Tesla’s price war against both electric vehicle makers and traditional automakers in the United States appears to be working. While it’s too early to tell which company will come out on top, there are signs Tesla is making some early gains.
In January, Tesla rolled out an aggressive price reduction strategy across its entire lineup. Even best-selling vehicles such as the Model Y Dual Motor AWD, which is already selling well to begin with, saw a price reduction of about 20% to $52,990. The price of the Model Y Dual Motor has climbed a bit since then, but its cost today is still far lower than in the previous quarter.
Tesla also lowered the prices of its Model S sedan and Model X SUV in mid-January, before lowering them again in early March. Presently, the basic Model S sells at $89,990, 14% less than its initial price at the start of the year. The entry-level Model X now costs $99,990, which is 17% lower than its previous cost.
Other automakers have followed suit. Ford also cut its prices recently, with the Mustang Mach-E seeing price reductions between 1% and 8.8%. Seth Goldstein, an analyst at Morningstar, noted in a comment to Insider that Tesla’s competition at this point lies far beyond just other EV makers. Tesla’s completion is other automakers that make combustion-powered cars.
“Tesla’s competition isn’t just other EV makers. It’s other carmakers. They’re cutting prices so that the Model 3 can eventually compete with other sedans, and the Model Y can compete with other SUVs,” Goldstein said.
During the Q4 and FY 2022 earnings call, Elon Musk noted that Tesla saw a rise in demand following its price cuts in January. Jessica Caldwell, the executive director of insights at the car-shopping website Edmunds, corroborated Musk’s statement. This trend was also hinted at in research from AllianceBernstein, which showed that the waiting times for new Model Y orders have climbed since January.
“We saw interest spike for the Model 3 and the Model Y after the price cuts, so it definitely did move the needle,” Caldwell said. She also noted that Tesla’s pricing strategy is advantageous to the electric vehicle maker since the company does not utilize a dealership model. As per Caldwell, it’s a “lot more complicated” for traditional carmakers to implement price cuts “because they are selling to their dealer who has final say in the price, whereas Tesla doesn’t operate like that.”
But Tesla is not done just yet. As per the company during its 2023 Investor Day event, a more affordable next-generation vehicle is in the works. And as per Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, the upcoming vehicle, informally dubbed “Model 2” today, could very well be Tesla’s “golden goose.” “The lower-priced future Model 2 is key to going after the masses, with the golden goose being a sub-$30,000 vehicle. It’s Tesla’s world with everyone else paying rent,” Ives said.
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