Tesla changed the prices of a few of its vehicles. Again.
The California-based EV maker upped the price of its Model Y Long Range as well as the Model S Plaid plus, which isn’t in production yet, by $10,000. Additionally, two variants of its Model 3 sedan jumped $500. The Standard Range Plus rose to $37,490 from $36,990 while the Long Range AWD increased to $46,490 from $45,990.
But the pricing action is nothing new for the company, which has a history of suddenly changing prices of vehicles.
The more things change …
In February, Tesla reduced its starting prices for the Standard Range versions of the lowest-cost versions of the Model 3 and Model Y. The Model 3 saw a $1,000 drop, with the new price being $38,190. The Standard Range Model Y went from $41,3190 to $41,190.
No explanation’s been given by the company for the changes, Tesla’s latest moves came on the heels of GM’s debut of the new 2022 Chevy Bolt EV and the larger Bolt EUV. The company launched those vehicles on Feb. 14. The 2022 Bolt EV starts at $31,995, a $5,500 price reduction compared to the 2021 model, for example.
It doesn’t go just one way either. Last October, Musk cut prices twice in the same week. First, he cut the price on the Model S Long Range by $3,000 down to $71,990 in the U.S. However, after that cut Peter Rawlinson, CEO of Lucid Motors and a former top exec at Tesla, announced pricing on that company’s first product, the Air.
It came in at $77,440, but since the company is eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, the “real” price was $69,900. That wouldn’t do and just two days after the $3,000 drop, Musk took to Twitter.
“The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled. Model S price changes to $69,420,” Musk proclaimed in a tweet Wednesday afternoon. The new price, in addition to reinforcing his love of the number 420, is in response to the price for the base model Lucid Air.
Changes vary by market
Tesla’s choice to change prices carries onto its overseas operations as well. The company, again in February, reduced the price of its Model 3 in Japan by about 25 percent. The base price of the standard version was cut in February to 4.29 million yen ($40,500) from 5.11 million yen. The long-range version saw an even steeper drop of 1.56 million yen to 4.99 million yen. The performance sedan remained at 7.17 million yen.
Prior to the cuts, the Model 3 was not a strong seller in Japan. Tesla sold fewer than 2,000 units in 2020. This despite Tesla’s efforts to gain a foothold in the Japanese market. The first Tesla Model 3 was delivered to customers in Japan in October 2014.
Price cuts came fast and furious for a while in China. Musk trimmed the price of the Model 3 sedan by 8%, with a base version starting at $36,805 last September. In late summer 2019, Tesla raised prices on the Model 3 in China, only to see the country make them more affordable.
Tesla raised prices on some of its vehicles to offset the impact of China’s weakening yuan, which was at its lowest level in more than decade. The Model X jumped to 809,900 yuan, or $114,186, from 790,900 yuan, or $110,629.
The price of the long-range dual-motor variants of the Model 3 cars rose 10,000 yuan, or just under $1,500. The Model 3 is now 439,900 yuan, or $61,532, up from 429,900 yuan, or $60,133. However, just after that China removed the 10% purchase tax on the vehicles, cutting the costs for consumers.
Vehicle price changes follow the stock price
The long history of vehicle price adjustments mirrors the company’s stock performance during the past 30 days. The stock was at $816.04 just before Valentine’s Day when the love began to fade for Tesla shares. It declined steadily, before hitting a low of $546.71 on March 5.
However, what goes down, often comes back up in the trading world and Tesla’s stock did just that. In fact, it closed up today at $699.60, up 4.72% compared with yesterday’s close of $668.06.
Industry analysts point to a variety of reasons for the EV automaker’s sharp downturn, but one particular concern clearly stands out. After overwhelmingly dominating the global battery-car market in recent years, Tesla suddenly is losing ground as it faces new competition from products like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4.
Tesla has a history of wild swings, its stock price tumbling by nearly two-thirds last February but then surging to an all-time high of $900.40 earlier this year.