federal tax credit before Tesla was able to build its $35,000 car.
The removal of the Mid Range model leaves a $6,000 gap between the “partial premium interior” introduced on the Standard Range Plus and the full premium interior available on the Long Range RWD. Considering the differences are minor between the two interior trims, Tesla needs to rethink its interior options. Otherwise, premium audio and premium connectivity (intended to be a $99/year service) would only be available at a significant premium.
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– Adam Qureshi