On the heels of the end of Tesla’s long-running referral program, the electric car maker has lowered the price of the Model 3 by $1,100. The price adjustment affects all versions of the electric sedan, with the Mid Range RWD variant costing $42,900 before savings; the Dual Motor AWD costing $49,900 before savings, and Performance variant costing $60,900 before savings.
The recent price adjustments are a way to help Tesla keep the Model 3’s price at a competitive level despite the lowered federal tax credit, which was adjusted to $3,750 since January. With the phaseout period of the federal credits in mind, it is pertinent for the company to keep its vehicles priced competitively, at least until it can start manufacturing the lower-priced versions of the electric sedan.
These price adjustments are made possible by the optimizations that Tesla has adopted for the vehicle’s production over the past months. The phaseout of the long-running referral program, which Elon Musk notes has been costing the company a lot of money, also helped. This was highlighted by a Tesla spokesperson amidst the Model 3’s recent $1,100 price adjustments, who stated that the changes were made possible primarily as a result of the referral program’s end. This statement echoes one of Elon Musk’s tweets, where he noted that the referral program was “adding too much cost to the cars, especially Model 3.”
The timing of the Model 3’s recent price adjustment appears to be strategic, as the lower costs of the vehicle could result in a boost for sales in the United States. Such timing plays well with Tesla’s sales trends during the first quarter, as mentioned by Elon Musk during the recently held fourth-quarter earnings call. During the Q&A session, Musk remarked that he remains confident about the Model 3’s demand, particularly as sales pick up around early to mid-March.
“There’s a lot of seasonality to automotive purchases. First of all, (people) do not buy a new car in the middle of a blizzard. So January and February tend to be seasonally low and then picks up significantly around (the) early to the mid-March time frame. In the U.S., we obviously have a pull forward of demand from the tax credit. And yes, there’s — so there’s all those factors. But I feel very confident about Model 3 demand,” Musk said.
While Tesla is yet to begin the production of the Model 3’s standard Range variants, credit must be given to the company for making headways in lowering the cost of its vehicles. With its current price of $49,900 before savings, for one, the Long Range AWD version is already close to the starting cost of the Long Range RWD Model 3, the first version of the vehicle released by Tesla that was priced at $49,000 before options.