Tesla announced sweeping changes to its Model 3 lineup and dropped the $35,000 version off its website entirely (TSLA)


Tesla Model 3 Review

Tesla announced sweeping changes to its Model 3 lineup on Thursday night. Among those changes, the electric-car maker removed the $35,000 version of the car from its website.
The most affordable “Standard” Model 3 can now only be ordered by phone, or in person at a Tesla store. The company cites customer demand for that change, saying the “Standard Plus” version of the Model 3 has sold at “more than six times the rate of Standard.”
The Long Range, rear-wheel-drive Model 3 will also only be available by phone or in stores.
Additionally, Tesla announced Autopilot will now be a standard feature on every vehicle it makes.
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Tesla announced a number of changes to its Model 3 lineup on Thursday night. Among them, the electric-car maker is removing the $35,000 version of the car from its website.

The most affordable “Standard” Model 3 can now only be ordered by phone, or in person at a Tesla store. The company cites customer demand for that change, saying the “Standard Plus” version of the Model 3 has sold at “more than six times the rate of Standard.”

The Model 3 Standard will be a “software-limited” version of the Standard Plus, with 10% less battery range than the Standard Plus.

The Long Range rear-wheel drive Model 3 will also require a phone call or a visit to a Tesla store for customers who want it.

That news follows Tesla’s move in February to close some of its retail locations in order to shift sales online. The company had walked that announcement back a bit after it took some of its employees by surprise. In March, CEO Elon Musk sent an email to employees to clarify that strategy, saying its most popular stores would “absolutely not be closed down,” while lower-volume locations would “gradually be closed down.”

Autopilot as a standard feature

In addition to the lineup changes, Tesla announced Autopilot, its semi-autonomous-driving feature, as a standard feature.

“For example, Model 3 Standard Plus used to cost $37,500, plus $3,000 for the Autopilot option. It now costs $39,500, with Autopilot included,” Tesla said in a press release Thursday night.

Tesla added: “We think including Autopilot is very important because our data strongly indicates that the chance of an accident is much lower when Autopilot is enabled.”

The company also highlighted what it says is positive customer feedback about the technology.

Leasing options and Tesla ride-hailing

As of Thursday, the Model 3 is also available for lease but, unlike a typical vehicle lease, customers will not have the option to purchase their cars at the end of the contract: That’s because Tesla plans to have those off-lease Model 3s join its self-driving ride-hailing fleet.

Tesla offered no further details about this yet-to-be-launched autonomous taxi service. Company representatives did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on that service Thursday night.

Notably, news about that ride-hailing services comes just hours after Uber filed for it’s initial public offering. Uber is developing its own fleet of self-driving vehicles. Lyft, Uber’s closest competitor …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance

      

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