Tesla Removes $35,000 Model 3, Makes Autopilot Standard, Adds Leasing

Apr 12, 2019   

Tesla announced they are making significant updates to the Model 3 lineup today, which includes making Autopilot standard as well as removing the $35,000 Standard Range model, effectively raising the base price to $39,500.

Tesla streamlined its Model 3 lineup to three configurations: Standard Range Plus ($39,500), Long Range Dual Motor ($49,500), and Performance ($59,500). The company says that it narrowed the configurator down to its most popular options, as the Standard Range Plus model outsold the $35,000 Standard Range model at a higher than anticipated rate.

In addition, leasing is now available on Model 3 starting at $504/month with $3,000 down for a Standard Range Plus model with Autopilot on a three-year term. Lessees won’t be able to purchase the vehicle at lease-end as Tesla plans to use the vehicles as part of its autonomous taxi fleet, which we will learn more about via a webcast on April 22.

Customers that have ordered the Standard Range Model 3 will receive a Standard Range Plus model with premium trim that is software-limited to the original 220 mile spec with features like heated seats removed via software. As we reported Monday, the company was having difficulty manufacturing the standard interior and was considering offering customers who ordered the $35,000 base model a Standard Range Plus model instead.

Like Tesla’s other software-limited configurations, Standard Range cars can be upgraded to 240 miles of range and add back other Plus features after delivery. Interestingly, Standard Range Plus customers will also be able to downgrade to Standard Range and receive a refund.

The Standard Range and Long Range Real-Wheel Drive configurations will be available for the foreseeable future off-menu by calling Tesla sales or visiting a Tesla store.  

Beginning today, customers in the U.S. will be able to lease Model 3 for a small down payment and competitive monthly payments. Customers can choose any Model 3 variant and select an annual mileage option of 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles.

Please note, customers who choose leasing over owning will not have the option to purchase their car at the end of the lease, because with full autonomy coming in the future via an over-the-air software update, we plan to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network. Customers can visit tesla.com/3 now to lease a Model 3.

Real Talk

It is ironic to see that Tesla is now mainly offering its $35,000 base Model 3 via its “hundreds of stores” after they decided to close all of its stores in order to make the Standard Range model possible then backtracked on that decision. Regardless, the company is adapting to consumer demands over time and we can appreciate the constant changes to stimulate market demand.

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