Tesla’s Site Becomes More Upfront About Pricing

Jun 3, 2019   

Tesla updated its site on Sunday to offer prospective buyers a more transparent look at pricing, while at the same time highlighting the potential cost savings involved with ownership.

A new selector at the top of the configurator lets prospective buyers choose whether they would prefer to see the actual purchase price of the vehicle or a price which “includes potential savings.” The configurations for all vehicles can be displayed either way, making it easier to compare the various trims.

Previously, Tesla had displayed all prices with cost savings factored in. After some initial criticism, they backtracked and decided to display the purchase price first with cost savings still prominently displayed at the bottom. Now customers are able to decide which way they would prefer to view pricing. However, the initial price shown is still inclusive of potential savings.

Regardless of selection, Tesla highlights the potential cost savings in multiple places on its site. This includes a disclaimer at the bottom of the Model 3’s configuration list that cites a potential cost savings of $10,550, including a state rebate that only applies to California residents. This makes the Model 3 Standard Range Plus configuration appear to be as low as $29,350*, with an actual purchase price of $39,900.

Note that all potential savings are experienced after delivery, and the purchase price (plus a $1,200 destination and doc fee) is the actual price buyers will pay.

Real Talk

Advertising both prices in the configurator is more transparent than leading with the after-savings pricing, and it’s clear with their approach that Tesla wants to make sure buyers are aware of all cost savings involved that could potentially lower the cost of ownership. While it makes sense to advertise the potential savings the average buyer will realize compared to purchasing a competing gasoline vehicle, we still feel there is a better way to go about educating consumers of the savings than presenting prices that could be potentially confusing.

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