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Tesla holds highest average transaction price increase in 2022, Musk warns of ‘inflation pressure’

Tesla and SpaceX are experiencing substantial “inflation pressure,” according to CEO Elon Musk, who hinted toward potential price increases for his electric automotive company’s products in the coming months. It appears inflation pressure has already contributed to increases in Tesla’s average transaction price, which spiked more than any other major automaker from January to February 2022, according to Kelley Blue Book data.

Last night, CEO Elon Musk indicated both Tesla and SpaceX were experiencing incredible pressure from inflation, which would likely increase the costs of its products. “Tesla & SpaceX are seeing significant recent inflation pressure in raw materials & logistics,” Musk said. “And we are not alone.”

It is no secret inflation has already contributed to price increases across nearly every sector, whether it be technology, automotive, or another consumer good. Tesla has not been invincible in recent months, being forced to increase prices of its vehicles due to raw materials availability, especially for electric vehicle batteries.

KBB data displayed the average transaction cost of every major automaker in January and February 2022. Tesla saw the most drastic increase in average transaction price from January 2022 to February 2022, with the cost increasing by 4.1 percent. Acura had the next-highest increase from January to February at 3.4 percent. Overall, the industry saw a 0.6 percent decrease in new vehicle cost during the first two months of 2022.

Tesla is just one of many in terms of costs rising substantially from February 2021 to February 2022. With the industry seeing an average 11.4 percent increase in transaction price Year-Over-Year in February, Tesla’s average surged 14.8 percent, a far cry from Jeep and Acura, who saw the highest increase with 20.9 and 21 percent, respectively.

Credit: Kelley Blue Book

“Consumers are paying near top dollar for new vehicles as prices remain high and incentives fall to a record low,” Michelle Krebs of Cox Automotive said. “With prices for oil and gas, along with commodities like metals used to build vehicles, soaring due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, automakers may be compelled to try to offset their increasing costs by raising vehicle prices. The Ukraine situation is causing additional disruption to the automotive supply chain which makes the likelihood of growing inventory, which remains stuck at low levels, less of a sure thing.”

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Inflationary pressure, especially with raw materials, including nickel, has perhaps delayed the rollout of new strategies for electric car companies. While many automakers, including Tesla, Rivian, Ford, and others, have committed to the potential use of nickel-based battery packs. However, Nickel prices have surged to $100,000 per metric ton on the London Metals Exchange, leading to a trading freeze.

Electric car owners are not the only ones feeling intense economic pressure. Combustion engine drivers are watching prices at the pump swell to near $6 per gallon in some instances. AAA data has the average cost of a gallon of gas in the U.S. at $4.325 per gallon, a nearly $1.50 increase in the past year.

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Tesla holds highest average transaction price increase in 2022, Musk warns of ‘inflation pressure’
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