Naturally, speculation as to what Tesla had in store quickly ran wild.
Tesla has been working to get the price of the Model 3 down to the promised $35,000 since its 2016 reveal.
Thursday was the third time this year that Tesla lowered the price on the Model 3, which recently started at $42,900.
Although these standard-range Model 3s will ship with all the hardware necessary for Autopilot, it's an extra $3,000 to have this functional before the vehicle is delivered, or $4,000 if you change your mind and want to add it after delivery, which should take place in "three to six months", according to Musk.
The $35,000 Model 3 will enter the market that's becoming increasingly crowded. More expensive versions of the Model 3 will have faster speeds and more power.
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Musk reversed course on his previous prediction of a slim first-quarter profit for Tesla, but said he believes the company will eke out a profit in the second quarter.
Less likely to be pleased is the group of new Tesla buyers who have just seen pricing for Model 3, Model S, and Model X cars drop considerably.
"Although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same ideal 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version", Tesla said.
Alongside the standard Model 3, Tesla announces the Model 3 Standard Range Plus with 240 miles of range, a top speed of 140 mph, 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, and premium interior features, retailing for $37,000 before incentives.
"Shift to an online-only sales model as a key element of differentiation (particularly for a new auto manufacturer) that has the potential to drive higher conversion, reduce costs in the long-run, and improve customer satisfaction". Soon, the only way you'll be able to purchase a Tesla will be through your phone or a computer.
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Tesla went so far as to urge customers to abuse the new return feature, which lets buyers return cars within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. "Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free". Also, you can order the Model 3 here.
Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected.
That means the company is shutting down "many of its stores" and keeping a "small number of stores in high-traffic locations remaining as galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers".
The upside for Tesla customers is a significant reduction in cost. The goal is the service cars the same day, if not the same hour, and most service will be done with the company coming to the customer. "Moreover, we guarantee service availability anywhere in any country in which we operate". Today, we're seeing the final cost at $2,000 CAD higher than original Tesla estimates for the Standard Range Model 3, but also with a slightly higher range of 386 kilometres.
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